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Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik


The Death Issue / No. 91 / Fall 2019

In Depth

From the EditorLauren Bohn

The Death Issue

Photo by Naomi Hayes / Getty Images

Photo by Naomi Hayes / Getty Images

It is one thing to die into a dead world and, metaphorically speaking, leave one’s bones to bleach on a desert lit only by a dying star. It is another thing to die into the actual world, which seethes with life, with agency other than our own, and, at the very least, with endless possibility. For those of us, which is probably most of us, who — with or without drugs or religion — have caught glimpses of this animate universe, death is not a terrifying leap into the abyss, but more like an embrace of ongoing life. — Barbara Ehrenreich, “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer”

Why the Story of Death Is the Story of Women
Sarah Chavez
Mourning illustration
Bring Back Mourning Culture: I Needed People to See My Grief
Kari Nixon
Friends at the End: The Death Midwives Who Will Ease Your Way
Cynthia Greenlee
graveyard illustration
Making Space for Spirits Among the Living
Illustrated essay by Jennifer Luxton
Return to Nature: Why We Choose Green Burial
Lynn Freehill-Maye and Phillip Pantuso
The Radical Love That Shows Up at Black Funerals
Ida Harris
Disappeared/Desaparecido: How Families Heal Without Certainty
Janice Cantieri
7 Things People Forget to Do Before They Die
Sydney Worth
photo illustration by Josué Rivas
I Am a Future Ancestor: An Indigenous Perspective on Healinge
Photo essay by Josué Rivas
Bill McKibben: Can We Confront Our Own Extinction?
Interview by Shannan Lenke Stoll

Solutions We Love

72 seasons image
Yes! But How? An Ancient Calendar of 72 SeasonsTracy Matsue Loeffelholz
Old Ways Are New Again for Nomadic HerdersSarah Trent and Khaliun Bayartsogt
People We Love: Leveraging White Privilege for Racial JusticeCarla Bell
The Page That CountsMiles Schneiderman

Culture Shift

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird.
Forget What You Know About Productivity and ProgressTodd Miller
6 Shows for Some Women-Led Belly LaughsDeonna Anderson
Small Works: The Fix Is InSarah Lazarovic
The Yes! Crossword: The Last WordPatrick Blindauer


More of the Story
Winning Essay: Decoding the ButterflyAntonia Mills
Who Will Carry on Your Values?Robin Simons
From the Executive DirectorChristine Hanna
Issue Contributors