Category: End of Life Spirituality/Death

Plague Wisdom

Learning from queer elders who cared for the dying through the horrors of the AIDS crisis. By Cody Hooks

Facing Death without Religion

Nonreligious elders construct meaning making narratives from science and other sources, and these frameworks provide coherence and agency. By Christel Manning

No Rescue

A crash that causes the death of a bicyclist haunts the driver for years and leads her to study Buddhism. By Shane Snowdon

Secular Death

For those who are no longer Christian, might writing and reading difficult literature be a training ground for approaching the agonies of loss? By Amy Hollywood

From Silence to Light

A daughter’s spiritual awakening enables her to give words to the silent sufferings of her family. By Lina Feuerstein

Mourning the Unknowable

Knut Hamsun’s novel Hunger helps a young woman grapple with her memories of a mother who was in the world but not of it. By Meghan Guidry

Dying in America

A national crisis looms as the population over sixty-five grows but inequalities in end-of-life care persist. By Ann Neumann

Why ‘Brain Death’ Is Contested Ground

The Jahi McMath case illustrates the disjunction between medical definitions of bodies and the ways we constitute meaningful relationships with our family members. By Jeffrey P. Bishop

The Masks We Wear

In this issue, there is not a sense of “landing” on certainties, but more a feeling of “dreaming” (in all its connotations). By Wendy McDowell

Dying Well

We need to find better words and metaphors to cope with the reality of death. By Tamara Mann

Rhythms of Dying, of Living

Yolmo rituals around death and mourning entail a soothing, sonorous “poetics of guidance” that allows people to help one another through life’s toughest transitions. By Robert R. Desjarlais

Patterns from Particularities

Jean DeBernardi’s The Way That Lives in the Heart: Chinese Popular Religion and Spirit Mediums in Penang, Malaysia and Leor Halevi’s Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society. by Steven P. Hopkins