I have been teaching a senior level college course entitled Death and Dying - off and on - for more than ten years. At my university it is a philosophy course, though it is multi-disciplinary and could be taught in other departments as well; it is taught around the country in departments of sociology, psychology, health sciences, and religion. I began teaching this course as a result of a tragic loss in my own life. I wanted to bring to others what I had learned as a consequence of that experience and my own exploration through the territory of grief and loss. It seemed to me at the time that most of us are unprepared to deal with some of the blows that life may deal us - especially in contemporary America - and some basic foundational knowledge in this area could enable people to function better in times of crisis than they might without this information.