death

My own funeral? Imagine.

“Be well.” This is what I said to my students. It was after a recent class. Then they left for the various corners of their lives. We’d just unpacked “Cathedral,” a story by Raymond Carver. He often wrote about broken characters, broken in ways that Carver himself was broken. “Be well.” Then they were gone.

Waking up to the shortness of life

I’m gardening with my son, the cool, wet dirt between our fingers. I think of John, my friend, a fellow traveller, recently dead of cancer. He’s still somehow, seen. Still felt.

Funny how that goes, how you often miss what’s right in front of you. Then, when you take the time to pause, the smelling salts of life get you to sit up and do what your mother always told you: pay attention!

If you die in space, are you alone?

It was a question after dinner. The kids asked me. “So, Dards, if it were possible, would you rather know exactly how you’ll die, or when you’ll die?”“Hmm,” I said. (Always a good response for such questions.) “I don’t know.” (Even better.) What I know is that, like many others, I’d rather not die alone. Imagine dying alone

Happy Death Day: here’s to getting clarity in life

I walked through the cemetery today. I often do. It was me and the cold and the wet and my old umbrella.

The umbrella is covered in deco of old newspaper headlines: the Jays won the World Series; Gorbachev was dismantling the USSR. My umbrella and I blew around like the news

Many Ontario doctors caught in euthanasia dilemma

He’s a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me.

Stuart is the keeper of the children’s bicycles while we’re abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That’s all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart.

He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying for a

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