exordia

"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"

Richard Threlkeld

Journalist -- via the Washington Post.

Ion Oita

Restaurateur -- via the Washington Post. The highly-lauded "meatball king" of Romania.

Mary Ellen Avery

Medical researcher -- via the New York Times. It is estimated that her insights into respiratory distress syndrome have to date saved nearly a million premature infants' lives.

Ruth Fernandez

Singer -- via the New York Times.

Richard Alf

Co-founder of Comic-Con -- via Yahoo News.

From PBS: "Fantasy Coffins in Ghana"

Death rites in this African nation are elaborate and costly, but an important social and cultural activity -- via PBS.