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Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers write in about remembering beloved relatives, the challenges that come with aging, and more.

Reliving Memories

Thanks to Samantha Shanley for “Telephoning Birdy” (Connections, June 6). The sentence, “When I call Birdy, we meet wherever she is in time,” is good and true. That’s now where I meet my Christina.

John Bassett


Shanley’s article is so lovingly written by someone who recognizes the value of the generation of remarkable people — especially women — who came before us and helped shape us. Lovely.

Diane S. Mahan


Such a beautiful essay about positive relationships and a learning message about aging.

Nancy Dole


May we all care and be cared for with such compassion and patience.


Mary Cooney

South Boston

Difficult Conversations

I’d suggest that readers of Richard Harris’s moving “Why Are We So Afraid of Talking About Death?” (Perspective, June 6) complement it with Drew Gilpin Faust’s book This Republic of Suffering about Americans’ responses to the unprecedented slaughter of the Civil War. Not to mention Americans’ responses to all the deaths due to the influenza pandemic of 1919, or Europeans’ responses to the untold deaths caused by the recurrent bubonic plague.

Alan Pollard


I spoke to my mother and my father about end-of-life issues. Had I not done that, and spoken to my siblings, we would not have been comfortable allowing my mother to die when she had end-stage heart disease. I have made my wishes known to my husband and children because, should something happen to me, they will all need to agree that my wishes were clear. In talking about end-of-life issues, responsibility is taken, somewhat, off the shoulders of family members and placed where it belongs: on the individual. We’re really talking about how people want to live at the end of their lives. The more often we talk about those issues, the easier it becomes. In “the end,” they will thank you.



posted on bostonglobe.com

Death is just a part of life. If people don’t talk about death freely in this country maybe it is because we would rather spend our time living.


posted on bostonglobe.com

There is a thoughtful psychological term for this behavior, called “terror management.” Basically, the sad irony of consciousness is that by age 5 or 6 we figure out that living things die, and that we will die, and then do all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid thinking about it. Good book titled The Worm at the Core [explores this]. Pretty fascinating.


posted on bostonglobe.com

Just the Ticket

“We’ll Always Have Norky’s” by Anil Hurkadli (Connections, June 13) was fun, optimistic, and supported by a photo that reinforced the message. I’m not a patient reader, but read this one twice. I hope the group can make it to Norky’s again.

Bob Spillman


I, too, have friends I travel with, scattered across North America. Zoom was an excellent tool to keep us all connected, with a regular scheduled happy hour as well as pop-ups if one of us was having a rough stretch. Lots of nostalgia about past trips, and looking forward to the day we will be able to raise a glass in person again—as of now, set for November in Miami.


posted on bostonglobe.com

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