A Sad Time For Michael Wolff

Van Wolff with her children in 1958. (Photo: NYMag)

Michael Wolff’s mother, Van, died Tuesday morning after a two and half year illness, the Observer has learned.

Mr. Wolff wrote about his mother’s declining health and worsening dementia in a moving and controversial story for New York Magazine in May that questioned the modern approach to end-of-life care. The story appeared on the magazine’s cover with the headline, “Mom, I love you, but I also wish you were dead. And I expect you do, too.”

“And yet, I will tell you, what I feel most intensely when I sit by my mother’s bed is a crushing sense of guilt for keeping her alive. Who can accept such suffering—who can so conscientiously facilitate it?” Mr. Wolff wrote.

A funeral service will be held this Saturday in New Jersey.


(Updated 1:45 p.m. to note the correct date of Ms. Wolff’s death)

A Sad Time For Michael Wolff