I Was Flying to Montana to Bury My Son
The view of a life from cruising altitude.
The view of a life from cruising altitude.
The writer investigates her brother’s death, their complicated relationship, and the disturbing mysteries he left behind.
In the normal universe, "to be" is annihilated by "not to be." But for reasons that are still a mystery to even the deepest math of physics, a bit of matter in a billion or so is not obliterated, it has no antimatter partner. It becomes a drop of experience.
A man named Tristan Beaudette was killed while camping in Malibu Creek State Park with his two young daughters. For residents, it became a true crime sensation. But for his family, it was something very different.
For years, the clients of a Colorado funeral home kept their loved ones’ cremated remains. Then the FBI called.
You learn to believe in your child’s existence. What happens when she’s killed by a piece of your daily environment?
On the 1998 crash of Swissair Fight 111 into the sea off a small Nova Scotia fishing village.
Victims of Mexico’s drug violence often end up in unmarked graves. This man set out to find them.
When loved ones die, what do we do with the digital reminders they’ve left behind?
Scot Peterson was a beloved school resource officer in Parkland, Fla. Then a gunman opened fire and he stayed outside.
A profile of the grieving musician, who lost his teenage son 18 months ago.
What former NBA coach Monty Williams learned in the wake of losing his wife.
A day in the life of Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum, in the wake of the sudden death of his wife when their daughter was four months old.
When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence.
An essay on the silent, secret grief of miscarriage.
Scenes of grief, from the sister of comedian Harris Wittels.
A couple’s only son is killed in Iraq.
An aging man, a dead wife, a peculiar dog.
Once more at five o'clock, just before five o'clock, the dog engaged in its unaccountable behavior. And then, the next day, again. And the day after that, again. And still he had gotten not an inch closer to understanding why. Would he ever? Perhaps a sound so high-pitched he couldn't hear it. Something shifting in the clock maybe as it prepared to chime the hour. Or the dog was somehow seeing something that wasn't actually there. Or maybe he was simply watching the dog go mad.
Eleven months after Sandy Hook, Newtown’s mourning remains incalculable, especially that of the parents who lost their children. And the influx of sympathy—and money—has sometimes made the grieving more difficult rather than less.
Two sisters struggle to adjust to changing family circumstances.
"When we got outside, the first thing we did was loosen and let trail the scarves our mother had wrapped around our necks. (The fact was, though we may not have put the two things together, the deeper she got into her pregnancy the more she slipped back into behaving like an ordinary mother, at least when it was a matter of scarves we didn’t need or regular meals. There was not so much championing of wild ways as there had been in the fall.) Caro asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I didn’t know. This was a formality on her part but the honest truth on mine. We let the dog lead us, anyway, and Blitzee’s idea was to go and look at the gravel pit. The wind was whipping the water up into little waves, and very soon we got cold, so we wound our scarves back around our necks."
A team of superheroes disrupt the life of a family.
"She tried to do errands like any other day. When she bought toilet paper, she thought to herself, 'What am I doing at the drug store? They took my baby. I should be doing something.' When she went to buy groceries, she felt like everybody was watching the star of 'Mom Jacked by Action Squad' picking out the freshest rutabagas for her now–childless family."
A grieving writer, a jealous actor, and sudden eruptions of [mock?] violence.
"Alvin Lightman, though I did not yet know his name, was sitting in the front parlor, designated the 'lounge,' his long legs stretched out across a wicker ottoman. As he later told me, he watched my arrival circumspectly, from behind the traditional screen of an open newspaper. He thought I looked 'ghastly' but 'possibly interesting.'"
On the late singer Judee Sill, the virtual cemetery site Find a Grave, and memorials in the age of the Twitter RIP.
America's fascination with murder has not yet extended to its aftermath. As a result, the victims' survivors must seek comfort from one another.