Get Well Soon! And Other Perky Things Not to Say to a Dying Person

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I was on my way out the door to visit a church member in hospice care. My travelling communion in hand, I remembered the stack of cards in my office--made by church kids for anyone who might be sick or homebound. This seemed like the perfect time to make use of their ministry gift, so I went to grab one.They were cheerful pictures--mostly of flowers--brightly colored, made with love, and all bearing the same message: Get well soon! Yeah, I can't take that to hospice.I'll save  … [Read more...]

Water and Ash

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From dust you were born. And to dust, you will return.Is that a threat, or a promise? On the darkest days, we sense death hovering in our vicinity, like a grey cloud. It feels chilly. It sounds like slow, dirge-y organ music in a minor key. It smells like ash and feels abrasive against our skin—like burlap.Sack cloth and ashes… That’s what we could be about today.Or.We can choose to hear those words as blessing and benediction. From dust you were born. To dust, you will retur … [Read more...]

In the End, There’s Cake

My kids have birthdays this week. They will be 2 and 4. And while I know this is where I'm supposed to say "I can't believe how fast they're growing up!" what I really think is, I can't remember a time when they weren't around. In many ways, they've been with me forever.The almost 2-year-old has a new favorite word--why. And, as only a small child can do, he throws this one-word question around as though it had three-syllables, rather than one...uh-WHY-ee. (Kind of sounds like 'hawaii.') … [Read more...]


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