Grieving Carl Reiner

“If You’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” a documentary narrated by the comedy legend, two years ago made him the oldest person ever to be nominated for an Emmy. I was his secretary for five years and friend for decades. He hired me in 1968, when he was best known as partner to Mel […]

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Dealing with Widowers

We stopped delivery of “The New York Times” so the only newspaper that arrives in the mail is “Funeral Home & Cemetery News” Oddly, it does not have obituaries, which I miss, nor a crossword puzzle, but in the issue I received today there is an article by Herb Knoll, author of “The Widower’s Journey” […]

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The Best Little Memorial in New York

This was hardly a “little memorial,” but I was playing on the title “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” the show whose lyrics and music were written by Carol Hall, who died on October 11, 2018. She was instrumental in creating her own memorial service by writing terrific songs, which were performed by singers and […]

Don’t wait for next time

THERE ISN’T ALWAYS A NEXT TIME Yesterday we learned that newscaster Cokie Roberts died and a few hours later my husband found out that his cousin Micheline had died. I first met her 40 years ago when I went to Paris for the first time on our honeymoon. We’ve visited Paris often, so I got […]

Is there an Afterlife?

The hands on the wall clock in our building’s laundry room weren’t moving. In the 33 years my husband and had lived in our Greenwich Village apartment, I’d never seen that so I would have been surprised even if I hadn’t asked my dying brother to stop a clock. In his final days, he talked […]

Grieving the loss of a dog

Returning home one night, my husband and I were horrified to be confronted with white stuffing strewn all over. We realized our Tibetan Terrier, Z.C., greeting us with her usual enthusiasm, was unaware that what she’d done would involve a costly reupholstering expense. Alone for a few hours, she’d obviously found a way to get […]

Comedy is easy…dying is hard

I don’t want to be buried in Jersey,” my husband quipped the first time I raised the issue of an exit plan. We’re comedy writers, and though I had always enjoyed Martin’s jokes, I needed him to take this seriously. “Where do you want to be?” I asked. “Here,” he answered. “I plan on staying alive. […]

Creative approach to dying and memorializing

‘There are no online reviews for hospices,” I said to my 79-year-old brother shortly after he announced he was stopping dialysis. Though we knew his decision made this the first day of the rest of his life, we both laughed. Jack had been hospitalized for months with pneumonia, serious heart and kidney problems. In his […]