Who I am.

I write about the landscape of grief, nature, and the wisdom of fools. The author of four books, my essays, poems, and reviews have been published in over 50 journals, including in the Huffington Post and Colorado Review. I’ve won the River Teeth Nonfiction Book Award, the Chautauqua and Literal Latte’s essay prizes, and my work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and named a notable by Best American Essays. My account of hiking in Yosemite to deal with my wife’s death, Mountains of Light, was published by the University of Nebraska Press. http://www.markliebenow.com.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thinking Ahead About the Unthinkable

(I wrote this article for the Supportive Care blog at OSF Saint Francis, Peoria, Illinois.)

I am not afraid of death. Or grief. I live between two worlds — the world of the grieving and the world that ignores death at all costs.

* If you would like to read the rest of this post, let me know and I’ll send it to you. *

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  1. I experienced the same thing when my young husband died. I never had to make the agonizing decision, like you about taking him off of life support as he died instantly. But I knew about how he felt about organ donation and felt that was a precious gift to give. I loved your statement about how you live between the two worlds - the world of the grieving and the one that ignores death at all cost - VERY TRUE!! I know of that world myself and now feel called to open the eyes of those around me through blogging (GreetGrief.com) and my FB page Greet Grief. Even if it is uncomfortable, people need to hear about reality through those who have lived it!!

  2. Thank you for your words. It still amazes me that people don't see the need to talk about these things ahead of time. It's not that they don't want to as much as they don't think they have to. And so many died young and unexpectedly. I sorry to hear about your husband. Being a young widow or widower shatters so much in our lives. I'm glad that you are helping to educate people and further the conversations.