Dean Rader talks with Edward Hirsch about his new book Gabriel, the pain of losing a child, and the challenges of writing grief....more
Posts Tagged: death
To an outside observer, it might appear that my father approached death the same way he did life: With a heavy hand and a critical gaze. It may seem like his pride and stubbornness made something difficult — dying — harder than it already was.
Dads are a funny thing. So many of us have strained relationships with them....more
In “Changeling,” Stephen Policoff uses serendipitous advice and the paintings of “mad artist” Richard Dadd to unlock the secret to writing about bereavement and the special role of a father as caretaker....more
All that afternoon the smell in the hallway bothered me. I was cleaning my apartment, making it as nice as I could, running the vacuum, taking out the recycling. But every time I went into the hall, I thought: what is that smell?...more
The story of how I wrote my second novel begins in 1999, when my four-year-old daughter Anna had a minor accident that caused massive intercranial bleeding....more
(adj.); gloomy, morose, or morbid; bad-tempered, irritable; from the Latin agra bili(s) (“black bile”)
“Caleb stopped, massaged, then stopped again, as though he felt something under the skin. ‘Too big to be a morphine pump,’ he said cheerfully. At 32 years old, fresh-faced and boyishly handsome, he looks less like an undertaker than like the member of an a cappella group.”
—Eric Puchner, from “Death Becomes Him”
When we think about places that house the dead—funeral homes, cemeteries, mortuaries and the like—atrabilious is a fitting term to describe the kind of aura surrounding them....more
When she becomes pregnant while grieving her newly dead father, Amy Monticello rejects the comforting notions she’s offered about completing the cycle of life....more
Grief can flatten you. What is its purpose?...more
A collection of short pieces written by Rumpus readers pertaining to the subject of “Haunted.”...more
I could not bring myself to talk about losing my last living grandparent, because talking about her would mean talking about the literal and figurative ocean between where I come from and where I am now....more
Surviving suicide is like balancing on the edge of a blade. Either way the knife flashes, you’re going to get cut....more
“I wanted to be sexual/sexualized, but not fetishized. But was becoming someone’s fetish the only way? How was being fetishized different than being desired for having a unique, unrepeatable shape…or would the one leg always and forever be the only thing that mattered?”...more
The history of the whole world can be told as the stories of conquerors and the conquered—the former consumed with thoughts of destiny and tyranny, the latter knowing only the persistence of time and the pure grit of bodies....more
Over at Buzzfeed, Leigh Stein paints a portrait of two lovers before the fall:
Jason and I met in 2007, at an audition for a tragedy. I was 22 and wanted the role of Medea. He was 18 and didn’t know what the play was about.
“The wants and desires of dead people, the one’s they didn’t get to fulfill—that’s what slays me…What if they wanted more? What if they didn’t want to leave behind the things they left behind?”...more
The Southern Review recently excavated a poem by Aliki Barnstone from 2002, “My Friend Steve Asks if I Believe in the Afterlife.” It begins:
When a boy delivering her eulogy / first uttered “mother,” a baby sparrow/ landed on his head .
A house is just a set design, and sometimes we run lines with ghosts....more
During the last handful of years of his life my father became one of those unruly cool dads, perhaps exceptionally unruly. My sister and I had no curfews and he would congratulate us when we regaled him with stories of crazy nights out.
The mountains of Alabama are small mountains—foothills, really—but they are mine like a sports team is mine—like a football game (which I have for so long been near but have not really, really seen) is mine—as in the phrase “We scored! We scored!”...more
Saeed Jones published a book of poems, Prelude To Bruise. Over at Buzzfeed, he’ll tell you why he wrote them, too:
“My mother had a fatal heart attack the night before Mother’s Day in 2011. The experience of losing her broke me down.
Paul Moran began collecting John Updike’s trash in 2006, three years before the writer’s death. He found discarded photos, story drafts, and honorary degrees. The acquisition of curbside trash seems perfectly legal in Massachusetts, even if Updike and his wife took measures to dissuade Moran’s efforts....more
I want to leave the party through the window and find my uncle standing on a piece of iron shaped into visible desperation, which must also be (how can it not?) the beginning of visible hope....more
The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights at 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City....more
The day my father died was the day I started falling in love....more