My People’s Nonchalant Regard for the Facts

Someone at your memorial will speak the facts. They’ll say you were born then and died now, describe the work you spent your life doing, mention the people you loved who are still alive and the ones who died before you. Everyone in the room will already know those...

Death’s Practical Jokes Are Better Than Ours

I’ve reached the age where I seem to be attending more funerals than weddings. One of my uncles died this morning. Oddly enough, he expired in his doctor’s office. Right place, but evidently the wrong time. He was my mother’s older brother, but my...

That Stuff That’s Better Than Morphine

I have read that when men are dying they call for their mothers. I can’t swear that’s true, but I can say that some women call for their mothers. At least my mother called for hers when she was dying, not caring that her mother had been dead 50 years. After my mother...

Laughing All The Way To The Grave

The biggest problem I have with death is that there aren’t enough laughs. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t find death itself particularly amusing. I have lost some people quite dear to me, which was painful—and which still delivers the occasional icicle to the heart,...