A reflection acknowledging that the injustice of suffering can’t be wrapped up in a neat bow of closure. Instead, we the author looks to her culture’s understanding of ancestry — in the responsibility we have to the loved ones we’ve lost.
A tender, empathetic, and honest letter to an unknown friend about the anguish of grief — through a story of young love, the loss of a child, and the realization that pain marks an opening to a future where new life can take root.
A woman’s evolving understanding of mortality, identity, and letting go — through a poem that has accompanied her through life and loss.
Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis.
Some emotional wounds need closure to heal, but there are times when the best way forward is to let go. Courtney Martin on mending our deepest relationships by embracing the paradox of love and imperfection.
Encouragement from the far shore of life to live fully into the miracle of our existence, with purpose and awe at every waking moment.
On the Becoming Wise podcast, feminist playwright Eve Ensler speaks of the affirming physicality of our bodies, and of finding true contentment in the lives we already lead.
In the waiting room of a doctor’s office, the dramas of life and death play out quietly. A reflection on the power of paying attention to the stranger, and to the burdens we all carry.
When a young, Evangelical Christian is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it’s the music legend David Bowie who provides him with salvation and a renewed hope in “the Church of Man.”
What if we acknowledged racism as a disease, and treated it accordingly? A cancer survivor asks and ponders the lessons she’s learned from battling the illness as she watches recent events at the University of Missouri unfold.
The journey through cancer is one of hard-earned lessons about everyday living. Mark Nepo shares a dream about a rickety bridge and his insights into the unknown other — and how we might allow the stranger to inhabit our lives and the unexpected wholeness it brings.
The stories of a person, a family, a culture, a country hold and bind us in ways that are potentially fruitful or harmful. They also give us an identity. A meditation on who we are, how we become, and the stories we tell ourselves along the way.
Pediatric oncologists and parents alike are searching for someone to help them bear the suffering they must witness. An essay reflecting on doctors, Dante, and treating children with cancer.
The Magic Hedge is an oasis on the outskirts of Chicago renowned for its excellent birdwatching. With the hopes of sighting of a rare bird, two friends venture forth to encounter small miracles, the warmth of unexpected community, and the blessings of stillness.
A bevy of useful, interesting things to chew on and contemplate. Sure to make your mind sing!
Everyone suffers, silently or obviously, one way or the other. Once you see that connection, tenderness follows. A cancer survivor’s meditation on gratitude and the marvel that is being alive.
From spectacular images of Holi to supporting an artist that’s meant so much to us, this week’s capsule shares some of our best work — and those of others.
The highly acclaimed and beloved poet Mary Oliver reads her four-part poem, “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac,” — a poem in which she explores death, purpose, and the call to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago.
We rarely know the pain and suffering that envelops the people closest to us. In this loving tribute, the poetic structure of an Auden poem serves as a frame to remember a neighbor who loved dogs but couldn’t hang onto life.
A brother contemplates the loss of his sister to cancer, the place where she searched for home, and the stories that rise up within him.
Our executive editor’s weekly post on all things curious and aspiring — on topics from leading a less busy life to seeking rootedness and a cancer patient’s call to her senses.
A daughter reflects on her ailing father and her right to petition God to deliver a World Series victory for their team.
After being diagnosed with cancer, Becky Sennett tells an unlikely story of gratitude — for a reprimanding encounter with a pulmonologist who takes her to task, a compassionate gesture for which she’ll be forever grateful.
You will not believe how a cancer doctor uses the venom from a scorpion’s sting to paint the malignant tumors in children’s brains and lymphatic systems. And, in the process, tap the human spirit.
A recap of our favorite bits of curiosity from this week, including epistolary correspondence, Krista re-entering the Twitter fray, and a revival post. And a whole lot more!
When one’s pen goes silent for three years, what’s the first line to come out. Christian Wiman tell us. Listen to his beautiful reading of “Every Riven Thing” too.
A sacred space doesn’t have to be a cathedral or a mosque or a synagogue. For our guest essayist, it’s a city square she shared with a friend with cancer. Read this lovely essay and then tell us what is your sacred space?
“I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important.”
It took several months, but I was finally able to make the case that Christian Wiman was a voice we…
Recently I spoke to a class of college students — by way of Skype — in southern Minnesota. We talked about how religion is portrayed through news media. As often in my experience, this was a critical discussion about the narrow and often inflammatory way religion comes up, and usually in the context of politics.
The poet Christian Wiman was on our list for many moons, but his interview with Bill Moyers prompted us to schedule him for this show. A must-watch.