Grieving is so smothering an experience that it’s almost impossible to conjure up from a distance. And yet so few people have the inclination or the presence of mind to document its intensity in real time. It’s no wonder that the best contemporary writing about grief — Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” and Meghan O’Rourke’s “The Long Goodbye” come to mind — were begun before scar tissue had time to form.
Alysa Stanton-Ogulnick isn't particularly interested in being a standard-bearer.
She's proud to be black, proud to be a woman and proud to be a 45-year-old single mother who raised her adopted child on her own.
Obituaries March 2008
Seated at his office in Beverly Hills, Ben Mittleman, 57, doesn't have a trace of gray in his sandy-brown hair. He says his mother used to kid him that he must have had a "facelift or something," but despite the fact that this veteran TV actor turned director-producer looks 10 years younger than his age, he underwent heart surgery in 2001. That experience is the subject of "Dying to Live," along with his response to the cancers that later took the lives of both his mother and his wife, Valerie. The film premieres Thursday, March 13, at Laemmle's Music Hall, where it will screen for two weeks.
Obituaries for December 2007 and January 2008.
Obituaries - December 2008
Obituaries November/ December 2007
Obituaries for November 2007
Four years after Shirley T.'s husband died, the anniversary of his death was more painful than she could have anticipated. She spent the day before cooking the foods he loved and somehow navigated emotionally through the anniversary itself.
In this week's Torah portion, Vayechi, we have the most intimate description of a deathbed scene and the most elaborate description of a le'vayah (funeral) contained in the Torah.
Obituaries for October and November 2007
Obituaries October and November 2007
Remembrance of a mother's last day.
Moshe was one of a kind. "None ever rose again like Moshe." At the same time, in very powerful ways, Moshe and Miriam were two of a kind. Their personalities and passions overlapped generously. And despite being separated over decades during Moshe's extended sojourn in Midian, their destinies and their souls remained intertwined. When one of them left this world, the other descended into grief-stricken crisis.
Holidays bring up feelings and memories about people who have died. They also offer opportunities to address unresolved issues. The four Yizkor services and the themes of their days correspond to different tasks of mourning.
In Judaism, we sit shiva after a death. We grieve, confront and try to accept. It's an ancient process, and it helps.
Depression is a word that has been cheapened. We forget that it is a diagnosis for a bona fide disease. It becomes a catch phrase for the weighty feelings we experience as we come to terms with life's challenges and honor the process of change.
Music was Daniel Pearl's avocation, but journalism was his profession. In pursuit of a story on Al Qaeda's financial ties, the then-38-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter was kidnapped in early 2002 in Pakistan and beheaded by Islamic extremists.
For more than 30 years, the settlers' dream has choked the dream of free Israelis. The dream of the whole land of Israel and a messianic kingship drains daily the hope of being a people free to build a just society.
Each of us lives a spiritual journey. One of greatest tasks in life is to know our journey, to understand its contours and what it demands of us. The Torah teaches us these journeys, these paths into our center.
The pain and anguish of infertility has been passed down from matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel to women today. But while our traditions have given us words to say and ways to act during other lifecycle events -- death, birth, marriage -- there is little guidance for how to help a friend or loved one deal with the loss of a pregnancy or the pain and despair of infertility.
I felt like a third wheel," Shirley said. "I never felt more alone," Diane said. "I felt my oneness," Helene added.
What do you do when you lose someone? Someone you really hated?
After taking his children to see a pleasant Disney cartoon, Dr. Rob Goldblatt thought there would some animated chatter about the film during the drive home.
One of the pleasures of reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," Jonathan Safran Foer's absorbing new novel, is that the experience helped me understand why I was so incapable of enjoying Foer's first book, the into-30-languages-translated, into-major-motion-picture-being-made "Everything Is Illuminated" -- or why (to take the blame off myself) that last book, published in 2002, was so ill suited to being enjoyed by me. I'm even thinking of making a peace offering to "Everything Is Illuminated," trying to reach some sort of détente, maybe seeing if we'd prefer each other's company the second time around.
As a journalist in the Yom Kippur War, I came upon a Patton tank company refueling behind the Israeli lines in Sinai during the last week of fighting.
Grief erases all regular rules. All the logic that has ever seemed to govern one's life suddenly seems useless. More than useless, it seems pointless.
They told us that we would move through various stages of grief, but they were wrong.
For elderly people, mild disappointments and grief can set off depression. According to estimates from the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 750,000 older Californians suffer from depression each year. Put in another way, 50 percent of all seniors will endure a depression at some point in their later years.
Depression can affect the entire family -- but the family can also help intervene.
Years ago, one of my colleagues had the awesome task of officiating at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed by a car while riding her bicycle.
"The Blessing of a Broken Heart" gives the struggle a precious face and, at the same time, illustrates the power of Jewish faith, ritual and community to heal.
We are in the month of Elul, and I'm taking inventory of my year. Much of the year for me was about how I dealt with my grief; it was about the process of letting go.
R.B. Kitaj's show in Venice includes more than 20 works, paintings, drawings, even a few abstracts. Clearly, Kitaj's time in Los Angeles has been productive. But can a self-proclaimed "Diasporist" ever be truly at home?
Today, I struggle with my grief for Ramon as the "international hero" and for Ramon as the man who my family and I were privileged to meet, break bread with and get to know personally.
In second grade, my alternative San Francisco elementary school gathered all the students together for a "share" session. It was a tiny school. We crowded into the library, where a teacher calmly announced that there had been a tragedy over the weekend.
I'm sure that most of you have heard about how three synagogues in my hometown of Sacramento were firebombed early Friday morning. And perhaps you have heard about the pain that so many Jews around the country are feeling. And, of course, these feelings run even deeper among those of us who are members of one of the temples.
Under a giant banner that read "Sacramento United Against Hate," some 4,500 citizens of all faiths and colors dedicated themselves to the fight against bigotry as their answer to coordinated arson attacks on three local synagogues.
We buried her 13 months ago -- this flower, this light, this precious partner of his for 60 years. Everything was done in our ancient way: the funeral with its torn, black ribbons and clods of earth thunking on plain pine; the shiva, with its prayers, grief and Bundt cakes; a year of "Kaddish" ending with an unveiled marker that captured his love for her in words as terse as Haiku.
Murray Cohen and his wife of 52 years, Lillian, were both Holocaust survivors. Since Lillian's death nine months ago, Murray spends most of his days inside. Without the attention of his daughter Barbara, Murray would hardly eat, shower or speak.
Steven S. Cohen was a hard-working businessman, a good friend and the father of two young girls, ages 2 and 5, when he suffered a massive heart attack during a game of weekend basketball and died. He was 35.