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Death

November-December 2020

How social media informed my grief

The internet made it easy to get lost in the shadows of my father’s life

Rebecca Dingwell

After my father died, I looked for him everywhere. Time crept forward in my one-bedroom apartment and my boyfriend might’ve been the only reason I even noticed the passing of days. His comings and goings signalled whether it was time to grieve at my desk, on the couch, or the bed. My desk, hardly a […] More »
November-December 2019

Leaving a literary legacy

In the wake of my cancer diagnosis, I decided to read

Melanie Masterson

When you are diagnosed with a terminal illness there is a lot of talk about leaving a legacy. Some people write letters to their children. Some record videos. I have a pretty active Instagram account and have blogged for decades and hope my daughters will enjoy looking back on that. Some things older women living […] More »
March-April 2019

No Dog Should Die Alone

As extreme weather events multiply, the number of dogs dying in shelters and on the streets does too. Here's how one organization is helping them make the final transition with grace.

Nicole Simone

All rescues start with an endearing photo or video: a dog peering through a set of bars wondering what’s next. Rooney’s story was no different. His video showed a partially blind senior dog; a defeated glance at the camera, then a slow turn around to go sit in the back of the filthy kennel. When […] More »
March-April 2019

A greener goodbye

Even in death, North Americans tend to leave a stomping carbon footprint. But there’s a better way.

Zakiya Kassam

With around 269,000 deaths reported each year in Canada, the death biz is more invested in our mortality than ever. But this billion-dollar industry needs us more than we need it: big-ticket items and services, such as embalming, caskets and tombstones, are as superfluous as they are environmentally damaging. Green burials came to North America […] More »
March-April 2019

A Host of Cells

My daughter, India, died five years ago, when she was 16. Although she’s dead, her cells live on in a research laboratory at the University of Ottawa. I can’t bring myself to go there.

S. Lesley Buxton

About a year after India died, my husband, Mark, visited the lab. At the time we were deep in grief and had decided to stay with a close friend. We couldn’t be in our own house. Whenever I walked through the door I was assaulted by images from the past— India trying to catch her […] More »
March-April 2019

Will Our Data Lead Us To The Virtual Afterlife?

As Canadians live longer and amass more personal data than ever, we could be getting closer to living forever in bot form

Stacey McLeod

Hayley Atwell as Martha in Black Mirror James Vlahos can no longer sit across from his father, hold his hand or give him a hug. But he can ask him for advice when he’s feeling blue and let his children ask questions about his family’s life in Greece or listen to him sing “Me and […] More »
March-April 2019

You Are In The Process Of Dying

Last year I sat by my wife's side and held her hand as she died on the day of her choosing

Don Ayre

In Canada, we generally don’t like to talk about death. Even our medical profession is reluctant. And rightly so: Doctors are committed to preserving life, and we wouldn’t want it otherwise. But death is a part of life, and assistance in dying is increasingly being recognized as a medical option for terminally ill patients. It […] More »