How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter

Hi Friends. I’ve been bouncing around between Jacksonville and Atlanta these past several weeks looking at condos, attending Michelle’s graduation, and shopping for a cello. So big news: Michelle graduated from law school and is now a lawyer! She has to take and pass the bar exam before she can be called an attorney. Other big news: we bought a condo in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. It’s a little over 3 miles from Emory. Importantly, it’s close to Piedmont Park and the Beltline thereby fulfilling my one essential requirement of nearby running trails. I’m really looking forward to only having to move once for the next 4 years.

I just finished reading How We Die by Sherwin Nuland. There were heaps of nuggets of gold in the book. Biggest take home: ars moriendi, the art of dying aka the “Good Death” or death with dignity, is not always possible. Often, biomedical science and medicine hinders one from it. But “Ars moriendi is ars vivendi: The art of dying is the art of living. The honesty and grace of the years of life that are ending is the real measure of how we die. It is not in the last weeks or days that we compose the message that will be remembered, but in all the decades that preceded them. Who has lived in dignity, dies in dignity” (268). These were some other passages that struck a chord.

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Cats’ Paws and Catapults

Nothing super exciting on the home front. I’ve been practicing cello like a maniac (trying to catch up on a 2.5 month loss) and reading lots of books. My “to read” list keeps expanding at a rate faster than books added to my “read” list. Most recently, I read The Martian by Andy Weir (thanks Lexie for the recommendation) and it was AWESOME. For reference, I started it yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning. But before that, I spent two weeks on Cats’ Paws and Catapults by Steven Vogel, which Katrina recommended a while back (read: Beach Week 2012).

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