End-of-Life: The Film
I found in an older email with this link to a review of End-of-Life. It's a film by John Bruce and Pawel Wojtasik. They filmed, over the course of four years, people at various stages of dying. Bruce and Wojtasik prior to filming were trained as death doula's so they can better be in the moments with these patients on their final journeys. This is a fascinating look, analysis, study of what those of us who have seen a loved one die know first hand.
I regret I did not find the film on line and missed its showing at the NY Film Festival. What I did find is a YouTube interview with John Bruce titled Whispering About Death with John Bruce. The video is only about 30 minutes and just a touching, smart, and insightful dive into death, dying, and grief. Give it a view.
What I learned watching was that my sense of death, dying, and my humanity changed because I had to deal with Donna's death. I have know others deaths but found I distanced myself from them. Donna's death and grief offered was the opportunity, if I listened to the voices colliding in my head, to learn and know more about me, Donna, us, and love. Trying to communicate that is inextricably linked with the word grief and/or death.
You say grief with some bright insight or knowledge and the listener runs away either physically or emotionally. A parent can show pictures of their new born and get all effusive over this, that, and this. No one flees. I say my grief gave me this, this, and this and the listener stumbles into projecting grief only to flee or shut down.
Take a look at the video. Let me know if you agree that we need to fix not our grief but, fix what the listener hears or chooses not to hear.
"No Me Dejas" (Don't Leave Me)
"No Me Dejas" is a science-fiction short story about transferring memories. It is more than that, it is everything we talk about when we talk about grief and loss. I have written about memories here and here. No, I have stumbled around trying to fix in my mind what memories are and how they function in grief and loss. This short story is brilliant and smart. The language is spot on. As an added bonus at the end is a link to two philosophers studying issues related to memory transfer. Just read the story go to link and let me know what you think. Me, I think this story answers my questions about grief and memories.
Soon, I’ll be laid out alongside Abuela Carmen, wired up to her mind, ready for her to gift me with her memories. They say it doesn’t really hurt and that the transferred memories basically separate out from your own after a few weeks. But I’ve been reading the reviews, following forums, in the week since Abuela made her choice. It’s disorienting, everyone says. You can’t control what will trigger the new memories you have. Sometimes, they just pop in your head when you’re showering. When you’re at work or at school. Most especially when you’re asleep. Someone else’s memories, someone else’s secrets.
They’re about to be mine.
Death, Grief and Family Dynamics: The Impact of Family Member's Death and Delayed Grief Resolution on the Family System.
I found this study a while back. The work was originally done in 2014 so it is a bit long in the tooth. No matter how old there is a constant the orbits of grief and family.
This essay seeks to discuss the impact of non-normative unexpected deaths on the family system, enduring processes of grieving as it affects adjustment in the dynamics and structure of family, factors which affect the family's adaptation to bereavement and lastly, the mental health consequences of bereavement with reference to prolonged grief disorder.