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Posted inParenting & Family

Why thanking those who offer their prayers isn’t always the best idea

Reading Time: 4 minutes Earlier this week, OnlySky contributor Kristen Chase offered her take on how we should respond when well-meaning religious people offer their blessings and prayers to atheists. She suggested nonbelievers such as myself respond with one simple phrase: Thank you. I partially agree, while pointing out Kristen’s essential qualifier: well-meaning. Yes, when well-meaning, not passive-aggressive, people […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Exploring the lost art of dying

Reading Time: 5 minutes Given its centrality to the human experience—it happens to everyone, no exceptions—you’d think our culture would engage the subject more. But it’s remained largely taboo. Try to start a conversation about it, your friend or family member might accuse of you being “morbid.” Reveal that you’ve been thinking about it lately, your spouse might push […]

Posted inDeath & Dying

Speaking of suicide: How institutions harm people they were made to help

Reading Time: 9 minutes TW: suicide, police, child sexual abuse Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, and yet it is a taboo conversation. The subject understandably makes most people uncomfortable. But ignoring it only adds to misinformation and mistreatment of people who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings. This can only change by allowing people […]

Posted inDeath & Dying

Dilemmas in suicide’s aftermath: How far to dig for the irrational why?

Reading Time: 4 minutes This is a heavier column than usual, so I’m opening with a content warning. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone you trust, establish care with a therapist, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), or go to your nearest emergency room. Please stick around. We need you. This column is […]