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Dead People Suck
Cover of Dead People Suck
Dead People Suck
A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed

An honest, irreverent, laugh-out-loud guide to coping with death and dying from Emmy-nominated writer and New York Times bestselling co-author of Sh

  • tty Mom Laurie Kilmartin.

    Death is not for the faint of heart, and sometimes the best way to cope is through humor. No one knows this better than comedian Laurie Kilmartin. She made headlines by live-tweeting her father's time in hospice and her grieving process after he passed, and channeled her experience into a comedy special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad. Dead People Suck is her hilarious guide to surviving (sometimes) death, dying, and grief without losing your mind.

    If you are old and about to die, sick and about to die, or with a loved one who is about to pass away or who has passed away, there's something for you. With chapters like "Are You An Old Man With Daughters? Please Shred Your Porn," "If Cancer was an STD, It Would Be Cured By Now," and "Unsubscribing Your Dead Parent from Tea Party Emails," Laurie Kilmartin guides you through some of life's most complicated moments with equal parts heart and sarcasm.

  • An honest, irreverent, laugh-out-loud guide to coping with death and dying from Emmy-nominated writer and New York Times bestselling co-author of Sh

  • tty Mom Laurie Kilmartin.

    Death is not for the faint of heart, and sometimes the best way to cope is through humor. No one knows this better than comedian Laurie Kilmartin. She made headlines by live-tweeting her father's time in hospice and her grieving process after he passed, and channeled her experience into a comedy special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad. Dead People Suck is her hilarious guide to surviving (sometimes) death, dying, and grief without losing your mind.

    If you are old and about to die, sick and about to die, or with a loved one who is about to pass away or who has passed away, there's something for you. With chapters like "Are You An Old Man With Daughters? Please Shred Your Porn," "If Cancer was an STD, It Would Be Cured By Now," and "Unsubscribing Your Dead Parent from Tea Party Emails," Laurie Kilmartin guides you through some of life's most complicated moments with equal parts heart and sarcasm.

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    Excerpts-
    • From the book INTRODUCTION

      WHEN DEATH IS A LOSS, NOT A TRAGEDY.

      I knew it was coming. With every phone call, every visit home, my dad seemed older. Then one day, he was elderly. Hard of hearing, slow, shaky. All those things that happen to old people when they're about to d—

      Stop. Are you about to write "die"?


      Yes.

      No! Not my dad.


      Whose then?

      But I still need him.


      You've had him for 47 years. That's not bad.

      But I'm not successful yet, I'm not married. I'm a renter. He can't die while I'm still a renter!


      I'm sorry. It's time.

      But he's only 82!


      Is that person in italics you? Because it was me, in July 2013, when my 82-year-old father was diagnosed with end-stage lung cancer. And it was still me in February 2014, when he went into hospice.

      Now, I've been aware of Death for a long time. I cried when Death took Bambi's mom and cheered when it took Jaws. I was 12 when Death took one grandparent and grown when it came for another. And yet, part of me believed that my dad would always be alive. Okay, not part. All. All of me believed my father was death-proof. That he and I would keep chugging along, with him always being 35 years older than me. Me 60, Dad 95. Me 70, Dad 105. Me 80, Dad, the oldest man in the world. It really seemed like a viable option. Then, that thing that happens to everyone happened to me.

      My dad died.

      If we are lucky, our nuclear family expands for a few decades. Siblings get married, bringing in-laws and kids, siblings get remarried, bringing new in-laws and step-kids. The holidays turn into huge affairs. Family photos are standing room only, with our parents sitting proudly in the center. Then, one day the contraction begins. Nature or God brings out the ax and starts chopping off the oldest branches of our family tree.

      That's the best-case scenario, everyone dying in the reverse order they were born.

      This book is not about a young death or a tragic death, those waters are too deep. This book is about old people dying, as expected, of old-people causes. Specifically, it's about cancer, hospice, funerals, grief, well-meaning friends, and how shocking it is to be parentless, for the first time, at 48.

      The book answers questions like:
      Q: Do my friends really care that my 88 year old mother died?
      A: Yes, for 20 minutes. Then they think, "Well, she had a nice, long life," and go about their day, hoping you don't mention it again.

      Q: Are there any rules when it comes to administering morphine?

      A: The sick person gets the most, the family gets the rest.

      Q: Can I shame my dying loved one into living longer?

      A: Absolutely. On the 8th of Dad's 10 days in hospice, I introduced my (then) boyfriend, who is African-American, to Dad. After the boyfriend left, I said, "Dad, if you die today, people will think you are racist.'' Dad laughed and lived two more days, and I credit my ex for that.

      Q: How can I make sure my mom's ashes don't fall off the mantel?

      A: You can't. Between earthquakes, fracking, and a child's temper tantrum, no mantel can be trusted. That's why the safest place to store ashes is directly in a vacuum cleaner. They're going to end up there anyway, so buy a nice one. Didn't your mom always want a Dyson?

      Q: Is it ok to be attracted to the soldier who plays Taps at your dad's funeral?

      A: Yes. while working through grief, you can count on your genitals to lead the way.

      Q: Speaking of genitals, after a lifetime of avoiding them, is hospice the time where I...
    About the Author-
    • Laurie Kilmartin is an Emmy-nominated writer for CONAN and the co-host of podcast The Jackie and Laurie Show. Her hour-long special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, was named one of the Best Comedy Specials of 206 by Decider, Paste, and Vulture. As a stand-up comedian, she has appeared on CONAN, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central.

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      Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
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    Dead People Suck
    A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed
    Laurie Kilmartin
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