NY Times launches video obits with Art Buchwald

"Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died," the video opens.  He was a beloved journalist specializing in satire who began his career at the Herald Tribune in Paris in the 1940s.  Fittingly, to announce his death, the NY Times debuted a new product called video obits which gives individuals a chance to record their own obituaries before they die.  In Buchwald's video obit, he discusses his life, his writing and the unusual road to death, which took him in, and then out, of a hospice.  He also mentions how he found that most people were still afraid to talk about death.  I find it strange that with all the progress and advancement we've made as a society in practically every field of study, we still have difficulty facing the most  unavoidable reality of all.  Last month, I discussed death with my 86-year old grandmother and, although I was slightly uncomfortable raising the topic, it led to a nice, very real conversation that I'm happy we were able to have.  So in addition to putting video technology to a new and valuable use, I think video obits may also help us face death in a more accepting light by opening the door to its discussion.

By Josh Guttman

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