Fall 2019

Table of Contents

The Death Issue

From the Editors

Editor’s Note: The Death Issue

When I learned that my first issue as editorial director of YES! would be on death, I cringed a bit. No one likes to think about death, much less talk about it. In fact, death might be more taboo to discuss than even sex or money. A recent survey found that only about a third of people had discussed making wills with their partners, or their wishes concerning their funerals. It’s almost as though we believe that dying doesn’t actually happen. At least not to us.

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The Story of Death Is the Story of Women

…and they want to bring back “The Good Death.”
Sarah Chavez

Why I Wore Black After He Died: Lessons from Victorian Mourning Culture

I needed others to see me—to acknowledge my grief.
Kari Nixon

How Death Doulas Ease the Final Transition

End-of-life caregiving is an ancient practice that’s now re-emerging in the death positivity movement, which urges a shift in thinking about death as natural and not traumatic.
Cynthia Greenlee

Making Room for Spirits Among the Living

How immigrants have brought diverse traditions to keep their ancestors and dead loved ones close.
Jennifer Luxton

Return to Nature

Green burials go beyond not polluting or wasting. It’s about people needing and caring for land, conducting life-affirming activities there—including death.
Lynn Freehill-Maye & Phillip Pantuso

The City That Dances With Death

In New Orleans, colorful street festivals celebrating death grew out of necessity, incorporating West African rhythms and syncretized dance.
Leanna First-Arai

Black Funerals Are a Radical Testament to Blackness

For African Americans, homegoings are the ultimate form of liberation.
Ida Harris

Dealing With Loss When Death Is Uncertain

For families of missing or disappeared persons, mourning the ambiguous loss of their loved ones is complex.
Janice Cantieri

I Am a Future Ancestor

Knowing this changes how I live my life.
Josué Rivas

Where Bill McKibben Finds Hope Amid the Climate Crisis

The environmental activist says surviving an existential threat like climate change requires honesty—and hope.
Shannan Lenke Stoll

Solutions We Love

Explore Section
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An Ancient Calendar Helps Me See Seasons Change Every Few Days

Climate change requires closer attention to the changes in our environment.
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz

Leveraging White Privilege for Racial Justice

These White people aren’t just checking their privilege. They’re using it to bring about positive racial change.
Carla Bell

Post-Soviet Co-ops: Mongolian Herders Borrow a Tool From the Recent Past

When capitalism supplanted communism in Mongolia, state-run co-ops disappeared and rural communities suffered. Now the herders are bringing back the practice for their own survival.
Sarah Trent

Culture Shift

Explore Section

Can We Work Less and Save the Planet, Too?

Building a new world will require first reexamining—and dismantling—the cultural ethos of productivity that creeps into our lives every day.
Todd Miller

6 Shows for Some Women-Led Belly Laughs

Time and time again women have proven that viewers are interested in the stories they tell.
Deonna Anderson
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Small Works

Why the Planet Needs You to Repair Your Broken Stuff

Overproduction and planned obsolescence are the new normal. But fixing your broken things is a way to resist—and build community.
Sarah Lazarovic