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May 09, 2010



Thank you for writing this. As it happens, I just came back from the photo shop, where I finally had the roll of film developed that was in my dad's camera when he suddenly died six years ago. I wondered if there would be anything on it, or if the film would be ruined by now, and what it turned out to be (other than most of the film, which was indeed ruined) was a handful of images from the last sad vacation my mother and dad took to the town on Cape Cod where we went for 40 summers, but that last year our old house had been torn down, so my dad took pictures of the awful guest room they stayed in... so, pictures taken by a ghost, of a place I don't care about, instead of the most special place we knew. I was so sad I didn't think I could stand to read anything on the Internet, but found this, and it's real. So thanks.


Great post. Thanks Bronwyn.


On May 18th it will one year since my Dad passed away. This post couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you.


My mother died three weeks ago, a day after her 89th birthday. She went quickly and peacefully which we all count as a blessing. A few weeks before, she sent us a letter she'd written about my father's thoughts right before his passing back in '92. The gist of it was that "it's all about love." My father wasn't someone who talked about feelings but he came to that realization and I think it was the fitting end to long successful life. I have to believe that my mom knew she was going to go soon, having sent us that letter and I sensed an acceptance in one of the last phone calls I had with her.

Yes, life goes on. Death is natural. It will take time for this loss to heal. It's good to talk about it.

bob star guarder

May 18th sucks! I lost my partner that day 6 years ago to suicide. Spring time is extra sad and yet so beautiful, "It's Complicated". Ironically, allowing myself to feel the pain is the only thing that makes the pain go away. Hearing people's stories helps me realize I am not alone in my grief, none of us are. Thanks for sharing everyone, too kind!

Tim Serpas

Well those tears weren't doing me any good on the inside....

Sister Hairy Hymen

Cheer up, You already have cancer you just dont know it yet, Geesh what a depressing post.

Terry Boling

Good and useful words ..but I have to admit I don't know what FTW means.

a non amiss

The idea that "happiness is a choice" is tempting to believe, but to "happy yourself" through the bad times is far easier said than done. We are what we are, and just like there are some people who can't play a musical instrument competently despite years of practice, there are some of us who struggle with happiness all the time; I can fake it but it just doesn't make me feel better. But everybody has their own way, and clearly this works for you, so who am I to make any claims otherwise.


Not a depressing post at all. Quite the opposite. But maybe it would take someone who's lost someone to death to see the inspirational quality in this superbly formulated post. Thanks.

Listener #109577

Good talk about the big issue. Reminded me of why I miss your voice on WFMU. Although you're much better on the blog, so maybe writing is your medium.

I've been protected from death all my life, either by circumstance, or by design of people who thought I should be protected. Then I arrived, face-to-face, at a medical emergency that foretold my own destruction... and embraced nearly the same 3-step program which you have outlined.

Yay us! Fuck Dr. Pangloss! And fuck Dr. Mengele, too.

Beth R

Thanks Bronwyn, those were wonderful words. My condolences to you and yours, as well as Ken's family. FMU isn't the same without your being on the air every week.


Did not know you wrote that book, I quite enjoyed it back when someone showed it to me in college. I thought it was the most humorous piece of literature I ever read about death,

josh pincus is crying

Wonderful post. As someone who thinks about death (not my own, of course, just in general), I can say that you have a great philosophy. You express my feelings exactly! Death is a part of life and it happens to everyone.


I read this post some time ago, and it's been on my mind ever since. This is one of the most moving and helpful things I have ever read about death, loss, love, and being here as a temporary creature... you know, life and all its terrors. That stuff.

Wonderful, important, amazing post, Bronwyn. Thank you so much for writing it.


Oh my god, reading your story is shocking. I was together with a few hundred people after a plane crash in which they had lost a loved one. There was a group of 18 years old on this plane. Their parents told how they had said good bye. One father was sitting in the living room and had only a reading lamp on. Suddenly the door opened and the light of the room went on. This man knew he was alone in the house. He closed the door, switched off the light and sat down again. Quickly afterwards the same thing happned. At this point the father knew something is wrong. Switched on the TV and heard that the plane with his son has crashed. A mother told that the phone rang several times. When she picked it up there was only some cracking noise. When she heard that the plane crashed, she knew the phone calls was her son. So we have energy even after we died. As the plane crashed several thousands of miles away, distance does not matter any more. It is only the body that dies. Energy and mind is still there, at least for a little while.

Blaze Smith

Bronwyn, thanks for sharing your insights with us. I'm deeply moved by it. Death is something that incites fear for many but you have tackled it bravely and gracefully. I agree with you that our attitudes can changed when faced with uncontrollable circumstances. The other comments are very interesting as well especially from Mara's.

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