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She wore the dress just twice

One of my favorite spirituality writers is Ron Rolheiser and his Mother's Day column today was beautiful. He explained how his mother died too young, leaving a big brood of children that "felt too young to be on its own."

Here's the graph that sticks with me this Mother's Day evening:

"She died of pancreatitis and a broken heart, just three months after she had nursed my dad through a year-long, losing, battle with cancer. As my dad lay dying, one of my brothers and I took her to a shop to buy a dress for the funeral. She splurged and bought the most expensive dress she'd ever purchased. When she tried on the dress the sales clerk told her: "You look terrific in that dress! I hope you enjoy wearing it!" She wore it just twice, once to her husband's funeral and once to her own. The irony of the salesclerk's comment hasn't been lost."

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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.