Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual conference for tech innovators, predicted innovations like this as inevitable. As the panel’s program text read: “Grandma passed away last year, but she’s coming back for Thanksgiving dinner this year. This may sound like a horror story,” it continued, “but it could be the future of family reunions.”

The 2015 conversation, titled “HoloGramma: How Tech Can ‘Bring Back’ Our Departed,” discussed …

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic

The Great Believers, a Novel of the AIDS Crisis, Reminds Us That ‘We Are the Memory-Keepers of This Moment’

To be a survivor of wars, of diseases, of earth-shattering moments is to be an inheritor. You inherit the grief that comes with loss; but you also inherit the memories, …

Where I Go: The Garden Library I Grow | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Garden Library I Grow

Before I Plant, I Curl up With My Favorite Ecologists, Journalists, and Victorian Naturalists

My gardening habit was born on the day my mother died. Grief-stricken beyond belief, and thinking that her boundless spirit might linger still in the sun-loving plants she had long …

When You Live Online, Will Anyone Know When You Die?

Public Grieving on Social Media Hides a Darker Private Reality

I suspected that something was wrong on the Sunday morning when I saw the beginning of a Facebook post in my newsfeed sidebar that said, in French, “Our dear AJ …

Brooding Grief

A yellow leaf from the darkness
Hops like a frog before me.
Why should I start and stand still?

I was watching the woman that bore me
Stretched in the brindled …

Two Suicides in 12 Hours

Both My Cousin and Robin Williams Were Jovial, Life-of-the-Party Types. One Death Helped Me Absorb the Shock of the Other.

My cousin Armando drilled four holes on the top of his garage in Oakland, California one day and installed a mini-basketball hoop. It was the early ’80s, and the Los …