The existential benefits of ginger ale

On a curiously warm morning last February, the minister arrived at my childhood home to guide my father to the other side. When he approached the bedside where all of us were gathered around with the Eagles Pandora radio humming in the background, my dad emerged from a semi-conscious state and sat up as best as he could. “Listen. I am not dying,” he declared. As an early-career researcher focused on palliative and end-of-life care, I am all too familiar with the signs of imminent death; to be sure, this declaration could only be a product of denial or a dark attempt at irony. My dad was notoriously dry-humored and matter-of-fact. When he told a joke, he would raise his eyebrows, lean ...

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