Dioramas of death: cleaner recreates rooms where people died alone

Miyu Kojima creates scenes based on rooms she has cleaned after solitary deaths It was at a trade show for the funeral industry that Miyu Kojima had what might seem at first like a macabre idea. Kojima, 27, works for To-Do Company, a cleaning firm that specialises in the apartments of the recently deceased. Many of their jobs involve kodokushi (solitary deaths), where people die alone and are not found for days, a phenomenon that has recently gripped the Japanese imagination. The company was advertising its services at the trade show by displaying photos of the rooms theyd cleaned. But the photos are gruesome to look at, Kojima said. I felt they lacked respect for the deceased and for their …

Today I have to talk to three of my patients about dying. This is how I do it

Its tempting to put these all-important conversations off but the consequences can be dire Its 9.15am. The medical team is full of energy and caffeine. We have patients to see, some of whom are on the road to recovery, others who have already been recognised as dying, and some who have uncertain futures. There are three new patients whose condition could worsen at any time. Given their frailty I believe cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would be futile. It is now my job to start a discussion about their future care. Three conversations. I take a deep breath. The trainee doctors are attentive and still learning how to do this. I complete my assessment for the first patient, pause, then open the …