For years, when I picked up the Macleans (Canada`s weekly news-magazine) I would flip to the back page first to read Alan Fotheringham`s column. I was not the only one. It was common procedure to begin with `the Foth`. He was witty, brilliant, and hilarious.
The last page now contains a more sober column called The End. It is a one page obituary of an ordinary person – ordinary in the sense that they would not normally make the head-lines in the rest of the magazine. In death, their life becomes a head-line.
It`s a hard page to read. There is usually a beautiful picture of the person. And your heart sinks. Too often, they are far too young. I know that no matter how wonderful the life story is, it ends with a simple sentence describing their death. And I don`t want to read it.
But read it I do. And, as I read it, I am introduced into the life, family, friends, and passions of the person being celebrated. And then I realize that this is the deeper beauty of the column. A life is being celebrated! The loss is mourned, but the memories are generously shared by those who loved them.
After catching up on the latest shenanigans of political and business leaders and the celebrities of the moment, it is a good way to end the weekly read of current affairs. It is a gentle reminder that our country, our world, is so much greater than the head-line makers. We are surrounded by greatness in the women, men, and children of our every-day.