Skip to main content

This Is a Post About Death

Here's the thing about death; it's the last taboo topic in our culture. It's the only thing I can think of that we do not talk about. And it is the onlything guaranteed to be a part of our lives.

It's never easy to face death or experience grief over someone else's death. But I am a firm believer that we make it even worse on ourselves by deep-seated denial and avoidance of the reality that death is a part of life

I get it; it's terrifying to think about what might or might not happen when life as we know it ends. And I know (oh, I know) that a lot of people are not gracious in sharing their views on the subject.
But pretending it will never happen to us only makes us more ill-prepared for when it does.

After three years of volunteering and training through a hospice care agency, I have learned tools and language that have taken a layer of anxiety off of this conversation. But even still, as I wrestle with the death of a friend last week, the husband of a delightful decade-long friend, I know how inadequate words are; I understand that theoretics fail to keep us afloat.

What does keep us alive, then? Community and conversation. These are the places I find and re-find hope.

So let's find some friends who are safe*, and let's talk about the things that matter most. Like life and love and happiness, and then the Holy Ghost.**

And if, like me, you find yourself unsettled and uncertain about how, precisely death and grief are to be faced, then let's talk about that.

* I'm reminded that many people may not have this in their life at the moment. This is not how life is meant to be; and I say this, not to discourage you, but to encourage you to keep trying, to reach out and find and cultivate friendships in which we give and take and learn what love is. 
** That's from Audio Adrenaline's The Houseplant Song, and is for anyone who was a church teenager in 1999.


Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.


8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"


Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.

But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…