Grappling with Grief

Talking with the UCSB-Educated Author of You Might Die Tomorrow: Face Your Fear of Death to Live Your Most Meaningful Life

Published March 12, 2020

The innate human fear of dying makes perfect, self-preservational sense. But why are we so scared to even talk about our inevitable end? Why is planning for our own death, or dealing with the coming death of a loved one, or discussing how best to grieve such a challenge for the vast majority of our earthly neighbors?

In hopes of alleviating that stigma, at least on a small, Santa Barbara–sized scale, we present the following essays by a mother reflecting on the death of her young child and a father forced to contemplate his own mortality far too many times. And to lighten the load, we also have an interview with an author who uses the fear of death to explain how best to enjoy our lives and a profile of Death Café, where people gather to discuss life as much as what happens next.

As well, there’s an entire special section inside this paper focused on planning for death. Called End of Life Matters, this utilitarian guide to funerals, wills, and more is something to hang on to for years to come.
This issue has been in the works for many months, long before the globe’s current COVID-19 outbreak. While that is a serious and immediate concern, the subjects raised here are ones that will always be part of the human condition.

We hope that these stories resonate with you —Matt Kettmann