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Morningside Heights


A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-...
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Are you someone who avoids discussions about death, or are you more likely to engage in them?

Created: 09/23/21

Replies: 21

Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Are you someone who avoids discussions about death, or are you more likely to engage in them?

The author states that as Spence's death was getting closer, Pru spoke about it more and more, "as if treating it as inevitable might make it never come." Are you someone who avoids discussions about death (yours or someone else's) or are you more likely to engage in them?


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 279

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I generally avoid the topic because it upsets my children though m husband an I have discussed what I will do if he passes first. We have had more discussions as a family with Covid as my son is an ICU doctor and his possible death has promoted discussions about the care of his children, etc. but it’s certainly not a comfortable thing to discuss


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 364

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

With a terminally ill husband, all necessary legal paperwork and medical decisions have been made. I'm not afraid to talk about death to anyone. My husband and I are strong Christians. Our faIth helps us endure the hardships. We've talked about death, Heaven, his funeral, the loved ones he will be reunited with, etc. It gives us comfort.


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SusanC.

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 46

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

This book came at the right time for me. I have been dealing with death a lot lately. Previously I avoided death but lately it has been a part of my life (Mother, 2 Brother In Laws etc). Again, Morningside Heights made me confront the issues of death and life and everything in between. It arrived at exactly the right time for me.


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I do not avoid talking about death. It would be hard to avoid it during this COVID-19 pandemic. Also recently a friend died instantly of a massive heart attack. Last weekend another friend of a brain aneurysm. Both deaths were so surprising and shocking. We cannot ignore death.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 209

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I don't avoid discussions about death but find they are not very commonplace as most people avoid them! I do shy away from books about death - not sure why - as I found "Morningside Heights" especially poignant and relevant to me.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbettet

Join Date: 10/01/20

Posts: 19

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I am a Stephen Minister which is someone who listens and supports someone going through a crisis. Through being there with those who are approaching death, it has taught me not to be afraid of confronting their fears and questions. They need to talk about it. Younger family members are usually not ready to face the reality of death, but every family should have a conversation so that they know each other's wishes for what is inevitable.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 124

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

My mother just passed away so death is very present here with me. As the youngest of many siblings I think about death more than I ever did. Covid made me extremely aware of time passing. As a cyclist I am often confronted with the reality that my daily ride may end as the way far too many cyclists’ rides end - under the wheels of a vehicle. When I was younger death held more of a mystery and discussing it felt freeing. Now, after losing my mother it brings an inevitable sadness.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 515

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

There's a book I've read three times now that has really helped me with my approach to aging and death (both my own and that of my loved ones): Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. In it, the author talks about how important it is to have those difficult conversations around our mortality, particularly as one ages. I think I've always been pretty clear-eyed about my mortality and don't hesitate to talk about it, but I know others (like my husband) who don't want to talk about death AT ALL.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 62

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

Prior to anyone close to me dying, I did not feel comfortable talking about death. It was so foreign to me, I didn't even know how I would be affected. I was fortunate that death didn't present itself to me until I was an adult, when my father died. It knocked the wind right out of me and it took me quite a while to be able to talk comfortably about death. When my mother died several years later, I was able to deal with the situation much better, especially because we moved my mother to live closer to us and I knew I did everything I could to help her and enjoy one another.


Posted Sep. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mbt1963

Join Date: 10/28/11

Posts: 14

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

In my younger years I avoided those topics but as I’ve got older I don’t mind talking about it.


Posted Sep. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 126

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I've never avoided it, but as I get older (and older and older) and face it more and more, I find I'm more at ease discussing it. That never means I'm truly prepared, even when my mom died of Alzheimer's, but I do recognize the inevitability of it and the need to accept it and move along.


Posted Sep. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BethD34

Join Date: 07/28/13

Posts: 16

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

My dad and his wife planned their funeral arrangements back around 2007, a couple of years before he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. At the time, they talked with my sister and me about what our wishes were from my dad’s funeral - for example, we knew he wanted to be cremated, but he wondered if it was important to us to have a viewing in advance. At the time it was upsetting to have the discussion about arrangements, and to think of my dad dying, though it did make it much easier when the time came to know what his wishes were. While we talked about the administration of death, however, we still never really talked about how he felt about it, even during the early years of his Lewy Body diagnosis. He passed away in November of last year after living with the disease for almost a decade. From his experience I’ve learned that I’d rather talk about death and how I feel about it, less for myself than for people I’ll leave behind. I’d like them to know that I am comfortable with death and that when it comes, they shouldn’t worry about how I felt about it.


