So. Much. Dying.

When did we become dismissive of humanity?

5 min readNov 8, 2021

It wasn’t too long ago that I lived in a place where death notices printed by the public library were pinned to bulletin boards in the market, gas station and farm supply store. Operations shut down by noon on Saturday in anticipation of the evening death knell. A procession of cars, pickups and tractors stuffed with generations of surnames hauled into town from the fields.

We’re so insignificant that Rand McNally doesn’t acknowledge our existence.

It wasn’t too long ago that the culture was to gather, pay respects and say goodbye. A tradition passed down from ancestors who settled here during the mid-1800s. My husband’s last name is on the first plat map of the county dated 1844. His parents live and farm on that land. It’s where he and his five siblings were born and raised. There’s a telephone book on the shelf in the kitchen filled with families just like his.

Saturday evenings were for celebration of life. Chattering neighbors, friends and extended family lined outside the church door to express condolences and shake the hands of the deceased’s loved ones. Tears, tissues and hugs caused jam ups and the little ones grew anxious. Attendees trickled in for a viewing and swapped a memory or two before heading down to the basement for potluck supper and beers. Pork…