Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 95° Clear


FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

Dr. Liz Welty of Spokane

A doctor's prescription for a long life 

At lunch Thursday with one of my favorite people, Dr. Elizabeth Welty, who was a doctor in Spokane when women doctors were quite rare here, told me the "secret" to an active life at 96. "Keep moving. Plan tomorrow." And, I noted, she drank real…

Continue reading this post »


Photo from the "Day After Tomorrow" movie used in EndNotes blog post.  (Tewntieth Century Fox)

The sky is falling. Again. 

Religion Link, a news story idea service from Religion Newswriters, often sends interesting emails on many topics. Today's caught my attention. The writers noted that end-of-the-world worries, fears (and for some, hopes) are astir. The weird weather might be part of it! They have a…

Continue reading this post »


The Terminator

The June Psychology Today includes a conversation with a man deemed "the terminator," Simon Critchley, who co-runs the International Necronautical Society, "an avant-garde network seeking to make death as popular as sex." In other words, get the national dialogue about death and grief more into…

Continue reading this post »


SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2011

The warrior princess' Easter message 

Whatever faith tradition, or whatever anyone does or does not believe, the Easter metaphor of life, suffering, death followed by rebirth, is found everywhere. In nature, for sure, as winter's bareness covers all the life in sleeping beneath frozen ground. In our life stories, for…

Continue reading this post »

FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2011

Good Friday Poetry

Gethsemane The grass never sleeps. Or the roses. Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning. Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept. The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet, and it sings, have you noticed, with…

Continue reading this post »


Photo for EndNotes blog.

Breaking bread, transcending death

Today, Holy Thursday, we observe the Last Supper, the meal Jesus shared with his friends. He broke the bread and shared it. Scripture reminds us that we will "find Him in the breaking of the bread." My most profound experience of the risen Christ in…

Continue reading this post »

To hell - or not?

To hell - or not? The spiritual anxiety that Rebecca discusses is often present for a person who is dying. The question is an object lesson for all people to think about our world view now and how we understand God, forgiveness among ourselves and…

Continue reading this post »


"Am I going to hell?" 

At the Hospice Foundation of America's annual bereavement teleconference last week, the national panel discussed "spiritual distress" as people lay dying. People who are verbal sometimes say they don't want to die because they don't know what will happen. Some worry they are going to…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

For use with EndNotes blog
Becky Nappi personal photo.

Happy, healthy, dead 

My mom is 90 years old and she has a handful of 90-something friends left, most of them women. They all are still pretty sharp, opinionated and open to rather personal questions. Yesterday, my mom and I visited Pauline Cafaro (shown here on the left),…

Continue reading this post »


114 year old Walter Breuning, world's oldest man (Michael Albans / Fr35247 Ap)

Work, help others = long life

The world's oldest man died last week. At 114-years-old, Walter Breuning left this world, but offers a legacy of wisdom: embrace change - "all change is good," eat only two meals each day because "that's all you need," Breuning claimed. He told people to "work…

Continue reading this post »

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011

Orange afternoon light filters in on a statue of St. Joseph and the baby Jesus in St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Priest River, Idaho.  The sculpture is one of the oldest in the church.  Liz Kishimoto/The Spokesman-Review
(Used in EndNotes blog April 15, 2011) (Liz Kishimoto)

St. Joseph: Patron saint of happy deaths 

At the Hospice Foundation of America's teleconference Wednesday, one of the national panelists told the story of a man dying of cancer who had long ago drifted from his Catholic roots. He still had several months to live and wanted to explore some questions of…

Continue reading this post »


Nancy MacKerrow (middle) with Karl and Carol Speltz plant a tree for Susie's Forest.
Rebecca Nappi photo (used in EndNotes blog April 14, 2011) (Rebecca Nappi)

Planting memories

Nancy MacKerrow has now planted 120 trees throughout the world (but most of them in Spokane) in honor of her daughter, Susie, killed when hit by a bus in St. Louis in 2002. On the Susie Forest website, MacKerrow explains the project. She sometimes finds…

Continue reading this post »


Hospice House featured in national teleconference

I spent much of today at the Hospice Foundation of America's annual bereavement teleconference. The theme: "Living with grief: spirituality and end-of-life care." It was a great conference and I'll be blogging about it all week. The conference, shown nationally today to groups gathered throughout…

Continue reading this post »

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011

Gone to the dogs 

I took our dog to the dog wash today, a place where master and canine get soaking wet. My 95-pound German Shepherd, Bella, protested wildly through the whole watery struggle. She is 8-years-old and was abandoned in the woods. We met her at the animal…

Continue reading this post »


Camp Chmepa for children in grief

Each summer, Hospice of Spokane sponsors a camp for young people grieving the loss of loved ones. Camp Chmepa will be held this summer July 29-31 at the heavenly Camp Lutherhaven on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The camp is for young people between the ages of…

Continue reading this post »


Spirituality and end-of-life care

Every year the Hospice Foundation of America does an annual teleconference. Hospice of Spokane and Hospice of North Idaho telecast the half-day conference and follow it with panel discussions made up of local experts. Here's a description of this year's program, which takes place Wednesday…

Continue reading this post »

Specific details in obits 

Obituaries, once written for newspapers by obit writers and placed in the news sections, are now done by family and friends and placed as paid classified ads. As in any writing, the best obits contain specific details. A former work colleague, now at WSU, sent…

Continue reading this post »


Sister said...

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…

Continue reading this post »


A grief released

My young friend, Laura, tells me of her burden of grief in the after years of her mom's death. Working through the pain, Laura was encouraged to write a message to her mom - on a balloon. She did - and released it into the…

Continue reading this post »

In this photo by passenger Brenda Reese, passengers take photos with cellphones of an apparent hole in a Southwest Airlines aircraft Friday in Yuma, Ariz. (Associated Press)

Your life before your eyes 

The recent mishap on the Southwest Airlines flight in which a mid-flight fuselage hole depressurized the cabin in scary ways reminded me of a story a USA Today colleague told decades ago. He was having girlfriend troubles and I think they'd even fought before he…

Continue reading this post »


Sunday obits: Favorite lines

From the obituary in today's Spokesman-Review for Liliana Stewart, 1927-2011, described as a woman of Jewish-Italian heritage and a Holocaust survivor: Entering her home you often found her singing and cooking, sauces simmering on the stove, bread being pulled from the oven and warm butter…

Continue reading this post »


Spring passion

The spring wind blows wildly today sending seeds and dreams in all directions. The yard angels - not their real business name - came to estimate what spring cleaning needs to be done among the dead branches and winter debris. "You must cut away at…

Continue reading this post »


Hatch, match, dispatch 

There's an old saying that Italian men go to church only three times in their lives -- hatch, match, dispatch. Hatch-Baptism. Match-marriage. Dispatch-funeral. The same could be true about how many times most people will appear in the newspapers. Hatch-birth announcement. Match-wedding announcement. Dispatch-obituary. In…

Continue reading this post »


Lost in (teen) space

Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 film has been playing and re-playing on television lately. It was 31 years ago that we watched our televisions with great angst, wondering if the three astronauts would forever be lost in space. I recall those days, watching my father who…

Continue reading this post »

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.