Category: End of Life Vol. 1

Life Vol.1, No.1 – A Minister’s Perspective on the End of Life

End of Life No. 1 – The first interview in the ‘end of life’ series was conducted with my father. I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with the octogenarian minister I call dad. David Brostrom served parishioners in urban and rural settings as a Baptist minister, a role often that of a domestic missionary. Continue reading

Life Vol.1, No.2 – Contributing to our own Demise

End of Life No. 2 -Two of the best friends I ever had were Sue and Max. They immediately came to mind when I started this article. They were both typographers, and as I did for many years, they both smoked incessantly. I managed to quit smoking in 1987, but they continued, despite my protestations, until it killed them. And I think of my father in law, Harry. He lived, sometimes with difficulty, five years past the date doctors said he would surely die from lung cancer. Though I’ve been away from some nasty habits for many years, I carry with me the realization that my years as a smoker, combined with the impact of other nasty habits including an often poor diet, will probably end my life. Continue reading

Life Vol.1, No.3 – Where will I Die?

End of Life No. 3 – My uncle Al died eating at Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. I don’t know if he was in the Steakhouse, Benny’s Bullpen or eating somewhere else in the casino, probably the café. I’m told he choked on steak and had a heart attack, or maybe it was the other way around. The news stuck with me. Uncle Al had a great war record and a long history of caring for his kids. I’m told he was an avid golfer. If he’d had a choice, I assume he would have picked somewhere other than a crowded Las Vegas eatery to die, but we don’t always get to choose. Continue reading

Life Vol.1, No.4 – Poets on Death

End of Life No. 4 – Yogi Berra is credited with saying something like, “If you come to my funeral I promise I’ll come to yours.” In earlier posts within the end of life series I touched on weighty issues like euthanasia and dementia. We’re not finished exploring end of life issues, but as a rest before the next phase of the exploration, I decided to see what some poets have to say. If we can’t face death with insight or even humor, we might miss out on what the experience has to offer. Continue reading

Life Vol.1, No.5 – Last Wills and Saying Goodbye

End of Life No. 5 – If you don’t know the hurt of saying goodbye, you’re probably unloved or a sociopath. Everyone feels this sorrow at one time or another. Saying goodbye can be especially poignant at death. Over centuries we have used rituals to help us through the process – wakes, funerals, grief counselors and the like all help bring closure. Continue reading