'As my generation journeys deeper into middle age, we talk about this quietly, live through our parents' passing and learn how little we know about the journey's end. Death will never be pretty--its sights and smells too close and crude. And it will never come under our control: it gallops where we tiptoe, rips up our routines, burns our very breath with its heat and sting. And yet while sorrow is certain, fear is not...

How is it that the one event we know with absolute certainty will occur is still one we improvise? Do we lower our voices, dress in black, save a lock of hair as the Victorians did and wove into jewelry? Do you let young children see a corpse--the very word suddenly cold and empty because his flesh and blood no longer matter, his meaning filling the space once his presence is gone?'

- Nancy Gibbs; 'The Light of Death'.


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