The Last Chapters

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Death is everywhere and nowhere in our society. Children see thousands of deaths on television before they’re ten, but rarely see an actual dead body, even at funerals. The same goes for grown-ups.

We watch movies that eroticize violent death and TV shows that sentimentalize hospital room leave-taking. It’s been a century since most Americans viewed dying as a normal part of life. These days, old age itself is both hidden and up front. Medicare, prescription drugs and Social Security fill the headlines. Yet old people are tucked away, gray hairs camouflaged.

For all the books that tell people how to cope with the emotions of death and dying, few focus on the gritty details of the process itself.
(Hosted by Neal Conan)


Donald Murray, author, “My Twice-Lived Life” and Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author, “How We Die.”