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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Going home

Traveling this week and on the airplane sat next to a woman from the West Indies. She moved to Portland 13 years ago for her husband's work, but she told me she hasn't been to her homeland in 13 years. Generations of immigrants -- 100…

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Our hearts grieve, too

This week, 16-year-old Wes Leonard collapsed and died after making the winning shot for his high school basketball team. Wes died of an enlarged heart. No one knew he had a heart condition. With all that we do control in life, we never expect to…

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Ashes to Ashes 

Looking forward to Ash Wednesday, tomorrow, the beginning of Lent in faith traditions that have the season in their liturgical calendar. But no matter a person's faith tradition, Ash Wednesday is a reminder that eventually, we all end up ash-like -- either buried in the…

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Shooting at the dead 

We've had a lot of gun violence in Spokane the past couple of years. It seems that every other weekend or so, someone gets drunk and angry at a party and fires off a gun in a fit of rage. But this latest report has…

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A glimpse of heaven

A wonderful man from my parish died a few weeks ago. He was told last summer that his cancer would take his life within six months. Jim was artistic in skill as well as in his appreciation of art. His friends asked if he wanted…

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Sunday Obits: Favorite Words

The Spokesman-Review Sunday obituary section is the biggest of the week. Word is out that Sunday is our biggest circulation day, and now that families pay for the obits (handled by the classified section not by the newsroom), families can write anything they wish. Some…

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When you lose a friend 

Cathy's post below reminds us that we can grieve deeply for friends who die, just as much as family members. I'm reading Let's Take the Long Way Home by writer Gail Caldwell who lost to cancer her best friend Caroline Knapp, a gifted writer who…

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97Jack Thank you for your wisdom! My dear friend, Mary, was my role model. When asked for her secret to such a long and happy life (we buried her on her 91st birthday) she replied: "Two things; you have to have a reason to get…

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Speaking out against elder abuse 

Mickey Rooney, one time famous actor, was brave to speak out in Congress this week about elder abuse. As people age, the losses mount up under the best situations. Rooney was ripped off by loved ones, the worst loss of all. He was also not…

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No compassionate sense

My young friend, Laura, writes about the funeral for her mom who died in 2007: "Something I wish I had known was that at a Catholic funeral mass there can't be a flower arrangement on top of the casket. There is a cross and a…

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Blindsided by grief

I am always looking for poems or short essays to enclose in condolence cards or send to people in grief. My friend Lela found a long poem by John O'Donohue, an Irish poet, philosopher and Catholic scholar who died suddenly in 2008, at just 52.…

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Frank Buckles is pictured in 2008 at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo. (Associated Press)

The last soldier

Whenever I'm really stressed, I sometimes look at the big, big picture and think: "In 100 years, all the people surrounding me will be dead, me included." It's comforting in an odd way. So it was interesting to see that Frank Buckles, the last veteran…

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MONDAY, FEB. 28, 2011

Actor Kirk Douglas presents the award for best supporting actress during the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ((AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) / Associated Press)

Kirk Douglas -- hard to watch? 

Actor Kirk Douglas' appearance at the Academy Awards show was hard to watch for some folks, if chatter in the workout room this morning was an indicator. He had a bad stroke a few years ago and came back from it, except for halting speech…

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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.