“Caring for the Dying Patient at Home,” by Traci Mullins

Jul 13th, 2022 | By

Move all the furniture out of a spare room and order a hospital bed. Remove unnecessary décor, as making the surroundings too “homey” can lead to denial (in both patient and family members) about the fact that your loved one is dying. Keeping things sparse will discourage any push-pull between the players, a source of stress that can be avoided if everyone is on the same page. Especially be sure to remove all photos of your loved one’s loved ones. This is not the time to surround her with reminders of what she is leaving behind, as this will only make her transition more difficult.

“Down in the Mouth,” by Elinor Kotchen

Jun 8th, 2022 | By

The woman hovered over me with her sharp metal instruments, poised in concentration. Somehow I’d agreed to let a stranger probe inside my mouth while I lay on my back, passive and inert. And I probably had a spinach leaf in my teeth from lunch.

A friend had recommended this dentist, assuring me she was experienced and trustworthy. Dr. Jen looked barely old enough to drive but seemed to know what she was doing.

“Slice of Life,” by Heather Vi Kish

Mar 23rd, 2022 | By

It was a crisp, fall day in 1981 and my brother Steve and I were searching our grandparents’ basement for Grandpa’s severed thumb. We were frantic, not because he needed to reattach it but because he promised a fifty-cent piece to whoever brought it back to him.

“3 Steps to a Stunning Corpse,” Jacob Bentzen

Mar 16th, 2022 | By

If you care about your image, dying should scare you to death. For years, the final moment of our lives has been glorified as some serene, almost beautiful process: we die peacefully then cut-scene and bam—tux, flowers, funeral. Nothing in-between.

“The way these dates go,” by Sierra Ford

Mar 9th, 2022 | By

The first thing he did was ask me on a date. It was in the bitter cold of a California winter, and the mall was decorated with all kinds of winter festivities. I could hear the sounds of steel blades scratching the ice behind me as little children attempted to push their feet forward on the foreign temporary terrain.