My fourth-grade teacher, a nun, taught us to "say a little prayer whenever you hear a siren." And so…I have said a little prayer for years whenever I hear a siren. I repeat Sister's prayer and add my own addendum: "Please, God, help the people who are in trouble and protect the helpers, too." So when I heard the sirens behind me during my morning commute, I recited my petition and then listened for details on the radio of the blocking accident up ahead. Sister never taught us all the variations of our petition: praying for the murdered child, for the murdered wife, for the nearby commuters, for the convicted-felon driver, for the trooper who witnessed the suicide, for the investigators, for the coroner, for the funeral home employees. Perhaps the variations are too much for children. I know they're too much for me.
Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.