Tag Archives: death

The Truth About Getting Older

old people signIt’s said that age is just a number. Sure it is. But I wonder why that number, the one that implies, “Now you’re actually old,” varies so widely among individuals.

My husband Stephen and I are both in our 60s. Yet often (too often) he says to me, “We’re old now.” With our four parents aged 85, 89, 89, and 90, I refute his … Read more

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The End is Near

cherry tomatoesThe following narrative is closely based on a deeply moving conversation I had with “Knut,” an elementary schoolmate whom I’d never forgotten, and with whom I managed to get back in touch just as he was facing his mortality. In this novel excerpt, the grieving narrator, an atheist, is trying to decide her own future.

Knut lives in a fatigued yellow wood-frame bungalow with windows … Read more

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Whose Afterlife Matters?

afterlife tunnelTry this thought experiment:

Suppose you knew that, although you yourself would live a normal life span, the earth would be completely destroyed thirty days after your death in a collision with a giant asteroid. How would this knowledge affect your attitudes during the remainder of your life?

That’s what the author of a new book suggests we do. Death and the Afterlife (Oxford) by … Read more

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Kill Your Cat

catMy mother’s cat died today. My mother, turning 84, is a cat person, and I’m not. It’s not just that I’m allergic to their dander. This cat, Missy, hissed at me from the start, and always threatened to scratch me or anyone who came too close.

This post isn’t really about cats, though. It’s about facing death rationally. Missy wasn’t my mother’s first cat. She … Read more

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My Book of Lists

Photo by:  Ken Kilgore

Photo by: Ken Kilgore

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”

─ African proverb

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe….  All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.  Time to die.”

─ Roy Batty, Blade Runner

In 2008, a number of significant life events converged that spurred me seriously to ask myself what it means … Read more

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10 Bright Ways to Think about Death

sands of timeIt may seem paradoxical, but what more rational way for a Bright to say good-bye to the old year and welcome a new one than to consider the end of everything?

That’s why I’ve compiled some approaches toward death held by various clear thinkers. Philosophers, psychologists, scientists, poets, and novelists have expressed a wide array of attitudes about dying. I find each of the ones … Read more

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