Take a look at woodie's code. He has a 'beaverness' tag that's attached to him when he turns. Then during one of the periodic checks if he has that attribute his sanity etc decreases faster. You could do something similar on death so that you toggle some tag and if he's not dead do the sanity hit, if he is then don't. As for holding it in death you could cheat it. Assuming the code above works you don't care about him holding the item in death. What you'd need to do is spawn (or move) the item when he comes back to life. The tricky part would be to delete the item already existing in the world at the same time, otherwise you'll end up with duplicate items. Not sure how to do that but there should be some way, critters disappear all the time at night.