Articles on Death and Dying series

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The possibility of a posthumous digital social life seriously challenges our notions of death. Shimal Ahmed (Fulhi)

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead

Media technologies have operated as both a means of communicating news of a death and memorialising the deceased for a significant period of time, moving from traditional epitaphs, eulogies, wakes and…
Our tendency to think that we will “beat the odds” is risky, and mostly wrong. malik ml williams

Before you go … are you in denial about death?

For most of us, death conjures up strong feelings. We project all kinds of fears onto it. We worry about it, dismiss it, laugh it off, push it aside or don’t think about it at all. Until we have to. Of…
Do selfies belong at funerals? Daniel Incandela

Death and the selfie: welcome to a grave new world

Funerals increasingly employ digital media; and a growing body of research addresses the intersection of digital culture and traditional memorialising practices. Commonly-used digital media include PowerPoint…
Jimi Hendrix is a member of the so-called 27 Club – a very exclusive club, as it turns out. EPA/Eduardo Miranda

The 27 Club is a myth: 56 is the bum note for musicians

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. – Groucho Marx Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to … – Kurt Cobain’s mother upon hearing of the death of her son What…
Archie Roach performs at the funeral of Indigenous boxing champion Lionel Rose at Festival Hall in Melbourne, 2011. AAP/Julian Smith

Indigenous Australia’s diverse memorialisation of the dead

Beliefs and ceremonies associated with death in Indigenous Australia are diverse. Death and the deceased are sacred to Indigenous Australians and ceremonies differ between communities. They may involve…
Status update: this party’s dead, and so am I. Eddi van W.

From here to Eterni.me – the quest for digital immortality

Earlier this year, start-up Eterni.me emerged from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship Development program. The company’s tagline – “simply become immortal” – quickly attracted media…
We know deaths in families have a profound psychological impact. Why, then, do we expect grief to be a tidy process? Michael Shaffner/Flickr

Death and families – when ‘normal’ grief can last a lifetime

When I was three years old my brother was born. He had a heart condition, and after being in and out of hospital for the whole of his little life, he died when I was five. The time after he was gone was…
The dead can’t be insulted by our failure to honour them. Bob Prosser

It’s Remembrance Day, so what do we owe the dead?

Remembrance Day is an occasion when people are supposed to remember and honour those who died in their nation’s wars. But why should we believe that this obligation exists? The dead are dead. They can’t…
Space can be at a premium in cemeteries … and when it runs out, reusing old graves is an option. William Murphy/Flickr

Losing the plot: death is permanent, but your grave isn’t

Headstones at the Dudley Park cemetery in Payneham, South Australia, were recently bulldozed as part of the ongoing “recycling” of more than 400 graves. Some people were shocked to realise that gravesites…
Seeing beautiful otherworldly scenes and coming to a border of no return are commonly reported features of near-death experiences. Louish Pixel

Death isn’t scary – if you’ve had a near-death experience

At some stage, you will die. You may not know the time, date or circumstance of your death, but you do know it’s inevitable. Contemplating this fact can be uncomfortable. It evokes anxiety and fear in…
Musicians such as Amy Winehouse die young at much higher rates than the rest of the population. EPA/Andy Rain

Stairway to hell: life and death in the pop music industry

Art is a cry of distress from those who live out within themselves the destiny of humanity … Inside them turns the movement of the world; only an echo of it leaks out – the work of art Arnold Schoenberg…

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