EVERYTHING LISTED UNDER: Spiritual Life

Why Your Funeral Director Will Likely Be Female

Funeral director Jan Smith of Flanner Buchanan in Indianapolis guides a casket into a hearse. [Photo credit: courtesy of Jan Smith][/caption]By Kevyn Burger for Next AvenueJan Smith was in the final semester of her training to be a funeral director when her 8-year-old nephew died after a heart transplant.
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March 26, 2018

How a Daughter Helped Her Mom Face Death

Finding truth at mortality's threshold [Photo credit: Adobe Stock][/caption]By Aimee Ross“I have a question for you, Aim,” Mom said from her blue La-Z-Boy. “How did you stay so positive during everything you went through?”This takes me by surprise. “Uh, Prozac?” I joke, and she laughs.She needs to laugh. I know she is scared and depressed, awaiting her next chemo treatment. Twenty years ago, she battled uterine cancer, but stayed cancer-free ever since, a miracle. Three months ago, she was diagnosed with cancer again: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I’m serious,” Mom said, and my brain begins its search for an answer.
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March 15, 2018

How to Be Supportive to Friends Experiencing Loss

Loss is an inescapable part of life. Whether we’ve lost someone to death, or are going through a living loss such as divorce, retirement, a life-threatening illness, a debilitating injury or a life-altering condition like dementia or addiction, support can make all the difference in helping us summon the strength, faith and courage to fight our way back into life.
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February 1, 2018

Facing Down the Biggest Fear of All

Our fear of death begins when we’re kids. Perhaps we had to face the mystifying idea of impermanence when a beloved pet, parent or grandparent died. The stark reality that this loved one was really gone — and gone forever, was both devastating and terrifying. From early childhood, when we’re introduced to the concept of “futureless-ness” — that is, old age and eventually death, there are few things as difficult for us to deal with. Facing down the fear of dying requires great strength, humility and spiritual fortitude. But, as you will see, it’s worth the effort.
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January 29, 2018

Keeping the Faith — Or Not

What to do if your adult child has a different spiritual path than you (Photo credit: Thinkstock)[/caption]By Elizabeth Fishel and Jeffrey Arnett for Next AvenueAre we in the midst of a great religious recession?A number of studies show that younger people are less religious than older people, and religiosity has declined with each successive generation. In the 2015 Pew Research Center report on religion and public life, 36 percent of 21- to 27-year-olds are classified as unaffiliated, a far higher proportion than among their parents’ (17 percent) or grandparents’ (11 percent) generations.
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January 21, 2018
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