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Death


Text Message for the Otherworld

When I was in school, Facebook was young. One evening, I saw a dead classmate’s profile, his picture featured on the sidebar, a recommended friend. I spent the next hours perusing the status updates he had posted when he did not realize his days were numbered. For anyone wondering, now Facebook has an answer for […]

In the Midst of Life We Are in October

What images come to mind when you think of Halloween? Ghosts? Skeletons? Gravestones? Some Christians cry foul at such “morbid” imagery, but it seems to me this stems from a safely modern, bourgeois outlook. Our older brothers and sisters in medieval Europe most assuredly wouldn’t know what to make of the bland, sterilized Christianity regnant […]

Preaching Good News When Clinically Sad

I talk about death and grief a lot. It is a running joke in my house that I am always thinking about death and I am always willing to talk to someone about grief. This shouldn’t surprise anyone given my life (and death) experiences. The work of a priest requires that you be in the […]

Comedians in Cars Talking About Death

This one comes to us from Juliette Alvey. Anytime I hear someone speak positively about death or not fearing death, my ears perk up. I am not one of those people. I am scared to death to die. So when Jerry Seinfeld had a conversation with John Mulaney on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and predicted […]

All the Life We Cannot See (and All the Death We Should Be Doing)

Recently my four-year-old son has become obsessed with all things Hamilton: the musical, the person, the coffee table book I bought my husband and repurposed as a spontaneous gift for my boy, who flips through it daily and asks me to sing him the songs. He’s turned his older brother onto the soundtrack, which means […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 2

If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it … Scapegoating, exporting our unresolved hurt, is the most common storyline of human history. The Jesus Story is about radically transforming history and individuals so that we don’t just keep handing on the pain to the next generation. Richard Rohr, “Transforming Pain” […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 1

Our present ecological crisis, the biggest single practical threat to our human existence … has, religious people would say, a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God — not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our […]

Alchemy in Grief

One of the recurring emotions families experience in the midst of grief is guilt. They feel guilty about “things done or left undone.” They feel guilty about still being alive. When my dad’s mother was dying of pancreatic cancer, he was just a teenager. He once told me how he avoided her room during the […]

Moral Ground Must Be Shored Up By Mercy: In Memory of Toni Morrison

“She is a friend of my mind… The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” So wrote the famed novelist Toni Morrison in Beloved, in a passage describing a love that goes deeper than the physical, engendering self-worth. Such love runs throughout many of the […]

I Died and Didn’t Go To Heaven: Grace, Grief, and the Big Question – Connor Gwin

Up next in our series of conference videos, Mockingbird contributor Connor Gwin tells of his sudden cardiac arrest and subsequent resuscitation. Thus the big questions are raised, and linen pants are worn, and Steel Magnolias is watched — and the reality of life and death is confronted. This talk is for anyone who has ever wondered “what comes next.”

I Died and Didn’t Go To Heaven: Grace, Grief, and the Big Question – Connor Gwin from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

When Reconciliation Was the Most Obvious Thing in the World: An Excerpt from Robert Farrar Capon’s The Youngest Day

From Chapter 14, “The Funeral,” in Robert Farrar Capon’s collection of seasonal musings, “The Youngest Day”: Late one evening I was with a group of people who were having an extended series of nightcaps after the funeral of a common friend. We’d all known him well, and as the night wore on and tongues got […]

Dead to Me: A Dark Comedy of Forgiveness

This one was written by Sam Guthrie. In the Netflix original series, Dead to Me, Judy (Linda Cardellini) helps Jen (Christina Applegate) cope with the sudden loss of her husband, Ted. The two form an unlikely friendship tracking down Jen’s husband’s killer in the pristine landscape of Malibu. Thanks to Liz Feldman, the creator of […]