Uplifting

How does a funeral home advertise its services without being crass, creepy, or morbid?

In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to share a tribute to my mother that I read in front of friends and family 3 ½ years ago at her funeral. I sat down to write this eulogy a couple weeks before my mother died. I was in a rocking chair next to her bed, keeping her company as she dozed. Initially, I thought this would be the hardest thing I would ever write.

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I graduated from business school four months after my mother died. Shortly before graduation weekend, an out-of-town friend called me and said that she wanted to come to my graduation. She insisted that I not feel pressured to include her in any pre-planned activities; she just wanted to be there, watch me graduate, and give me a hug afterward.

What does a good death look like? Photographer Joshua Bright offers one answer to this question with a series of photographs chronicling the end-of-life and death of John Hawkins, a New York City resident, and his relationship with his friend and Zen Buddhist priest Robert Chodo Campbell.

For a blog series called A Matter of Life and Death, I admit that I’ve probably talked a lot more about the latter. (Sorry.)

“Can she keep this up?” you might be wondering. “This whole writing-about-death-all-the-time thing?” And the answer is, yes—with the help of a sense of humor.