Ashes and death

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Riding the coattails of Ash Wednesday, here’s an interesting article on our unrealistic attitudes of death, through a doctor’s eyes from the Washington Post. Dr. Bowron talks about how our national move from a rural, farm based lifestyle, to an urban, industrial way of living and how we’ve lost touch with the “the natural world” as he put it. The article makes me wonder if our single day of the church calendar for ashes is woefully inadequate.

Less than a month ago, an aunt of mine was admitted to Hospice after almost two years fighting cancer. She stayed at Hospice for two weeks before passing. With all the grief in knowing she died too young, those were a holy two weeks. Friends visited her throughout the days, and her daughters and husband were at her side every night. I stepped up to support staff, delivering meals, babysitting kids and sharing the occasionally needed bottle of wine with a cousin.

For the last week, my aunt was unable to speak. We asked for no more non-family visitors and waited. Talking to nurses, pacing the floor, and waiting. This time reminded me of the time I sat in the waiting room with a friend in labor, waiting to hear that her baby was born.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

p.s.- made it 2 for 2 for Lent blogging!

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