A poet offers thoughts on life and death

When someone dies, we look for words to assuage our grief and the grief of others. We deliver eulogies, we offer prayers, we console those left behind, we sing hymns or other songs beloved by the deceased, we read from various books — the Bible, poems, bits and pieces of prose — to send the departed one into the earth. Often, too, we gather after the funeral for food and drink, and recollect our dead by sharing memories of their deeds and words while they still lived.

SBI investigating Jackson jail death

The recent death of a Jackson County Detention Center inmate has spurred a probe from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. 

This must be the place: ‘I will walk alone, by the black muddy river’

Many folks here in Waynesville knew Louie Bing as “the homeless guy with the dog.” Well, Louie and his Australian pit bull, Sid, were way more than that. They were family to me. And I was saddened to hear of Louie’s passing last weekend. 

Cherokee loses treasured tribal elder

Cherokee has lost its second honored member in the space of a month with the Nov. 24 death of Amanda Swimmer, 97. 

SBI finds no crime committed in Bryson City K9 death

After conducting a limited review into the death of a Bryson City K9, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations issued a decision that it’s unlikely a criminal offense occurred. 

Learning to connect with the other world

The night after my mom died, my dad stepped out on the front porch with my brother-in-law, whose father had passed away only a month earlier. As they looked up, two shooting stars, one after the other, flew through the night sky. We were convinced it was our two family members comforting us from afar.

Grief is love’s souvenir

Three of life’s top five stressors are death of a loved one, divorce and moving. Within the past two years, my mom passed away, I got a divorce and bought a house. I say this not for pity but as a fact that’s required for the rest of this column to unfold, and the anniversary of my mom’s death is this week so it’s hard to think of anything else.

Outside prosecutor to review Knibbs shooting case

An outside prosecutor has been called in to review the State Bureau of Investigations’ report regarding an officer-involved shooting that left Scott Knibbs dead inside his Macon County home. 

This must be the place: Don’t shoot the messenger, literally

It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now. When news broke last week of the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, that thought now shifted from the back of my mind to the forefront of my thoughts — could it happen to us?

After the shock, and the pain, life goes on

It has been about eight months since my stepfather died. My mother has been talking about getting her house in order for a while, but now she has reached the point of putting her thoughts into action. The question is what to keep, what to sell, what to pass on to the kin, what to donate, what to burn, and what to take to the landfill. We are outside, taking a brief and informal inventory. Plus, it’s the second day of summer and nice out, so it is just good to walk off a breakfast of pancakes and bacon with a little time in the sun.

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