Volunteer nurses tending to the sick and wounded.

When Death Was Women’s Business

In the 19th century, women called "watchers" tended to the dying and the dead.
The Hobet mine in West Virginia taken by NASA LANDSAT in 2009

When Mining Destroys Historical Cemeteries

Mountain top removal mining brings with it total ecosystem destruction. It also erases history by destroying historic mountain cemeteries.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
Colonial headstone

Funerals Once Included Swag

In eighteenth-century New England, funeral attendees went home with funeral tokens–usually a pair of gloves or a ring that declared their sorrow.
Mummified cats

How Ancient Peoples Fed the Dead

4,000 years ago in what is now Jerusalem, someone was buried with a jar of headless toads. In fact, many ancient graves included food for the afterlife.
One antler deer skull in water

The Ecology of Death

In nature, death creates its own unique ecosystem. These carcass-based mini-ecosystems are extremely dynamic.
grief app

Grief? There’s an App for That.

Would you want to be able to talk to a loved one after they'd passed away, knowing it wasn't really them? Would it help? Would it hurt?
brass sundial

Sundials, Sentiments, and S-Town

The immensely popular podcast S-Town features some memorable sundial inscriptions. But where did the slightly morbid tradition come from?
A row of empty office cubicles.

“Deaths of Despair”: What’s Really Killing Americans

Why a large swath of middle-aged, middle-class white Americans, especially those with lower levels of education, are dying more "deaths of despair."
Hospice care

Changing the Way We Die

Dying may seem like a straightforward business, but there are almost as many ways to approach the end of life as there are to approach life itself.