Jnana's Red Barn

A Space for Work and Reflection

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NO CAUSE REPORTED

None of the accounts mention it, though as I find in online searching, none of them had an actual obituary, either. But within the span of a year, three special acquaintances – all in their prime – had died of what appears to be suicide if you read between the lines of the news releases. […]

THE MEMORIAL MINUTE

For much of its history, the Society of Friends forbid the use of engraved gravestones, deeming them vain and superfluous. Even so, another custom emerged, the drafting of memorial minutes for Quakers whose lives might serve as an inspiration for others. The result was quite different from either the typical obituary or eulogy, and many […]

EDITING OBITUARIES

I never intended my professional career to end up with editing obituaries. “Who did you offend?” my colleagues wondered as I was scheduled to the shift week after week. Yes, it’s a job I could have done straight out of high school, forget the university honors or political science degree and urban studies certificate or […]

WHEN LIVES SPEAK

The experience of editing obituaries did more than give me some new looks into contemporary society and its changes. It brought into focus the difference between an obituary and a memorial minute, or the times I’ve appreciated our Quaker-style memorial services in contrast to what others do. Here I am, typically dealing with funeral directors […]

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