Who We Are: A Letter to The Shrine
Battling her own cancer and in the throes of chemotherapy, Denise Archer used a late friend’s clothing to make quilts for the children she left behind. “Some of your mom’s hair is inside,” I told them.” “Also, if you breathe in deeply, you can smell her.”
The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Perfume
Sometimes it takes a touch of darkness (from the “glandular sacs of dead musk deer” to particularly putrid flowers) to create something alluring.
Why I Owe Everything to Jonathan Gold
“Being a food writer is the most punk rock thing a person can do, and Jonathan Gold was the most punk rock of us all.” Javier Cabral pays homage to the legendary Los Angeles food writer, who was both his mentor and his role model.
What Is the Most Nostalgic Song of All Time?
“A simple question, posed at eight o’clock on a Saturday night. I got 5,000 comments back.” At the Village Voice, Mikel Jollett writes on music’s power to evoke memory and a sense of loss.
Ann Patchett on Philip Roth
On Philip Roth’s death: “Now Roth has made the same mistake. He’s no longer here to represent his body of work. It’s up to us to keep reading the books. They are not of this time. They will offend a lot of people. They are some of the very best books I have ever known.”
2018: Bubble Wrap
In remembering his friend Jan and her keen insight into other humans, David Deitrick vows to offer real compassion to people in his life that are in need.
An Interview with “Furnishing Eternity” Author David Giffels
“It’s easier to regain the immediacy of something that’s in the near distant past than it is to step away from the immediacy of something ongoing.” Rebecca Moon Ruark chats with David Giffels on memoir writing, journaling, loss, and how he enlisted his dad to help him build his own casket.
Essay: Sorrow for the Wings
Writer Shawn McClure remembers baby chicks: “In the basement of his old farmhouse, my grandfather had a brooder. It looked like a multi-storied apartment building for chicks. They would crowd around the light bulb for heat, like yellow electrons darting around a red nucleus.”
“There was a pair of shoes at Nordstrom’s last week that Dave would have loved, but I didn’t buy them because I couldn’t remember his shoe size.
And, obviously, also because dead men do not need shoes.”
Ra Avis remembers her husband, 1000 days since his death.
My secret battle.
Simon Thomas on depression, anxiety, and grief: “Right now all I can muster is the strength to hold onto that rock and try my best, to try and be as Godly a Dad as I can for Ethan and trust that out of this fog of grief all that I felt before will clear…”
The Shape of Goodness
Blogger Cate remembers her friend: “Something larger and finer than a single human departs when such a person dies: a grace, a hope, a loveliness. An encouragement in a world that desperately needs encouragement.”
One Phone Call Can Change Everything
“A lot can change in the course of one phone call.” At Commode to Joy, Jamie Muscato writes about her father’s death, her strong bond with her brother Troy, and the call that changed everything seven years ago.
The Uneasy Life of a Middle East Skeleton
“So for those who knew, it must have been very strange that we have dead bones in our closet.” The Caspers are an American expat family in Cairo, Egypt. Jayson Casper tells the story of Max, the skeleton they’ve lived with, and explores a different view of death in Middle East culture.
cleaning the house, tending the weeds.
On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”
Dementia took the mind of Bruce Jenkins’ mother, but it could not erase their shared love of words. “Take a book, and read to her just as she read to you.”
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