Death and Dying

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Last Word: Two Confederate Flags

While my husband snapped photos of the flag, I stood in silent debate with Big Ed. And then I spied another Confederate flag; an unwelcome sensation came over me.

Poem | Aunt Grace Wears Beautiful Clothes

Asleep, she has no idea she is old. // She’s running uphill, no lightfoot, but quite fast / past the houses and driveways of family friends / toward the higher...

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

Poem | Celebration

It picks up the speed of streaming recall / and takes us off post-equinox able to signify. // Or so I guess: Ninety is old, I / keep telling myself...

Common Hells, Private Heavens

Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell each has its own floor. Evoking horror, repentance and beatitude, more than 40 African artists exhibit a new look at Dante and divinity.

Last Word: Senioritis

Often the way our society treats "senior citizens" assumes that as bodies age, individuality decreases. But aren't whiskers and white socks a sign of unique wisdom?

There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories

Baxter reads fiction to “see bad stuff happening.” He writes characters who get into serious trouble, and face their own "human wreckage" at someone else's request.

Last Word: The Silent Treatment

When a person is in pain or becomes ill, and then tells you—what do you say?

Last Word: The Last Leap

In the end, after all, the experience of a Christian death amounts to an act of trust, which is just another name for faith.

Letters | Deciding to die in America

Continuing the debate on programs like POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment).

As We Lie Dying

Most of us remain woefully unprepared for life’s final transition. One way of addressing this problem is the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment paradigm.
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Book Reviews

Bring Out Your Dead

September 26, 2013 | 3 comments

Trading Places

April 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Self-destruct Sequence

April 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Fetal Positions

March 14, 2011 | 0 comments

The Banality of Eagleton

May 31, 2010 | 0 comments

Full Stop

October 20, 2008 | 0 comments