death

Word of Mouth
1:43 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

10.8.14: Soldier's Farewell Letters, Grief Can Kill, & Good Gig

Credit Pimthida via flickr Creative Commons

From the Trojan war to the current war in Afghanistan, soldiers have been penning farewell letters for centuries. On today’s show, a look into the deeply private “death letter” tradition throughout history.

Then, we’ll kick off our new series, “Good Gig”, with a rare bookseller who found his dream job among the binders on a dusty shelf.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
3:10 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Reflecting On Robin Williams

Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam
Credit BagoGames via Flickr CC

 In April 2010, WTF host Marc Maron sat down to speak with Robin Williams. Following the news of Williams’ death on August 11, Maron reflected back on that interview and shared some of his thoughts on a conversation that he considers life-changing. The interview is at times delicate, as Williams talks about his battle with addiction and depression, but it also raised a new perspective the comedian which people had rarely seen before.

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Word of Mouth
3:49 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

8.3.14: The Death Show

Credit Rob Shenk via Flickr CC

Ceased to be, eternal rest, journey’s end, six feet under. First, why do we have such a hard time facing the realities of death? We’ll begin with planning for it….and the importance of getting your wishes in order. Then, we find out what happens when someone dies mysteriously. Death by murder…or owl? And, we’ll talk to the Boston Globe’s obituary writer about the growing number of people writing selfie-obits. Today, Word of Mouth casts off the euphemisms and talks directly about death.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


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Word of Mouth
2:01 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

How To Write Your Own Obituary

Credit TempusVolat via Flickr CC

As part of our investigation into all things death, we spoke with Barbara Bates Sedoric, president and founder of Lasting Matters, about planning for death by saving your family from extra stress to making sure documents are in order. And now one of those documents may very well be part of a new trend that is on the rise.

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Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

LastingMatters: Conversations About Death

Credit Kaity Hemgesberg via flickr Creative Commons

Discussing death should be no laughing matter. Nor should it be easy, pressure-free, and light-hearted, right? Well, according to Barbara Sedoricfounder of LastingMatters, talking about death doesn't need to be somber, and it does need to happen.

In October of 2012, she created Boo's Bucket List Blog, her first ever, with the idea of starting a conversation about death. From there, her posts have covered everything from end of life conversations, funeral planning, and bucket lists.

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Word of Mouth
1:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

1.30.14: Rethinking Death, Ethics of Wildlife Photography & Ted Williams

Credit OldOnliner via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth we wrap up our series Rethink 2014 with, perhaps, the most difficult concept …death. Then we delve into a discussion about the possible disruption of wildlife photography and ethical practice. Finally, Ben Bradlee, Jr. shares revelations on a Boston Red Sox player: Ted Williams. Listen to the full audio and scroll down to read more on individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

What Happens After We Die?

Credit via sptimmortalityproject.com

Billions of dollars are spent each year to prevent death. We invest in research and treatment of disease; in improving safety; and in educating people to live healthier, longer lives. Yet with all of technological and scientific capability, what do we know of what happens after death? John Martin Fischer is professor of philosophy at University of California at Riverside. He was awarded a 5 million dollar grant to study the afterlife. He’s launched “The Immortality Project." The money will go towards sponsoring conferences and scientific, philosophical, and theological research that advances understanding of immortality and belief in immortality.

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Word of Mouth
12:52 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

New Showtime Series "Time Of Death" Takes An Unflinching Look At The End Of Life

Credit Rachel via flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve ever avoided a conversation about death, you are not alone. While death scenes are plentiful in movies and on television, witnessing the real, degenerative, disorienting process of death and dying is avoided…unmentionable…a taboo.  A new Showtime series faces that taboo head-on. “Time of Death” follows eight terminally ill people ranging in age from nineteen to seventy-seven over the course of nine months to their final hours and even moments of life.

Reviews and conversations cropping up around the series praise its raw, sometimes agonizing realism and wonder if anyone will watch; if our death denying culture can take such an unflinching look at death? The Huffington Post’s religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem wrote about the series. He’s covers one of HuffPo’s most unusual beats: death.

Also joining us is Miggi Hood co-executive producer for the Showtime series, “Time of Death.”

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Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Tweeting A Taboo Topic: Death

Credit merlinprincess via Flickr Creative Commons

In July, NPR host Scott Simon started tweeting from the Chicago hospital room where his mother, Patricia, landed after complications from surgery. For the next week, Scott tweets became a real-time record of her decline for his more than 1.2 million followers on twitter. His raw, often bittersweet posts went viral among celebrities, media outlets and strangers drawn by his example of public grief.   

The extraordinary response to Scott’s twitter vigil stirred up conversations about the taboo topic of death in America – and a debate on social media’s place in mourning. Paul Bisceglio edits the online literary magazine The Land That I Live. He wrote about how social media is changing the way we approach death for The Atlantic.

Word of Mouth
3:40 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Scott Simon's Twitter Vigil

Scott Simon's parents on their wedding day
Credit Courtesy of Scott Simon, via NPR

A few years ago, NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon interviewed his mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman, for StoryCorps. She talked about what a great companion he was; when he broke down, in response, his mother told him to "stop crying."

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

An Illustrator's Journey Through Love And Loss

Credit Danny Gregory / www.dannygregory.com


Danny Gregory is an author and illustrator whose work you might have seen in the New York Times or other publications. He’s also author of several books, including “An Illustrated Life” and “The Creative License.”  His newest is called “A Kiss Before You Go: A Memoir Of Love And Loss”. It’s a collection of illustrations and text compiled from daily drawings Danny did in the year following the death of his wife Patti.


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All Tech Considered
3:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Who Has The Right To Our Facebook Accounts Once We Die?

At least two states are considering laws to require social networking sites to grant loved ones access to the accounts of family members who have died.
Gunay Mutlu iStockphoto.com

When Loren Williams died in a motorcycle crash in 2005, his mother used his Facebook password to read posts on his wall.

"These were postings from personal friends that [said] he meant a lot to them in their lives, and it was very comforting," Karen Williams told KGW television in Portland, Ore. "There were pictures that I had never seen before of his life and just evidence of the wonderful relationships that he had established."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:38 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Oregon Emphasizes Choices At The End Of Life

Helen Hobbs, 93, is one Oregonian who has taken advantage of a standardized form to legally record her wishes for end-of-life care.
Kristian Foden-Vencil Oregon Public Broadcasting

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 8:36 pm

It turns out Americans facing death want something they also want in life: choice.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:43 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook

The nation is mourning pop star Whitney Houston with heartfelt tributes at last night’s Grammy awards, fan testimonials and revivals of her old hits. “I Will Always Love You” is currently the number one download on iTunes sales. As the curiosity for the triumphs and the unsavory details of her life are revealed, we can only hope to glimpse more of Whitney’s humanity, and her struggles in and out of the spotlight. That’s the kind of affection that drives Frank Decaro.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.03.11

Photo by Tom Maglieri, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

PART 1

 “Clean coal,” refers to technologies that reduce heavy metal, carbon and other emissions from the burning of coal. The development of technologies that could, potentially, filter greenhouse gases and store CO2 permanently is moving ahead. “Carbon Sequestration” is an important step in testing the potential of clean coal technology. We spoke with Maggie Koerth-Baker, Science Editor for Boing-Boing; she visited a carbon sequestration demonstration in Alabama.

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