Talking About Death in New Ways

Two recent books have been published that allow readers to rethink their association with death and dying. A new book by J. Servon and L. Delany-Ullman called Saved: Objects of the Dead explores the idea of what we keep after someone has died. The book has been created by North Carolina-based artist Jody Servon and California-based poet Lorene Delany-Ullman. It features forty photographs and prose poems based on interviews they did with people and the objects they cherished after a loved-one died. Bringing the idea to social media, they also have a very interesting Instragram page where people can see saved objects and hear about why these particular objects were saved.

Another unusual book worth exploring was recently written by Hadley Vlahos. Hadley is a young hospice nurse with a large social media following on Instagram, Tik Tok and other channels. She shares interesting stories from her experience as a hospice nurse, offering play acting the various parts of an encounter. She offers inspiration and hope for the experience of grieving for family members and helping a dying family member.

While death is typically addressed as a depressing topic, these books explore unchartered aspects of the process and ways that family members might address and think about death in new and unusual ways.

Mother Chimp Mourns Death of Infant in Sadly Similar Way to Humans

In a heartbreaking discovery about the emotional life of chimpanzees, researchers have discovered what appears to be a mourning process in those primates which parallels a similar experience which humans go through when a loved one dies.

Experts on chimpanzee behavior have known for a while that chimp mothers develop a close bond with their infants; carrying them for two full years and nursing them for six. What was not apparent before was the reaction these mothers have when their infant dies.

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In a video which seems to show a mother chimp mourning the death of her 16 month old baby, evidence points to a heartbreakingly similar emotional experience to what human mothers feel when their infant dies.