Tag: death

Primary Experiences of Life and Death

Many persons live their entire lives without ever seeing a human being die. Howard Thurman, “Life Must Be Experienced” in The Inward Journey At the time, I didn’t realize what a privilege it was to sit with my mother and then my father as… Continue Reading “Primary Experiences of Life and Death”

Blessed is Resurrection

When my father passed away at home, I didn’t know what would happen next — so I went for a walk. That Sunday spent watching him decline, decline, decline — sitting by his bed — pacing — calling hospice and family and hospice again… Continue Reading “Blessed is Resurrection”

Blessed is the Quiet

I turned the monitor off Sunday morning not knowing it would be the last time. For three and a half years I have slept with one ear open, listening to the monitor, learning the sounds of the different creaks of the hospital bed in… Continue Reading “Blessed is the Quiet”

The Brindle Boxer

When I pulled in to the veterinarian’s office, the red-bearded man with the brindle boxer was standing out front. Maggie was fluctuating between ecstasy and fear. She had been delighted when she got to go for a ride in the car, but she recognized… Continue Reading “The Brindle Boxer”

My Mother’s Closet

My mother’s  closet has only been hers. When my parents bought this old farmhouse 50 years ago, it had one closet — a tiny one, at that. While we kids put up a rope swing, my father put in closets. Bi-fold doors must have… Continue Reading “My Mother’s Closet”


“Did I do anything for your last birthday?” I asked Laurel this morning. I honestly couldn’t remember. Laurel’s birthday and my mother’s deathday were too close together. “Uh-huh,” she answered. “You made rice.” Not really sure that will win me any parenting awards. Rice.… Continue Reading “November”

Long in the Tooth

I’ve occasionally wondered what was in the guy’s trailer by the time he got home. He started off with an empty trailer and some debts he needed to collect. At the first stop, he got a dirt bike because the guy didn’t have any money… Continue Reading “Long in the Tooth”

Ashokan Farewell

It felt like such a private moment. The delicate strains of the violin playing Ashokan Farewell swirled around us in the great sanctuary. I watched her play, and then I had to look away. It was Bob Herst’s memorial service. I knew that I needed to… Continue Reading “Ashokan Farewell”

Pieces of Stewart

The following is the text of what I said at my brother’s memorial service. My siblings and I carry little pieces of Stewart in our hearts and in the way we live our lives. Each of us reflects Stewart in little ways. Today I… Continue Reading “Pieces of Stewart”

Ash Wednesday

It was an ominous way to begin Lent. An early morning phone call let me know that my oldest brother, Stewart, had passed away from a heart attack. And I stood in the kitchen, and I stared at the wall And I prayed for… Continue Reading “Ash Wednesday”