A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Deborah Golden Alecson is a retired professor of thanatology who lives in the Berkshires. She’s the author of four books of nonfiction and poetry.
I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that almost everybody on earth is currently more aware than usual that they’re going to die. . . . People are becoming more racist, xenophobic, and willing to engage in hate crimes than they were in the recent past, for example. But being reminded that we’re going to die can also bring out the best in us, making us more altruistic — at least, toward people we consider to be part of our group.