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Dying

As a society, we resist talking about what is an absolute for all of us: We will someday die. It’s time we have conversations with our loved ones about our deaths and our wishes for end-of-life care. […] Read More

Latino and Latina death practices differ significantly from those of Anglo Protestant families, yet they are largely unknown outside the Latino community. Candi K. Cann, assistant professor in Baylor University’s Interdisciplinary Core of the Honors College, authored a study on these differences, seeking to dispel the idea that U.S. customs surrounding death and dying are […] Read More

‘Being Mortal’

With the advent of the DVD, moviemakers have offered viewers the option to watch alternate endings of their favorite movies. A “director’s cut” lets us choose one ending over another, according to our preferences. Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal,” allows individuals in declining health or with a terminal illness to consider alternate endings to their […] Read More

William Hull, noted Baptist pastor, author and scholar, died at 83 in December 2013 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease since 2008. A posthumous book by Hull, who wrote or contributed to dozens of books, awaits publication by Samford University Press. Titled “The Quest for a Good Death,” it chronicles Hull’s experience with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis […] Read More

William Hull, noted Baptist pastor, author and scholar, died at 83 in December 2013 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease since 2008. A posthumous book by Hull, who wrote or contributed to dozens of books, awaits publication by Samford University Press. Titled “The Quest for a Good Death,” it chronicles Hull’s experience with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis […] Read More

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross speculated in her studies of terminally ill patients that the dying go through five distinct stages of grief preceding their deaths – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Her studies produced a book titled “On Death and Dying” that brought the forbidden topic of terminal illness into the public discourse on end-of-life […] Read More

Not long ago, I encountered a woman whose husband of 56 years was dying after a prolonged illness. In great anguish, she went through a period of wondering if God even heard her prayers. Gradually she accepted that death was at hand, but tearfully added, “What about heaven? Will I see my husband again in […] Read More

How often from the waiting rooms and hallways of hospitals do I hear, “Let us hope he can rally again!” or “Is it really over?” Several years ago, I stood by the bedside of an elderly woman who was in the last minutes of her life. Her husband of 60 years and her son stood […] Read More

The first time I met Carl he was dying of cancer. At least, that’s what everyone told me. I went to the hospital expecting to find an emaciated, worn out, 73-year old man. That was not the case. Carl was propped up in his bed, holding court with an audience of nurses who seemed to […] Read More

I have found that a funeral, the occasion on which we come to church when all other gods have failed, is a good place to speak the gospel. The god of “saving for a rainy day” is dead, because cash has failed us. Modern medicine, with specialists collecting god-like salaries, has proven ineffective. The god […] Read More