vol. 5, num. 18 :: 2006.10.06 — 2006.10.20
As autumn sets in noticeably in many parts of the northern hemisphere, we'll consider the nature of death and the dying process, as well as offering tribute to the now dead whose lives impacted us greatly.
A social work student examines her calling to assist in times of death.
Reflections of a Hospice chaplain a few days later.
Some tragedies are too big to comprehend.
A memorial for a mother who had a passion for broken things.
On the death of a close friend's father.
A reflection on seeking promise after the death of a spouse.
A memorial for grandparents who parented.
A review of Jolie Holland's album Springtime Can Kill You.
Divorce is never God's intention for marriage, but there is still grace.
A review of Alison McGhee's Shadow Baby with a list of other books that have proved helpful after a loss.
A collection of stories about death and dying.
A site devoted to death issues, including a calculator (based on averages) to figure out the "date" of your death.
An article by Thomas Lynch.
What happens to us when we die?
The family — which then and now includes tribe, clan, father’s house — is an odd and vulnerable counter-force. It does not have available impressive modes of power, either to persuade or coerce. What it does have, however, is day-to-day access at the crucial nurture points of hurt and amazement. The social location of the family … is not in accommodation to the dominant values, not as a band-aid operation to keep people functioning, but as a daily proposal and glimpse of another way to live in the world. It is not then a privatized or domesticated romantic scene, but it is an area in which deliberate and intentional alternatives are articulated and practiced. I propose then that we understand the family, in light of biblical faith, as a counter-culture operation that finally means to subvert the dominant values. If we do not want our children enmeshed in the available values of positivism and technical reason and all they bring with them, then the family is a peculiar chance to construct another world that has more vitality, credibility, and authority in the long run. But it must be a public world, not a private world of escape.
The Practice of Homefulness
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