I was writing today when my brain got sidetracked by the concept of post-mortem photography, which I fist encountered in the film The Others. Freaky stuff, taking pictures of the dead as if they were asleep, but apparently, it was a popular thing to do back when cameras were new and having a portrait of the deceased cost too much.
This blog entry on excommunicate.net gives a somewhat personal account of post-mortem photography. I also found some samples of it here.
There is also an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep that will photograph parent's final hours with their dying child (or already dead baby, the site doesn't really say). It's supposed to help with the mourning process. The photographs are elegant and tastefully done, and the people who have signed up for it seem to be glad that they did. I really believe that if you love someone that much, documenting your last hours with them isn't sick, it's a form of therapy.
Then E sent me a link to the transcripts of the Jonestwon Murders, which was sad and scary and drove home the point that you shouldn't really be wastng your life as there are others out there who are more than willing to mess it up for you.