The first time it struck me, I was reading Henri Nouwen’s Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring. “It seems fair to say that between the ages of one and thirty, people are considered young; between thirty and sixty, they are considered middle aged,” Nouwen writes. I was 29 and a little terrified.
Todd Billings weaves his struggle with a rare form of blood cancer together with probing biblical and theological reflection.
One day, as I considered my routine of pills and naps and exercises, I saw that it is not unlike praying the hours.
Christian Wiman offers further evidence that his voice is among the most compelling in contemporary poetry. These poems are filled with theological conundrums, unanswered questions, brutal answers to questions never formed, and above all, contradictions.
At 52 I was lead pastor of a large, vibrant church. Then I was diagnosed with ALS, and I began to call on my faith community in a new way.
After her bleak diagnosis, Julie Anderson Love learned that hope has nothing to do with passivity. She was, she writes, "the patient from hell."
It’s tempting to blame partisan politics for last summer’s debacle over “death panels” and the very idea of doctors and patients holding conversations about the end of life. But the truth is: these conversations are difficult. Although some people welcome them, others approach the subject of death cautiously. Many of us would rather not explore what awaits us in the final years or weeks of life. Perhaps this reluctance explains why only one in five Americans has completed an advance directive for medical care.