Tag Archives: death of a child

Remembering My Son 20 Years Later

Remembering my oldest son, who died 20 years ago, I turn to Shelley’s elegy for Keats.

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When Great Souls Die

Tuesday Today is the 19th anniversary of my oldest son’s death. When Justin died in a freak drowning accident in 2000, our world turned upside down. He was 21 at the time and would have been 40 this year. In “When Great Trees Fall,” Maya Angelou captures much of what I experienced. I’m struck by […]

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Mourning Lincoln, Mourning My Son

Whitman’s mourning of Lincoln in “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” also captures what it feels like to lose a child.

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Singing a Lullaby to a Dead Child

I write about the lullaby I sang to my dead son and a Eugene Field poem it reminds me of.

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Ode Softens Blow of Friend’s Departure

The departure of a friend put me in mind of a John Dryden ode–which led in turn to recalling an intense moment of connection.

Posted in Dryden (John) | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Child’s Murder, a Humane Vision

“Troubled Water,” a 2008 Norwegian film about a horrendous crime, brings out the depth and humanity of everyone involved.

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Dear Son, Far Off, My Lost Desire

I understand more with each passing year what Tennyson means when he says his love “is vaster passion now” and how Hallam is thoroughly mixed with God and nature. Tennyson goes on to say that the moral will of humankind—the “living will” that is the best part of ourselves as a people—can finding footing on this spiritual rock. And that the living water that springs from this rock will “flow through our deeds and make them pure.”

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Memories of My Son, the Baseball Player

I hope I may be excused for revisiting a poem I have posted on before, along with some of my previous observations about it. It is a sports poem that brings to mind my oldest son, who died 11 years ago on this day. Dabney Stuart’s “Ties” is out of season—it’s about football—and Justin’s sport was baseball. Nevertheless I feel awash in sadness and sweet memory when I read it.

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Life from the Vantage Point of a Deathbed

  I haven’t updated you for a while on my friends Alan and Jackie Paskow, former St. Mary’s colleagues. Alan has been suffering from terminal cancer for close to three years now, and Julia and I visit every Sunday night. Julia performs Reiki massage on Jackie while Alan and I talk. This past Sunday, while […]

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