When you see the dead are not treated with respect, something within you shakes. Not because you have to treat a body with respect, but because he is exiting slowly. It does not matter how that person lived, at least his death must happen well. Every human being must have that much intention to allow others to die gracefully.
Nestled in suburban Kansas City, the Vikings of Shawnee Mission West High School are a tight, supportive community. That strong foundation of community ushered the students through the separate events of four deaths during the school year when I was the principal.
We are so sensitive and avoidant about death in this culture, aren't we? Not only about the death of the body -- our own, and those we cherish. But av...
These next 40 days offers us a time to put on our metaphorical and literal glasses and look in the mirror and examine what we see in the eyes of the one who looks back?
I often wonder about the millions of people who don't have any money -- those who don't have decades of savings to draw on for end-of-life care. What happens to them?
I make a conscious effort to stay current in my relationships and let people know how I feel about them. I don't want to live with "If only I had..." I never want to have regrets about the things I didn't say, and so I say them whenever I can.
What makes the fifties be so damn grievously discombobulating? Here are just a few possible discombobulating factors:
Death-and-dying usually goes with I-don't-want-to-talk about-it. Katy Butler wants us to talk about it. She worries, though, about the culture of death-denial, and about the lack of language when we do try to talk.
This story is included in Tricia McCallum's first book of poetry: Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered .
I was fortunate that nature allowed me the chance to give Phoebe a peaceful death, and that has brought me peace in return. But I wonder about the human deaths that are coming, my own and those of the people I love. Will I have the grace to be there for them at their final breath?
While we may not be able to singlehandedly transform the death industry in our country, each one of us can do something in our lives and our own communities to make a difference. We just have to be creative and strongly motivated to implement change.
Thank you, Yellow Dog, for accompanying Micah on his journey into adulthood, and for being part of Micah and Janelle's first family. Thank you also for reminding us that life is always connected, that the roots of both life and love run deep, and that the connection to either is never broken.
Why do I sit here, watching the curser follow my Times New Roman thoughts-turned-into-words that might only be seen by my dry and extremely nearsighted eyes? Will anyone think highly enough of my tome to throw some shekels my way?
If you heard that a play was about illness, death, and dying you would not be inclined to think comedy. But joining the two themes is possible.
While this battlefield metaphor is one that may work well in sports, where there is almost always a winner and a loser at the end of the contest, it falls short when applied to an illness like cancer. Cancer has no rules, no time outs, no substitutions, no game clock.
Take advantage of this new year to initiate conversations with loved ones about their end-of-life wishes -- and review your own as well.
Waking up on a couch on New Year's Day (not because I drank and crashed there, but because I chose to stay with family instead of sharing the freeway ...
Once we figure out how we feel about our own death and dying, the next step we must take -- initiating the conversation with our loved ones -- is often the most difficult step to complete.
My friend M has died, just shy of the old year's end and significantly decreasing the joy of the new. But her dying was full of life lessons about saying goodbye, being grateful and trying to ring in a better planet for the days ahead.
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake or Asian Tsunami Disaster, which killed an estimated 230,000 people in 14 countries. It elicited one of the greatest outpourings of humanitarian response ever from the global community.