Posted Sep. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
arlenei

Join Date: 08/12/21

Posts: 20

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

When you are younger, I don’t think any of us really think about death unless we had someone close to us die. As you age you look at death differently but it still is not really an open discussion for my family but it definitely should be.


Posted Sep. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 24

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

My parents are deceased, so as my therrapist pointed out, I'm next on the escalator of life! That was pretty harsh, but I had not in 7 years, owned up to the fact that I would die. I still am very uncomfortable discussing death - like all the practical things that must be done and things that must change. But I do believe in God, and I know that I should not feel that way about discussing death. But yes, I avoid talking about death.


Posted Oct. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 50

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I don't shy away from the topic of death. I grew up in a family with a tradition of all members of the family participating in 3 days of mourning, large gatherings, donations to pay for expenses, celebration after the final services. I've read books on Life after Life, care of aging parents, etc. I learned that one has to be prepared not only emotionally, if that is ever possible, but also administratively. Things need to be in order. That leads to discussions on what, where, when and how. Perhaps planning around one's death, and talking about those plans with appropriate family members or associates, will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed. Death can be prepared for but loss is another thing. That is a task each of us will need to handle in our own ways.


Posted Oct. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 114

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

Like kimk I have read Being Mortal. It is a book that I think everyone should read. I think if I had read that book before my dad got sick, some things would have been different. I don't avoid talking about death. We knew what my dad wanted when he died. My mom made her wishes clear before she got dementia, so we also know what she wants and my sister and I are doing are best to make it happen. It is still a discussion I need to have in more depth with my own children in regard to me.


Posted Oct. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I tend to avoid the subject. We have arrangements and will made, so I do not have to think about that. Now i would rather just think about mu life at the present, My husband has some issues and some memory problems, I know this will be part of our future, but I am taking the present one day at a time.


Posted Oct. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 125

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

Oh gosh, I am a what you see is what you get type person and willing to talk about anything with most anybody. Death is just an extension of life and I don't think we should have any anxiety or uncomfortable feelings towards talking about it.


Posted Oct. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rorya

Join Date: 09/18/13

Posts: 20

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

As I get older, I become more aware of death, not that I didn't have enough of it during my father's few years with stage 4 colon cancer. After he died, it was near-death for we who remained, myself, my sister, and my mother, because my father hadn't done anything to gather his pension information, his Social Security information for those survivor's benefits for my mother, although he did try to make an effort to pay off some of his credit card bills, though that was only toward the end of his life when he was become weaker. Therefore, it fell to me to do all of that, a solid two weeks, with no time to grieve, simply because we had to be sure that we had enough money to remain where we were. My mother didn't want anything to do with that because she had always said that she's not the kind to step up. She prefers to be in the background, supported by others, but never one to take charge.

I am still considered relatively young and therefore I apparently still have all the time in the world. But I am aware that I'm getting older, moreso now in my late 30s than my late 20s. My priorities in my life are becoming more acute, the books I want to read, the history I want to learn, and the books I want to write. I have this sharp feeling of needing to add more value to my life every day, whatever else that might be.

I saw plenty of death in 2019 because it wasn't only my father, but our two beloved, elderly dogs a few months before that. What else could possibly touch me after that? I don't avoid discussions of it because I have known it well from this perspective, and it's what undergirds my entire life, the driving engine. My mother and father had a terrible marriage that devolved into all-out war. My father never got the true sense of happiness he was seeking, beyond his decades as a beloved teacher. I know he wouldn't want me to waste my time in any sense and to do what feels right for me. I'm always open to talking about it because I have seen it and I wonder what the experiences of others have been.


Posted Oct. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AmberH

Join Date: 05/09/18

Posts: 56

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

It is so important to talk about death and the natural life cycle, but I think our society shies away from it. I wish more of us felt comfortable talking about death and speaking of those who have died. My step sister passed away at 37 and I was surprised by how much other people avoided asking me about her and her premature death. I found I wanted to tell everyone I met about her, but it seemed to make other people uncomfortable to talk about someone who died, especially a younger person. I know have gotten into the habit of asking people to tell me stories about people they have lost that are close to them and find they typically seem very eager to talk about their loved one.


Posted Oct. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
job

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 19

RE: Are you someone who avoids ...

I don’t mind talking about death. As I have gotten older, I find I’m at peace with dying when it comes. I’m doing all I can to live well. My parents are approaching 90 and we haven’t talked about their wishes. Neither they or I have brought it up. I guess I feel it is their business…


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