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The blessings of grief, healing, and the orange groves
Oct04

The blessings of grief, healing, and the orange groves

“Grief is a great teacher, when it sends us back to serve the living.” Like anybody, I have endured periods of grief and have been affected with depression and yet informed by the bittersweet wisdom. Death is grief, divorce is grief; losing a job is lamentation; coping with disease is mortal suffering; discovering that one’s child is addicted to opioids is woe. Grief brings on informative distinctions; it has a way of...

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It seems some Southerners want to kill 14-year old Emmett Till again
Aug06

It seems some Southerners want to kill 14-year old Emmett Till again

There is a lonely purple marker that stands, riddled with bullet holes, near Money, Miss. The placard marks the spot where 14-year old Emmett Till, black and doomed, was brutishly dragged, hung, shot, mutilated and then thrown into the nearby Tallahatchie River by rabid white vigilantes.  For years now, the site has been fired at intermittently–there was once an outburst of one hundred shots. Taboos that were as endemic to the...

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My uncle’s raw theology helped me through grief
Jul22

My uncle’s raw theology helped me through grief

After my young father suddenly died in 1976, Uncle Moshe came to visit and console us. Moshe was my mother’s older brother and had always been a very close comrade of my father. The entire clan hails from Israel, where I was born. The two men fought side-by-side in Israel’s War of Independence and Moshe, chain-smoking, gravelly voiced, opinionated, and extremely adoring of his entire family circle, looked something like an Israeli...

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We lost Bobby exactly fifty years ago
Jun04

We lost Bobby exactly fifty years ago

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, only 42, was shot several times in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles minutes before midnight on June 4, 1968.  He had just won the California Democratic presidential primary and seemed destined for the nomination.  He lingered through the next day, but the wounds proved fatal and he died early in the morning of June 6.  He was buried next to his brother, the also-martyred President John F....

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