This book examines the dialectic between fictional death as depicted in the media and real death as it is experienced in a hospital setting.

Using a Terror Management theoretical lens, Davis and Crane explore the intersections of life and death, experience and fiction, to understand the relationship between them. The authors use complementary perspectives to examine what it means when we speak and think of death as it is conceived in cultural media and as it is constructed by and circulates between patients, health professionals, and supportive family members and friends.

Layering analysis with evocative narrative and an intimate tone, with characters, plot, and action that reflect the voices and experiences of all project participants, including the authors’ own, Davis and Crane reflect on what it means to pass away. Their medical humanities approach bridges health communication, cultural studies, and the arts to inform medical ethics and care.

chapter 1|10 pages

A Mortality Tale

Narrative Management of Death

chapter 2|19 pages

Death as Vertigo

The Day Time Stood Still

chapter 3|15 pages

Death as Disequilibrium

Things That Go “Bump” in the Night

chapter 4|11 pages

Death as a Cry for Help

An Unimaginable Prayer

chapter 5|21 pages

Death as a Horrible Other

A Relationship with the Other Side

chapter 6|12 pages

An Ode to Childhood’s Joy

An Antidote to the Hyperreality of Death

chapter 7|19 pages

Death as a Jokester

The Last Laugh

chapter 8|14 pages

Death as a Relationship

Death, Love, and Loss

chapter 9|15 pages

Death as a Lover

Eternal Flame

chapter 10|22 pages

Death as a Weapon

Dying for a Cause

chapter 11|20 pages

Death as a Foe

Waging War on Death

chapter 12|14 pages

Death as a Roommate

Living with Death

chapter 13|12 pages

Death as a Way of Life

Living Death

chapter 14|4 pages

Death as a Threshold

Letting Go

chapter |3 pages