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Posts Tagged ‘death’

How to Celebrate at Death

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 23, 2019

Not every death calls forth celebration. But when the loss is of someone who was granted the gift of a long, good life, it’s that life that we can celebrate. I’m moved to ponder this gift—and how we who remain can celebrate it—because during a single week this past summer, I went to three different…

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Children Need Stories That Tell the Truth About Life and Death

By Rebecca Bratten WeissSeptember 6, 2019

Stories that offer an easy answer to life’s sorrows may seem soothing so long as we remain privileged, cocooned, unaware of the violence of human history, but stories that leave us troubled and uncertain are the ones we can take with us when we are exiled from this narrow shelter.

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The Anchoress Stares at Her Grave

By Christiana PetersonJuly 31, 2019

“There is, perhaps, no phase in the moral history of mankind of a deeper or more painful interest than this ascetic epidemic. A hideous, sordid, and emaciated maniac, without knowledge, without patriotism, without natural affection, passing his life in a long routine of useless and atrocious self-torture, and quailing before the ghastly phantoms of his…

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Poetry Friday: “Asperges”

By Martha SerpasJuly 5, 2019

Martha Serpas’s poem “Asperges” is a procession of what seems ordinary: summer rain falling like holy water on the altar of a hospital door, water washing a new-born baby in a nurse’s sink, the surprise of getting “dolloped in the eye and (laughing) away / the shame of believing / in any kind of redemptive…

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Holy Ground

By Ryan MatthewsMay 16, 2019

John’s Gospel describes a pool outside Jerusalem called Bethesda where sick and busted people waited, watching the water’s surface for agitation. They believed angels stirred the pool, charging it with healing powers. I imagine some died waiting: dehydrated and rank, beside a pool they dared not enter before its sanctification. “And one day,” Annie Dillard…

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Which Body?

By Kaya OakesNovember 5, 2018

There are three large cysts growing in my ovaries. The doctor says “oh my,” before asking if I’d like to take a look. I would not like to take a look. This feels like a parody of pregnancy, something my body would not let me do, because errant uterine cells began spreading across my inner…

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Happy Halloween: Remember You Will Die

By Jessica MesmanOctober 31, 2018

This week we are delighted to welcome Jessica Mesman as Good Letters’ new editor.   “Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs.” ― Muriel Spark, Memento Mori It’s dark this morning. Sunrise comes later over the cornfield. The maple outside my window is yellowing,…

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The Lost Goodbye

By Christiana N. PetersonOctober 3, 2018

You’ve been gone for only hours In a casket made of wood When no one else could save you I thought maybe I still could —“Goodbye” by Sister Sinjin The song catches me off-guard. It is nudged between other songs on an album of ethereal harmonies. Sister Sinjin sounds either like a trio of cloistered…

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Poetry Friday:
A Quick Interpretation of the Sixth Seal

By Tania RunyanAugust 24, 2018

End times? Friends in the evangelical world talk seriously about the Rapture. Our world is in turmoil, and the social and political structures we have trusted seem to be coming undone. This is not the first time I have experienced so unsettling a change in the fabric of my universe. In my childhood, I lived…

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Doorways to Death

By Christiana PetersonAugust 20, 2018

My house has doors built for death. When my husband and I first bought it a year ago, I won’t say I fell in love with it, but it felt like a place that could become a home. Built in the 1850s, the house has narrow stairways that appear in unexpected places and steps that…

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