Standing at the graveside with the last lingering family members, time seems thick.
In response to our request for essays on the subject road, we received many compelling reflections. Here is a selection.
I keep a 36-inch utility shovel in my church office. I use it to dig the graves that hold the cremains of our congregation's saints.
A funeral director in Massachusetts is struggling to find a community willing to let Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev be buried there. It's sobering to belong to an ostensibly advanced, decent culture in which people find it reasonable to take revenge on a corpse. And what is this about if not revenge?
A recent episode of PBS’s American Experience explored how the massive number of deaths in the Civil War sent the nation into shock. The catastrophe—750,000 dead—was equivalent to the U.S. suffering 7 million deaths today. Besides evoking this ghastly experience, Ric Burns’s film Death and the Civil War (reviewed here in the New York Times), which is based on Drew Gilpin’s book The Republic of Suffering, offers a fascinating perspective on current political debates over the size and scope of the federal government.