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Showing posts from April, 2015

What It's Like to Write and Give a Sermon on Mortality

The material below is adapted from a piece I have submitted to the smartpatients.com patient support website.

The phone call took me by surprise. Jon M., a man I’ve known and respected for many years, called me on behalf of the Worship Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, New York. He told me that it was hard for him to call me, because he was asking me to give a sermon at the church on my experiences and thoughts as a stage IV lung cancer patient. My response surprised me even more. I said yes. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but even more than whatever good such a sermon could do for others, I knew that doing this work - writing and delivering a sermon on my discovery that I am mortal - would be good for me, and it would be consistent with how I live my life. I also could not think of a more supportive audience for what I might have to say. I agreed to give the sermon on March 1, 6 weeks from the date of the call. My gut told me not to wait too long.

My gut was correc…

Our Living Arrow Flies Forth

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So much has happened since I last published a blog entry, it’s difficult to start writing again- where do I start? I have been writing, but in other venues. I wrote a sermon, and I wrote a piece for a patient support web site. More on that in subsequent posts. Right now, I want to write about our daughter Ana.

When I think of her, I think of what Kahlil Gibran wrote about children in The Prophet:
Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.They come through you but not from you,And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts.For they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.You are the bows from which your children as living arr…