The Mortality Club

The Unthinkable

January 29, 2017

Tags: sudden death, shock

I have been watching a television series entitled Strange and Unusual Deaths. The dramatized tales are based on true stories. All of the deaths are so strange as to be literally “unthinkable.” For example, envision a healthy thirty-year-old girl in her one room apartment on the 22nd floor of an apartment building in one of New York City’s better neighborhoods. We’ll call her Livia. It’s late afternoon and Livia had just laid down for a well-deserved nap. Deep under the street below her window workers are attempting to repair a leak in a steam pipe that provides heat to all of the buildings in her neighborhood. One of the workers neglects to empty out the water that had accumulated in the pipe before turning the steam back on. When the boiling steam hits the water, it creates a huge pressure that blows a violent river of boiling steam, rock and debris straight into the air. The rumbles awaken Livia. She sits up in bed and looks horrified as the blast rips through her window. Flying debris and rocks attack her body like shrapnel from a dirty bomb. She dies an unimaginable death. (more…)

Selected Works

Psychology/Aging and Dying
In youth we are invincible. The world is forever: we are forever. But, sentient creatures that we are, time inevitably plays its part. Aging and illness shadow those early sensibilities until one day we feel the lurking presence of death itself. Fearful of our own dark thoughts, too often we keep such anxieties to ourselves. To deny our own mortality is a parlor game of sorts, played within our own heads and frequently played alone. Pamela Cuming will have none of it. In her latest book, The Hourglass, she throws back the parlor curtains and lets the light stream in. This is a powerful, objective, unflinching, and yet profoundly empathic work that explores the rewards of honest caring⎯the privilege and the pain⎯not only for one’s friends and family but also for one’s self. Drawing upon an uncanny intuitive understanding of human foible plus a broad knowledge of character development, honed from decades of consulting in the business world, this is a book filled with personal stories both engaging and instructive. In short, The Hourglass is a must read for all those who seek to live life to the full, from start to finish. ________________ Peter C. Whybrow MD, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Beavior at UCLA and award-winning author of The Well-Tuned Brain: Neuroscience and the Life Well Lived.
Fiction: Publication Date Nov 14, 2014
Set in New York City and Los Angeles between August 1999 and November 2001, The Stranger Box is the story of a mother and a daughter caught like two white dwarf stars in separate orbits, destined to collide. Though she does everything in her considerable power to insure the child never finds out who she is, the vain and self-obsessed Katherine Blair is unable to change the course of her destiny or evade Eden, the resourceful daughter whose pursuit is fueled by the desire for revenge and the determination to steal the family that has been denied her.
Memoir
Widow’s Walk is a bold, brave, and candid admission of bereavement, weakness, and, ultimately, strength.
Nonfiction
A strategic guide to organizational and personal effectiveness
Turf is a direct, and sometimes disturbing book about the use and abuse of power in organizations.

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