“You go for the living, not the dead,” my mother always told me about condolence calls. So I always assumed that was the proper etiquette.
When my son’s allergist died suddenly, I wanted to…let his family and his co-workers know how much he meant to us. We witnessed his life and he witnessed ours, and that was something I felt needed to be acknowledged. Dr. Smith watched my 12-year-old son grow from a happy-go-lucky little boy to a pre-teen who answered “I hate school” whenever the subject came… >> Read More
As told to Sarah Seltzer
When many people hear the word hospice they think it is synonymous with “The End.” But hospice is so much more than that. In my family’s case, hospice care was a…gift — it helped my mother live an additional year and a half, and it gave my sister and me peace of mind. When she did die, we were able to mourn her without having any regrets about the decisions we made about her care. Our story began in 2011 when we started to notice… >> Read More
Anthony Bourdain, the famous celebrity chef and writer, died last week after a long struggle with mental illness. There was an outpouring of support by friends, peers, and those whose lives Bourdain…impacted. One particularly touching tribute was from Barney Greengrass, the iconic Jewish deli on the Upper West Side New York. Bourdain was a breakfast regular at the old-school eatery, so in his honor, an empty table — the same one Bourdain sat in a 2002 episode of his Food Network show, "A Cook's Tour" — was… >> Read More
Literary giant Philip Roth died Tuesday night. While the first words frequently used to describe him are “Jewish-American writer,” he would vehemently oppose that characterization.
I know that…because I got to personally ask him about it. I interviewed him as a reporter for my college newspaper 25 years ago. (Yes, I find that as unbelievable to type as you must find it to read). In the course of our almost hour-long interview, he ranged from snarky to petulant, but he was vehement… >> Read More
Jessica Zitter is a Jewish mother, doctor, and author of “Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.” The book details her journey from believing that technology should be used…to save a patient at all costs to a more nuanced approach that prioritizes a terminally ill patients’ values and preferences when making care decisions. Using individual patient stories as a backdrop, Zitter explores how doctors, patients, and families can work together to understand the range of treatment options and potential outcomes in order to… >> Read More