Not Yet the Death Rattle by Marcia Mount Shoop

Marcia Mount ShoopI have had the honor of sitting vigil with dying people. And I have prayed through the coming of the death rattle. It can be painful to witness, especially for those witnessing death for the first time. Sometimes the person can hang on, seemingly fighting the inevitable final step of their transition into death.

In those times, I have encouraged families to share affirming words with their loved one, to tell them that it’s ok for them to go, that they are going to miss them, but that they will be ok.

I have listened as wives tell husbands thank you for all the years, for all the love, for the life they have lived together. I have been there with parents forcing themselves to say the excruciating goodbye to a child passing too soon, so the child won’t have to suffer anymore—telling them it is ok to rest, it’s ok to stop fighting. And I have listened as adult children find the courage to release the parent who has so deeply formed them.  “I love you, dad. You have taken good care of me. Thank you for loving me. It’s ok for you to go now.”

It is a sacred passage. These are Holy moments.

Continue reading “Not Yet the Death Rattle by Marcia Mount Shoop”

Falling Rocks by Natalie Weaver

My dad took me to see Bill Cosby in Columbus, Ohio when I was a kid.  We used to listen to a record of him talking, which I could only pretend to find funny even then, but dad liked it and wanted to see him in person.  The venue had really narrow seating, and although I could barely hear Cosby’s routine, I laughed for most of the show.  I had brought a friend with me, who was heavier set, and she squirmed miserably the whole time, at one point looking pleadingly at me and whispering, “I’m trying to get comfortable.”  Now, he’s in the slammer, and I get a little ill every time I think of Pudding Pops.

Not too long ago, Uncle Frank died.  He terrorized three generations of women in my family.  My mom was a little girl when he exposed himself behind a door jam, so that all she could see was his ghostly pale member protruding through the open walkway.  She would laugh when she told the story but reminded us to stay clear of him.  He was regarded as a family clown, but on his death bed, as my mom put it, he finally “got her.” As she sat at the edge of his bed to bid him farewell, his toes wriggled contentedly into her buttocks.  He died with a smile on his face.  We laugh, but it isn’t funny.  Who knows what he did on his free time?

Continue reading “Falling Rocks by Natalie Weaver”

The Cost by John Erickson

Brett Kavanaugh is a piece of shit.

Brett Kavanaugh is a piece of shit.


There, I said it. I know that we are supposed to “use our words” or “take the high road” but I no longer can. I am completely and totally done with the fact that it is Sunday night and I sit here wondering whether or not our Democracy will be around by the end of the week.

If you are like me, you have found yourself, more times than one I am guessing, watching the news, mouths agape, mind in disbelief, and your heart heavy with grief and sadness. While these great travesties occur, I find myself wondering what is the cost? How many children must be locked in cages? How many women must come forward with accusations of sexual assault and rape? How many more people must accuse the President of harassment and assault? How many more anonymous op-eds and faulty promises must be made before we finally all see that the real cost, is that these great travesties themselves (too many to recall here) are what it really takes to take down imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Continue reading “The Cost by John Erickson”

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