"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?"
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others."
Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'"
John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Gottfried John

Actor -- via Deutsche Welle. A frequent collaborator with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, he was also seen in the Bond film "GoldenEye."

Walt Shotwell

Journalist and writer -- via the Des Moines Register.

Michael Katz

History professor -- via philly.com.

David Bala

Actor -- via insing.com.

Lars-Erik "Brasse" Brannstrom

Actor -- svd.se.

Steven Sotloff

Journalist -- via the Telegraph. Reportedly beheaded by jihadist group ISIS.

WEEKLY READER: Roundup of stories on death, dying, mourning, and more


“10 reasons why I want to talk about death” from Elaine Voci in the Indianapolis Star

Mourning Michael Brown, from Stacia Brown

Caleb Wilde in Confessions of a Funeral Director makes some predictions about the future of the funeral industry


Sierra Leone funeral is catalyst for 14 Ebola infections – via Donald G. McNeil, Jr. at the New York Times

Death over Dinner’s Michael Hebb talks to the Tennessean’s Alex Tolbert


Police violence victim Michael Brown’s funeral – reported by Monica Davey in the New York Times

Grief and change, by Eliza Berman in Slate


Hearse horse dies in harness – via arbroath.blogspot.com.

A rundown on funeral costs from Michael Camacho in the Pacific Daily News

Portrait of a funeral home’s staff beautician – by Tom Eblen in the Lexington Herald-Leader

Charles Bowden

Journalist -- via Forbes. A pretty amazing writer, with the guts to go into Ciudad Juarez and write extensively about the evil going on there.

Stephen Lee

Actor -- via People.

Joe Bethancourt

Musician -- via the Arizona Republic.