Behavior: Death Companionship

While sitting with a dying friend four years ago, William Roberts was struck by the grim isolation of the deathbed. "It seemed to me," he says, "that dying people were treated in a cold, almost cavalier manner." Suffering from diabetes, Roberts, now 50, quit his job a year ago as a partner at Spencer-Roberts, a California political public relations agency, and resolved to do something about the way people die. The result is Threshold, a new Los Angeles business that has trained and will supply "death companions" to help ease lonely, dying clients out of the world. The cost: $7.50 an...

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