November 16, 2011

Omission

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I love the New York Times. Just a few years ago when the paper’s future was seriously in question I said to a friend “I couldn’t live without the NY Times.” She mistook my passion for melodrama. To my sustainably inclined husband’s chagrin I insist that we receive the print version daily. My computer’s opening page is www.nytimes.com. Okay, I’m a junkie.

Regardless if I die of natural causes, or because of grief for the now unlikely passing of the paper, the NY Times wouldn’t cover my death. Well, maybe when my book finds a publisher, and we break new ground in death consciousness. Well, maybe, but only if they review the book or interview me. A retired New York Times obituary writer informed me that there is very little chance of having your obit appear in the publication, if they didn’t cover you in life.

This editorial protocol is felt deeply in the obituary coverage at the paper. Of the 36 New York Times Read the rest of this entry »

July 15, 2011

#death

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At the recent memorial service of our family friend David, his friends had a lot to say. And they said it in his words. Speaking from over 5000 saved emails, text messages and fb posts, his soul was revealed. This archiving was powerful, both provocative and revealing.

I frequently instruct my kids that every word they write, and text is permanent. I do this to allay a false sense of privacy, to protect them Read the rest of this entry »

June 2, 2011

Hypothetically Speaking

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I was recently a guest at the New York Bar Association talk “End of Life, What You Should Know.” The “you” refers to lawyers. During the Q&A an attorney with an established estate practice spoke about how she approaches the creation of a will: “I always talk in the hypothetical.”

She went on to say that she is not Read the rest of this entry »