Modern medicine makes it difficult to die. Often, treatment seems to prolong not living so much as dying. With no earthly hope, Regan was spared all this.
When my mother died early on a spring evening in 1993, the ladies of the garden club and the bridge club gathered around my family to stand sentinel over the old-fashioned ritual of paying calls on the bereaved.
It has been a season of losses. I've been reminded of the importance of knowing how to respond, and how not to.
Regular churchgoing does not make you a friend of death. But if you sit in the pews long enough, you cannot help getting acquainted.
Each week my church includes a prayer for the families of American soldiers who have died. As the names are read, I try to hold them in prayer. But I have wrestled with these prayers.