Remembering

A card arrived in the mail Wednesday. A good friend remembered that my sister’s birthday is November 18. It is six months since she died and I spent her birthday with her last year. This November 18 is the first time in my life that I will not be able to say “Happy Birthday” to…

A Raincoat for Grief

Two weeks ago, I took my usual Saturday trip to Halifax to see my sister. I leave my home at 5:30 in the morning. I board a plane. I arrive in a city 1600 kilometres from home. I drive to a nursing home and spend the day with my sister, listening to her talking about…

Book Review: How We Die

Dr. Sherwin Nuland, an American Surgeon who worked at Yale University, wrote one for the best books on death in our own era. How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter was published in 1993 and is Nuland’s Socratic consideration on a subject which we must all contemplate sooner or later. Nuland considers this phase…

Red Sky in the Morning

Yesterday I travelled to Nova Scotia to visit my sister. I took an early flight that travelled into the sunrise and I could not help but notice that the sky was red, and I remembered the second half of the old rhyme:” Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” When I greeted her, my sister…

Good Death

The term, “euthanasia” is derived from the Greek and means, literally, good death, and my intention in writing this essay is to focus on what a good death might be using my favourite book about the subject, Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter, as my touchstone. (Vintage Books, 2010 edition page…