Being Responsible- A Story of Two Men

The daily paper on Christmas Eve carried this story: “Richard F. Morrow, 69, died when he was struck by a car in the village of Canton at 10:49 p.m. Mr. Morrow was pronounced dead at the scene. … Daniel W. Lester, 28, was driving northbound when he allegedly struck Mr. Morrow and fled, according to [Read More...]

Nelson Mandela

The great Nelson Mandela has died. Peacefully, after a long illness, surrounded by the love of his family, his nation, the world. To lose a hero is always an enormous grief, and yet Mandela was one hero who got to see his work through. This time we got the whole inspiring story – not just [Read More...]

Raking Leaves

People regularly say to me that they wouldn’t want to live in California, because they would miss the seasons. As a California native who has lived in a variety of other places, I understand this. Who would want to miss the seasons of Oh My God it is Really Snowing in April, or It’s So [Read More...]

Reflections on death from the garden

This time of year, as we approach Halloween, The Day of the Dead, and All Saints’ Day, I am often thinking of death. Granted, I am always a little bit morbid—my astrologer sister would say it’s because I’m a Scorpio. (I regret that I was too old to go Goth in my teen years, because [Read More...]

A Former Member Asks the Minister for a Favor

She says her family shuns her. She says it has something to do with God. She says the cancer has gone way too far. She says when her brother died the family pastor said he went straight to hell and “Let that be a lesson.” She says, “Will you do my funeral?” A light rain [Read More...]

Thank you, Rhoda Morgenstern!

Rhoda Morgenstern changed my life. As a chubby, opinionated, smart and mouthy teenager in Akron Ohio in the early 1970’s, I had never seen anyone on television who remotely resembled me, anyone I might be someday, or anyone who might be my friend. Rhoda changed that. For those who weren’t born in the1970’s, Rhoda was [Read More...]

Faith to Live, Faith to Die

I spent yesterday with an almost 90 year old woman I’ve loved for decades, just home from the hospital following congestive heart failure. A cracker jack team of doctors, as well as a bevy of loving friends and family members, have surrounded her all week, attempting to figure out exactly what is causing her heart [Read More...]

Love & Grief: Two Sides of the Same Coin

One night as the on-call hospital chaplain, I witnessed the end of three marriages, each representing over 50 years of love and struggle, as death claimed the husbands. The depth of grief of each wife haunted me for days. Was this the price of great love? Such great pain? This is what I have to look forward [Read More...]

Thoughts on Death and Lasagna

Last night, as I lay dozing on the couch, I awakened with a start at 10:30 and jumped up. It was time, I suddenly knew, to make a pan of lasagna for a family where a death was imminent. Right now. Not in the morning, as I had planned. Now. As I went into the [Read More...]

Saying Goodbye

A few years ago, a member of my congregation with a background in science asked me why, in his words, “so many people insist that there’s some kind of life after death?” I don’t think he was prepared for my response, which was to say that it’s because there is. I believe that that death [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X