Mortality is real for all of us, regardless of whether we believe in fate. Marty Kaplan contemplates the hubris of making plans in a universe of improv.
To embrace life despite the truth of suffering is an audacious act. Jennifer Michael Hecht guides us through Albert Camus on the myth of Sisyphus, as a reassuringly contrary argument for life over death.
Marie Howe marks the space left in her life by her late brother — tiny movements and moments now conspicuously absent. A tender elegy for a loved one gone too soon.
Our culture has a profound discomfort with walking openly through grief. An exploration of the healing power of companionship and openness after loss — embodied in groundbreaking gatherings for millennials longing to heal together.
Parker Palmer shares the poetry of a president: a testament to the healing power of words, and embracing the shadow and light within.
One of the hibakusha, the survivors of Hiroshima, reflects on life after the bombing in frank words: to honor the lives destroyed, and hope that her experience with death imparts a lesson about the preciousness of life.
We find ourselves in a time of deep reckoning, and we must turn to each other for companionship and wisdom. Collected guidance on claiming the whole of our identities, and finding compassion for experiences that are not our own.
Elie Wiesel, the beloved writer known for his profound memoir of the Holocaust, Night, speaks of the power of prayer and forgiveness in the wake of profound suffering.
Unitarian-Universalist law enforcement chaplain Kate Braestrup tells the story of a police woman who embodies the both/and of love and new life, and crime and death.
How do we cut through distraction to nurture our best selves forward? Our executive editor shares reflections on rediscovering the glory around and within us, from the journey of an olympic runner, to the lyrical labyrinth of rap, to healing the void of loss with art and memory.
Death and illness are rational fears, yet there are some truths we need to ignore in order to function. For people with health anxiety, a strange lump can incite a multitude of fears. A generous (sometimes humorous) window into life with hypochondria.
Using a children's book on death as a scaffolding, Courtney Martin makes a case for kids teaching adults how to work through grief and death in better ways.
In the waiting room of a doctor's office, the dramas of life and death play out quietly. A reflection on the power of paying attention to the stranger, and to the burdens we all carry.
Is it possible to teach doctors how to give bad news? A writer's probing reflection on hearing — and giving — the hardest messages to receive.
On a retreat at a cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin, Parker Palmer strings together pearls of contemplation on silence and solitude. With the help of Merton and Rumi, he finds the catharsis of being forced to reckon with one's angels and demons.
The ritual of lighting luminaria on Christmas Eve in New Mexico inspires this reflection on grief and waiting for the light.
Familiar items are strangely comforting throughout life, much less in difficult times. A gay man discovers himself through his ongoing relationship with a Renoir painting.
The daughter of the renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi turns to ancient rivers and archaic rituals to find comfort in the uninterrupted thread running through her past, present, and future.
An affirmation of presence, a victory of joy, a connection maintained: these are the things a young mother observes in her elderly next door neighbors, as a husband gently tends to his wife in her final days. A beautiful account of what love truly looks like.
Can the process of grieving go on too long? Especially when you write about it for a living? Jane Gross on her bout with understanding death's unsettled trajectory.
With the visual glories of autumn, the living is hidden within the dying. A pondering about this season of paradox and the "the endless interplay of living and dying" we all must embrace.
From small kindnesses to a classic love song reimagined and singleness to transformation, Trent Gilliss poetically curates an intermingling of murmurations and ideas — including a remembrance of the legendary Grace Lee Boggs.
There is no handbook for grief. With grace, kindness, and gentleness, a daughter candidly shares her experience of mourning after the unexpected loss of her father.
Summer's passing and earth's decay can elicit a deepening melancholy for some. A pondering on the "paradoxical dance" of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay — with lyrical assists from Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton.