Independent Press Award
2024 Distinguished Favorite
Here, Where Death Delights A Literary Memoir
Mary Jumbelic, M.D.
Mary Jumbelic has been obsessed with death since the loss of her father when she was 13. The sudden departure of her dad, the mother left behind, and her position as an only child led her to grow up quickly. Yet the why and how of her father's death plagued her. She chose to view an autopsy at the age of 15 and discovered a science that explained the process. Becoming a forensic pathologist wasn't a given. She struggled before deciding on a career as a medical examiner.
For 25 years, she analyzed corpses and explained to families what had happened to their loved ones, something that hadn't been done for her. She faced blood, gore, violence, and grief in urban and country morgues and internationally in mass disasters. This daily confrontation challenged her to re-live her own loss. She became an advocate in recognizing preventable injuries to help reduce fatalities. Dr. Jumbelic developed a way to honor the person's life by speaking for them in courts, classrooms, and interviews. How did she finally integrate death into her own life so filled with hope? This is her journey.