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Resources Media

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(fiction and non-fiction)
and
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Adults and Children

 

 

The Modern 'Oral Tradition' of Books and Films
Acknowledgements
  Books
Feature Films and Documentaries
Books
SECTION I Books on Death and Dying for Adults
  A. Books on Dying and Death for Adults by Canadians
B. Books on Dying and Death for Adults by non-Canadians
SECTION II — Books on Bereavement for Adults
  A. Books on Bereavement for Adults by Canadians
B. Books on Bereavement for Adults by non- Canadians
SECTION III Books on Death and Bereavement for Children
  A. Fiction Books on Death and Bereavement for Children by Canadians
B. Fiction Books on Death and Bereavement for Children by non-Canadians
C. Non-fiction books on Death and Bereavement for Children and Teens by non-Canadians
Films and Documentaries
Section IV Feature Films on Death for Adults
  A. Feature Films on Death for Adults by Canadians
B. Feature Films on Death for Adults by non-Canadians
Section V Documentaries on Death for Adults
  A. Documentaries for Adults by Canadians
B. Documentaries for Adults by non-Canadians
Section VI — Movies and Documentaries for Children
  A. Movies and Documentaries for Children by Canadians
B. Movies and Documentaries for Children by Non-Canadians


The Modern 'Oral Tradition' of Books and Films

The first printing press was invented around 1440 — before then, books were copied by hand.  Even after the press became popular, books were very expensive, and not generally available to the middle or lower classes (except for perhaps the Bible one of the first books to be extensively printed).     The first film may have been produced in 1878, but movies did not become a significant element of our cultural life until the early 20th century.

Before these forms of communication — in fact for the whole of our species' history — we relied on the 'oral tradition'.    Whether spiritual readings, wisdom teachings, fairy or folk tales, these stories disseminated information, opened minds to new ideas, and touched hearts to develop a deeper compassion for others (both like, and un-like themselves).   The modern book and film industry (and now the Internet) has taken over much of the role of the 'oral tradition', and now provides the necessary mind-and-heart stretching to continue to evolve — expanding beyond cultural norms, and testing new & healthier horizons and approaches to life.   We believe that the listed books and films below have considerably changed our culture's attitudes towards death, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.    Therefore, they are a significant element of the death education that CINDEA is committed to.

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Acknowledgements

Books

Many thanks to the originators of many of these recommendations, at the now-defunct webpage on Death and Dying: Books for Life's Final Passage, which was at http://sachem.suffolk.lib.ny.us/advisor/deathdying.htm
   
Some other recommendations came from
  Canadian Virtual Hospice — Tools for Practice (books and articles, etc. — an extensive library, with considerably more than we were able to list here)
End-of-life Care Partnership Books on Death and Dying
  The Journeying Home Stories from Hospice
  New York Life Foundation — recommended reading on death
  Comfort Zone Camps (books, videos, support groups, and products)
 

Centring Corporation and Grief Digest Magazine — recommended reading on death and grief

and from Caroline Balderston-Parry and friends (many recommendations for children's books)

Feature Films and Documentaries

We give thanks to the following websites for their lists of best movies or documentaries on death:
  About.com — recommended films on dying and death
MUBI best films about death and dying
The Neon Lounge "Ten Movies About Death and Dying That Will Almost Make You Cheer!"
  Filmakers Library
Trinity Edu death and dying in film

 

Final Exit films dealing with dying and euthanasia

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The Listings and their Arrangement

As we are a Canadian website, we wish to feature the Canadian books and films on death and bereavement.   However, we need to also list books and films from other countries.   The complete list that we have collected would be too long for one page, so we have divided 'Resources Media' into three pages:
  1. this page which is the primary page, and gives all of our listings for Canadian material
2. a non-Canadian books page, and
3. a non-Canadian films page

We continue to look for new listings on dying/death & bereavement issues (books and films/videos/etc.) especially material written and/or published by Canadians.   If you have a listing, or notice a mis-listing in our sections, please contact us.

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SECTION I Books on Death and Dying for Adults

A. Books on Dying and Death for Adults by Canadians

  Befriending Death: Henri Nouwen and a Spirituality of Dying, by Michelle O'Rourke: Orbis Books, 2009
Choices: For People Who Have a Terminal Illness, Their Families and Their Caregivers, by
Harry Van Bommel: N.C. Press, 1990
Embracing the End of Life: Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying, by Michelle O'Rourke and Eugene Dufour: Novalis/Bayard, 2012
A Gentle Death, by Marilynne Sequin R.N.: Key Porter Books Limited, 1994
Last Touch: Preparing for a Parent's Death, by Marilyn Becker: New Harbinger Press, 1992
Let Me Decide, by William Molloy (M.D): Penguin Canada, 2005 (there may be an updated version)

