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.
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye? For pets and people both, it’s not always clear when the time has come. Jane Gross on watching her dog die and reckoning with the decision of when to let go.
What are the last things you want to cherish? The last things you want to give up? Parker Palmer on treasuring those things that anchor one to the blessings of life.
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.
To be confronted with a serious illness is to be confronted with a fear of death for most of us. How do we balance hope with realism? And how do we age with grace? Drawing on Atul Gawande's book, Mary Jo Bennett highlights some ways our culture is evolving in its relationship with death.
Generosity and gratitude don't require extraordinary means, just the gift of time and attention. Parker and Wendell on giving yourself away.
A Quaker chaplain offers some candid insights on being a minister to trauma. In the midst of chaos and suffering, she writes, deep shame can transform itself into hope.
Our weekly wrap-up with poetry and prose, stories of Easter dishes from afar and links to things we're reading in the news and blogging worlds!
A poem about friendship and intimacy, waiting and being present in the moment that is heartbreaking and heartening in its song.
“Another level of your life opens up when you recognize that you have a life that is inside.”
~Roshi Joan Halifax
The Zen Buddhist monk and medical anthropologist talks to Krista Tippett about her life, Buddhist faith, inspirations, and the vast concepts of death, compassion, grief — and neuroscience.
“I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important.”
"What shall we do about the elderly dying with dementia, losing who they are — how do we help them 'die well'?"
“I’ve been more than blessed with people, with miracles, with angels all around. When I’ve been in trouble and couldn’t get up the stairs, along came a neighbor, and she just said, ‘Can I help you?’”
We heard from so many people asking about the StoryCorps audio of Annie and Danny Perasa who ended this week's show. Here's an extended, animated short of the lovely couple talking about love and dying. An absolutely moving five minutes.
It's difficult to believe these days, when so many of us have had some experience of moving toward death with a loved one in hospice, or even a stranger on the CaringBridge website, how "badly" people died in this country until very recently.
On my first day as a chaplain at Calvary Hospital, a palliative care facility in the Bronx — a place where every patient was near death — I was overwhelmed.
Krista brought Jane Gross to our attention at our weekly Monday staff meeting as someone who knows aging intimately from the “far shore of caregiving.”
This Pulitzer-nominated journalist developed her expertise on caregiving and aging not just vocationally, but through living this experience with her elderly mother in her final years.
The first Buddhist chaplaincy training program in the U.S. is featured in this beautiful short film about end of life care.