Bearing burdens now will widen choices after death

The rate of cremation in America is soaring, from less than 4 percent in 1960 to over 40 percent currently, meaning those who value local burial grounds must help now if they are to be preserved.

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"Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum," said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., a judge who might well have approved of the way kids at Altamont Elementary School assessed picture books.

The crazy salad that is America is made of many distinct histories; we need the tools to claim our past in order to interpret our own experiences.

Roger had no family and yet he was cared for because he was caring. He said he did not want to die alone, in the dark. The nurse who was with him said, "We all love you." That, to us, is the sign of a life well lived.