Living Will, Living Well Reflections on Preparing an Advance Directive, by M. Dianne Godkin: University of Alberta Press, 2008

Transitions in Dying and Bereavement A Psychosocial Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care, by Moira Cairns, Marney Thompson, and Wendy Wainwright: Victoria Hospice Society, 2003
What Dying People want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life, by David Kuhl, M.D. : 2002
Facing Death, Embracing Life: Understanding What Dying People Want, by David Kuhl, M.D. : 2006

B. Books on Dying and Death for Adults by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Books page)

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SECTION II — Books on Bereavement for Adults

A. Books on Bereavement for Adults by Canadians

  Catching Your Breath in Grief:...and grace will lead you home, by Thomas Attig: Breath of Life Publishing, 2012
Counting Our Losses: Reflecting on Change, Loss, and Transition in Everyday Life (death and other losses), edited by Darcy L. Harris: Routledge, 2010 many, but not all, of the contributors are Canadian
The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love, by Thomas Attig: Oxford University Press, 1996
How We Grieve: Relearning the World, by Thomas Attig: Oxford University Press, 1996
Last Touch: Preparing For A Parent's Death, by Marilyn Becker: New Harbinger Publications, 1992

B. Books on Bereavement for Adults by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Books page)

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SECTION III Books on Death and Bereavement for Children

A. Fiction Books on Death and Bereavement for Children by Canadians

  Alego, by Ningeokuluk Teevee (Groundwood Books)
Grandma's Gloves, by Cecil Castellucci
Grandpa's Clock, by Rachna Gilmore
I Found a Dead Bird, by Jan Thornhill
The Lighthouse, by Robert Munsch
The Little Word Catcher, by Danielle Simard
Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch
Mile High Apple Pie, by Laura Langston
Northern Lights, by Michael Kusugak
Oma's Quilt, by Paulette Bourgeois
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt, by Barbara Smucker
A Trip with Grandma, by Ruth Ohi

B. Fiction Books on Death and Bereavement for Children by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Books page)


C. Non-fiction books on Death and Bereavement for Children and Teens by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Books page)

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Section IV Feature Films on Death for Adults

A. Feature Films on Death for Adults by Canadians

  Across Generations (two stories), 1996, animator Co Hoedeman.   "Charles and François" grandfather and grandson, through their lives, become almost the same.   "The Street" how families respond to their old and infirm members; National Film Board
  The Barbarian Invasions, 2003 (French version: Les Invasions barbares), directed by Denys Arcand (sequel to The Decline of the American Empire, and followed by Days of Darkness) — French Canadian; Wikipedia article
Away from Her, 2006, directed by Sarah Polley — excellent movie on Alzheimer's: Wikipedia article

B. Feature Films on Death for Adults by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Films page)

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Section V Documentaries on Death for Adults

A. Documentaries for Adults by Canadians

  Bearing Witness: Jocelyn Morton, Luke Melchior, and Robert Coley-Donohue, 2003, directed by Dan Curtis — three people face death, in different ways, with different illnesses; National Film Boad of Canada
Caregivers (four stories), directed by Dan Curtis — short documentaries about the lives of caregivers; National Film Board of Canada
Discussions in Bioethics (8 stories) — shorts by different directors, all addresing ethical questions around death; National Film Board of Canada
Dying at Grace, 2003, directed by Allan King — docudrama about five real people in their final days at a Palliative Care Unit; see TVO

Endnotes A Model for Palliative Care, by Beitel/Lazar Productions, Inc. (in co-production with CBC) — filmed on site at the Royal Victoria Hospital, exploring the model of compassionate palliative care; Filmakers Library

Euthanasia, 1990, produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (primarily shot in Holland by Canadians) — ethical questions on euthanasia and 'right to die'; Filmakers Library
Let Me Die, 2000, directed by Lina B. Moreco — it is not just a question of length of life but of quality of life; when death is imminent, euthanasia accompanied by pain control is not a choice between life and death but a choice between different ways of dying; National Film Board of Canada
Living with Dying, 1991 directed by Reevan Dolgoy — social, psychological and spiritual support in order to remain at home; National Film Board of Canada
On Wings Of Song Music Therapy at The End of Life, 2000, directed by Garry Beitel, produced by Beitel/Lazar Productions Inc. — following the work of a music therapist in the Palliative Care Unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital; Filmakers Library

B. Documentaries for Adults by non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Films page)

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Section VI Movies and Documentaries for Children

A. Movies and Documentaries for Children by Canadians

  Children Speak, 1996, directed by Bozenna Heczko — animated film about children's beliefs about birth, death and the supernatural; National Film Board
  The Circus, 2011, directed by Nicolas Brault — a child faces his mother's death; National Film Board of Canada

 

B. Movies and Documentaries for Children by Non-Canadians
(link goes to a separate Films page)


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