If I Wrote Obituaries of the Living, Would I Be Kinder to Them?

When I used to get physical newspapers like The Calgary Herald and The National Post in the morning, I used to read the obituaries quite attentively and with interest.

There was something grounding about reading those as a busy student or young professional. It helped me to contemplate what is most essential in life.

Years later, I started to ask myself: If I wrote obituaries of the living, would I be kinder to them?

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Matters of Consequence

This evening, over a dinner reunion with a dear friend of mine, she confided to me that she did not consider herself to have been up to anything interesting lately.

As soon as I heard this, I objected because my friend most certainly has been up to a very many interesting things, and it is only a matter of clarifying what “interesting” truly means.

If you have ever had the delight of reading – or, even better, having read aloud to you – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince, you will remember the Little Prince’s reproach of the those grown ups who are ever concerned with matters of consequence:

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Dietrich von Hildebrand on how death summons us to what’s essential

One of my very favourite organizations, the Hildebrand Project, is committed to advancing the legacy of Dietrich von Hildebrand and of the wider personalist tradition.

Most recently, the Hildebrand Project team republished Dietrich von Hildebrand’s existential and theological meditation, Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven, which the twentieth-century philosopher wrote shortly before his own death.

The book is divided into two sections – the first of which considers the Natural Aspect of Death and the second of which considers Death in the Light of Christian faith.

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