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Posted inDeath & Dying

Death and the absent dancers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Fifteen years ago today, Reverend Jerry Falwell, Sr. went to his reward. Many of those who did not like Falwell were happy that he got this reward, while those who loved him were very, very sad. This is strange. At the time, many of his fellow religious believers shook stern fingers at the rest of […]

Posted inMeaning & Purpose

There is a secular afterlife

Reading Time: 4 minutes My family church here in Indonesia offers an online Bible study. One day, at my parents’ request, I helped them navigate to the page. The theme of the day was “Being brave facing death.” In support, a common proverb was offered: urip mung mampir ngombe—”Life is just stopping by to drink.” The proverb invites us […]

Posted inHealthcare

Slowing to listen at the end of life

Reading Time: 12 minutes Marcia sat up on the side of the bed, a hand on each knee, and braced herself as she leaned forward to open the space in her chest for more air. At 52, she was dying of ovarian cancer that had spread to her liver. The critical organ had failed, causing excess fluid to gather […]

Posted inPsychology

Should I be mad at my son? Anger and forgiveness after suicide

Reading Time: 5 minutes This entire column, not just this entry, contains a content warning. I will be writing about suicide, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other serious topics. 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 […]

Posted inPsychology

Remember their whole life, not just their final hours

Reading Time: 4 minutes This entire column, not just this entry, contains a content warning. I will be writing about suicide, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other serious topics. 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 […]