Tag Archives: memory

How funny is death? SPOW Conference Part Two

Or is that really the question I want to ask? I am forever niggled by something having to do with writing obituaries and it has, partly, to do with the reactions from womenfolk and menfolk, children folk too (although less … Continue reading

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Loss. Regret.

Writing obituaries sometimes feels like an exercise in loss and regret. The subject has died, of course, and so I lack the opportunity to interview this person. Instead I must gather details of her or his life from colleagues, family, … Continue reading

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“Let him rest,” says his widow

When I’m writing an obituary, I live among the family. Not literally, of course, but emotionally. It begins with reading the death notice, usually written by one of the deceased’s children, placed in a newspaper at great cost and twigging … Continue reading

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The saga of intellectual revolutionaries

(NOTE: TROUBLE WITH FORMATTING THIS POST. SORRY.) Many recent mornings my name has jolted me awake, stamped there on top of an obituary in the Globe & Mail. Coffee, first, but always on the way back from the kitchen I … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Brewster’s Joy foretold

I learned something new about grief today thanks to Margaret Atwood. Not from a character in one of her novels, or a line of her poetry, but from a personal response she made to my request for an interview. Some … Continue reading

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Vera Barker and President Kennedy

“It’s my Grandma’s birthday! I pledge to drink wine in her honour too.”  That’s an email sent to me by Vera Barker’s granddaughter, Heather Anne, earlier today. “It’s also the day they shot Kennedy but we don’t talk about that … Continue reading

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Up against time

Cemetery Office girls from St. Clair towers wince from paper cuts and nylon tears hasten to unwrap sandwiches to dim the ticking bomb they spot her here she stands with the buckle tight awash at the tippy edge, unanchored hoary … Continue reading

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Just found my notes! Indelible History Project Part Two

There are 30,000 Holocaust survivors in New York. There are 250,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel. They are dying off at the rate of 30 individuals per day. Tossing us these statistics, like bones to dogs, was how Myron Polenberg began … Continue reading

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Indelible History Project

I wrote notes furiously during visual artist Myron Polenberg‘s talk–but now I can’t locate them. So, apropos of the subject, I’m going to have to rely on memory to tell his story. An off-site event planned during my week at … Continue reading

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Imponderable priorities while life ticks away

Next week is my birthday. I will be 53. Fifty-three years ago, this woman–Marion Kathleen–let some doctor slice her open and pluck me out. As the story goes, seven weeks before her due date something critical happened and the professionals … Continue reading

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