Category Archives: death and dying

Death Songs

My friend Jeannie and I are at a Sweet Honey in the Rock concert in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the group’s founding members, Ysaye Barnwell, steps to center stage and sings what she calls her “death song.” It expresses … Continue reading

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Oh For Goodness Sake – Stand At My Grave and Weep Already!

Death has been visiting my life a lot in this past year. During those times, I have frequently heard Mary Elizabeth Frye’s well-known poem, “Do No Stand At My Grave and Weep.” This morning as I was lolling abed, I … Continue reading

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A Blessing for Entering Hospice

My beloved friend Jim is nearly 92 years old. His mind is sharp and keen though his vision, hearing, and mobility are weaker every day. Jim doesn’t have a major illness. He’s just losing energy and appetite. A few weeks … Continue reading

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A Death is Born Into Your Life

I sat next to R. at a community sing the other night. Her mother died several months ago and she is still in the raw grief of it all. Many of the songs called forth her tears and she looked … Continue reading

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Falling Silent

As a voice coach and singer, I pay unusual attention to voices. I cherish the cadences, rhythms, and sounds that I hear in the voices of my family members and friends. Each one is completely unique. Each one lingers in … Continue reading

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This Is When I Think of You – A Meditation for Fellow Caregivers

Yes, you. My fellow caregiver. I think of you most often as I walk out of Mom’s senior living place. Perhaps it is 9:45 p.m. on a frigid winter night. I worked all day and then drove the half-hour journey … Continue reading

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Conscious Dying: The Story of Jack

Jack and I were at the YMCA Christmas tree lot in the dark chill of a December night. His breath plumed among the pine branches as he laughed about his recent visit to the orthopedic surgeon. “During my pre-op visit … Continue reading

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