Death

Roman funerals had real ‘emotional intelligence’

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Today’s funerals, featuring shiny black hearses and top hats, lack (we are assured) ‘emotional intelligence’. Colourful coffins featuring pictures of…

A frank description of dementia is a searing, suffocating read

5 October 2019 9:00 am

In Annie Ernaux’s The Years — her extraordinary act of collective autobiography —the ‘I’ disappears. Her memoir becomes the memoir…

Painful, funny — and with a brilliant twist: The Farewell reviewed

21 September 2019 9:00 am

The Farewell is a quiet film that builds and builds and builds into a wonderful exploration of belonging, loss, family…

Remembering Tim Hoare – a man like no other

14 September 2019 9:00 am

He was a Falstaff in his drinking and in his celebration of life, but his greatness lay in his friendships.…

The woman laid out in the coffin in front of us wasn’t Mum

14 September 2019 9:00 am

The receptionist with brown lipstick showed my son and me into a faultless waiting room, whose centrepiece was a big…

How Captain Mainwaring lightened my mother’s dying days

24 August 2019 9:00 am

On Saturday evening I showered, shaved and, prompted by a strange impulse, put on my going-out clothes. Then I cycled…

Credit: Dean Mitchell

Why can’t my mother be allowed to die at home

6 July 2019 9:00 am

As they say: it all happened so quickly that it wasn’t until afterwards. One minute I was bawling at my…

How an orphaned baby kudu gave solace to my grieving friend

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Laikipia, Kenya   On 5 April this year, my neighbour Torrie’s sister Vicki died during an operation in a Nairobi…

What my mother’s death means for Brexit

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Considerate to the last, she had her order of service arranged in her mind. I sat close with my notebook.…

Banana leaf, wood-effect on knitted? Choosing my mother’s coffin

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The mental fruit of yet another sleepless night was that my mother was determined to arrange her funeral as quickly…

My friend’s death taught me what Easter really means

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The bravest thing I’ve ever seen was 93-year-old Albert’s decision to die and the days after in which he stuck…

Credit: cdbrphotography

My old horse was tough, ferocious and violent – and I loved her as much as she loved me

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Under a blood moon, that was how Tara went down in the end. The old chestnut mare sure knew how…

British poet Salena Godden presenter of Mrs Death Misses Death on Radio 4. [Photo: Roberto Ricciuti / Getty Images]

Listening to people talking about death can be strangely consoling

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘Without death,’ says Salena Godden, ‘life would be a never-ending conveyor belt of sensation.’ For her death is what gives…

Cariad Lloyd has an excellent mission: to get us talking about death. Photographer. Image: Jonny Birch/Bafta/Rex/Shutterstock

Podcasts still have a long way to go to challenge the best of conventional radio

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a thought. Matthew Bannister, former Radio 1 controller turned presenter of programmes such as Outlook on the World Service…

How hospices make you think differently about life

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The timing of the Today programme’s series about hospices could not have been more apt, coming as it did so…

An intense conversation about life, love and writing with Deborah Levy

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Deborah Levy draws her epigraph for The Cost of Living from Marguerite Duras’s Practicalities: ‘You’re always more unreal to yourself…

It is a sin to die in the Land of the Depraved

21 April 2018 9:00 am

New York Remember when the internet, Twitter, Facebook and other such useless gimmicks were supposed to usher in an era…

A very British response to a death at a funeral

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Something very odd occurred at a funeral I attended last week — somebody died. I don’t mean the person who…

Susie Boyt neatly skewers the self-help trends

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Grief is not being able to eat a small boiled egg. ‘Could you face an egg?’ the widowed Jean asks…

The head of Jeremy Bentham, who died in 1832

What can we learn from Jeremy Bentham’s pickled head?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Under the central dome of UCL — an indoor crossroads where hordes of students come and go on their way…

Face time

16 September 2017 9:00 am

The inimitably pukka voice of Jacob Rees-Mogg echoed through Radio 4 on Thursday morning. He was not, though, talking about…

A matter of life and death

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Before he died, the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, reassured his diocese that he was ‘at peace and…

Pat and Richard Nixon in ENO’s 2006 production of John Adams’s Nixon in China

Whatever happened to Alice?

19 August 2017 9:00 am

In 1987, the art of opera changed decisively. John Adams’s opera Nixon in China was so unlike the usual run…

Permanent ink

26 November 2016 9:00 am

 Brooklyn Shall I have my sister’s skin peeled off for display after she dies? Specifically, the tattooed bits — the…

Hound of love: Lolabelle gets old and Lolabelle goes blind and keyboards are laid out on the floor so that she can bash them with her paws, and enjoy the sounds

Weird, wise, thought-provoking and hypnotic: Heart of a Dog reviewed

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Heart of a Dog is a film by Laurie Anderson and it’s a meditative, free-associating rumination on life, loss, love…