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A Meaningful Death

I remember when I was a newspaper reporter doing two or three stories a year about parents who had lost a child in tragic circumstances, usually through illness or accident, who were setting up some kind of charity. Usually this charity involved raising money to find a cure for whatever had killed the child or to raise public awareness of an accident hazard. It was a natural reaction, perhaps part of the grieving process, to try to make something good come out of a terrible tragedy. To make the death somehow meaningful. Very few of these efforts went the distance. Organising a successful charity or a campaign takes a lot of work and skill. I’ve often wondered whether in the longer term this urge to make a loved one’s death meaningful actually added to the family’s burden of woes.


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