Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s a common idea in dogmatic religious circles, that “there are no atheists in foxholes”: that the moment an atheist is in serious peril, they’ll call out for divinity. That hasn’t been true to my experiences as an adult: even when robbed at gunpoint, or unfortunately when violently assaulted, I’ve never magically flipped a switch […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes New York legalizes composting of human remains, and the Catholic church sputters in futility.
Reading Time: 4 minutes I was fortunate enough to swan through most of my life only rarely coming into contact with death. My grandparents, eventually (while I was away from home, either abroad or at university), one work colleague…but I think that was about it. Over the last few years, that has changed, and particularly over the last few […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ll be 91 in February. It may be my last birthday, or one of a final few, because my actuarial table is ticking away relentlessly. I have no fear of death. It’s simply the natural end of every life. It awaits all eight billion of us humans. Nobody can escape it. For now, I’ll just […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s easy to forget that life is temporary. How would you live differently with that knowledge in front of you?
Reading Time: 4 minutes Shortly before my mother went in for surgery to correct an issue with her bowels, I drove up to her rural northern California home to help her prepare. I sat on the piano bench in her living room and waited for her to retrieve something she just had to show me. She returned from her […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes “The nurse put me on the phone. I told him his children loved him and all that. But before she hung up, I heard her say something else.”
Reading Time: 9 minutes OnlySky · Will I go gentle? | Dale McGowan If you haven’t visited The Death Clock, you really must. Enter your date of birth, height, weight and Body Mass Index, and the Death Clock spits out the day and date on which you’ll hear the galloping hooves of the pale horse. Mine is Tuesday, December […]
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 […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes At the edge of the Nevis Forest in the Scottish Highlands, up on a hillock barely visible from my hike on the West Highland Way, I saw the rusting spikes of a very old iron fence. A cemetery. Had to be. I climbed up the hill and walked through the small gate into the untended […]