Darth Vader sports blue shades and a red floral shirt as he poses in front of a coconut tree in the Instagram square. In the caption beside the Dark Lord are the words: “Qikaqtuq / He or she stays home, is off work, staying still or on holiday” Inuktitut Ilinniaqta is an online Inuktitut language-learning […]
After her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Debbie Patterson quit acting. Twenty years on, her second act is transforming Winnipeg’s theatre scene.
Debbie Patterson stands in a circle with her castmates, swaying from side to side, from crutch to crutch. The group is performing The Threepenny Opera, a 1928 German musical critiquing capitalism. The cast consists mostly of disabled theatre artists—and that’s especially powerful in this context: Living with a disability directly challenges capitalism, according to Patterson, […]
Even in death, North Americans tend to leave a stomping carbon footprint. But there’s a better way.
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 […]
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 […]
As Canadians live longer and amass more personal data than ever, we could be getting closer to living forever in bot form
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 […]
Last year I sat by my wife's side and held her hand as she died on the day of her choosing
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 […]