One day, my story could be yours

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, February 21, 2015)

KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ He was Swiss and we were talking over coffee and he said he’d just read my story about Canada’s new look at assisted suicide. He spoke as if I’d written on this, which I had not, or maybe he called it my story simply because I’m Canadian.

He said he didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Europe, after all, liberated itself from any shameful baggage on assisted suicide long ago. If you want to die, he explained, you can easily go to places and doctors for help.

We’re told to love our neighbours

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, August 23, 2014)

HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ He needs a home with others. Assisted living. There are options in Hamilton. He needs one before he’s destroyed by his uncertainty and fear, his black as midnight darkness.

He’s not a star, not a celebrity, not, say, Robin Williams, whose suicide just shook us so deeply. He’s simply your neighbour. This is his story.

Grieving Robin Williams. His bus rides home.

The scene is a snowy one and there is a bus travelling down the road. And as the bus roars along, these are the thoughts – you can hear them right inside his head – of the traveller aboard. He’s looking, with all his pain and hope too, out the bus window. “All of life …

Grieving Robin Williams. His bus rides home. Read More »

What suicide can teach us about fear and living freely

(The UCU Standard – Friday, November 1, 2013)

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ Suicide is a shabby and shameful business, something that nice people don’t get mixed up in, yet here they are, two suicides in our university family, two young people who in separate incidents have left us with nothing but a disturbing ‘good-bye.’

Tim Bosma’s funeral II – What do we tell the children?

It was just my daughter Liz and me in the living room, a quiet moment in the evening when I said to her, ‘I went to Tim Bosma’s funeral.’ Of course, one never knows if there is a right way to talk about this sort of thing with children, about death, about murder, about the …

Tim Bosma’s funeral II – What do we tell the children? Read More »

Tell your mother you love her

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I’m reminded that I’ve never held my mother, looked into her eyes and told her that I love her. I’ve never offered a soft kiss on her cheek. I’ve never even given my mother flowers. My mom died before I got the chance.

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