Antics on the Web: ‘Talking About Death with Children with Dr. Earl, Part 1’ Review
by Robert Brouhard
The Internet is filled with everything. Search for something on Google, and you’re likely to find it. Some of it is amazing and beautiful. Some of it is odd and disturbing. Some of it is an amalgam of miasma and sensuality. You may even find ways to talk about Fluffy or your grandma’s passing with your children. The cartoon video of “Talking About Death With Children With Dr Earl Pt. 1” is probably not your best choice though.
Jamie Loftus and her friend Kelsey Lawler ran across a strange 8-track from 1976 in the attic of the Lawler & Crosby Funeral Home in Massachusetts. Why were they in a funeral home’s attic? The world may never know. Per the YouTube video’s description, a man named “Dr. Earl A. Grossman” (SP) made 8-track tapes during the 1970s discussing death with children and distributed them to New England funeral homes. Doing some research on the Web, I couldn’t find anything about “Earl A. Grossman.” Using a touch of Google-fu, I came to see that this is actually Dr. Earl A. Grollman, a Rabbi from Belmont, Massachusetts who has written many books for grieving families including the 1971 runaway hit Explaining Death to Children. His books have even been used at Harvard. Yes, I informed the maker of the video, Jamie Loftus, of the man’s actual name. It turns out that Jamie wasn’t wearing her glasses when she transposed the name in her notes. Oops. Jamie Loftus did all the work animating this video with Dr. Grollman’s audio.