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John Shields’s death in the New York Times

A beautiful day here. Ran into my neighbour Jean-Marc, who had left a New York Times in my mailbox. “The Times is praising Canada again,” he said. “They’re regularly running articles about how we do things better. Today there’s a big article on the front page.”

I’ve just read the big article on the front page of the NYT – by Toronto’s own Catherine Porter. It’s not often a newspaper makes me cry, but this did – an amazingly long, detailed, very moving article about John Shields, a Victoria man with a terminal illness who decided, legally, to end his own life. The way to go.

Highly recommended. Brava, Catherine Porter, on a gorgeous piece of reporting and writing.

The Death and Life of John Shields – The New York Times

My oldest friend friend Ron came over last night for a visit. We are the same age, only a week or so apart. He’s a gay man now single, with three young grandchildren whom he visits regularly in Calgary and a horse who is housed 3/4 of an hour away, whom he rides twice a week and adores. He bought himself a grand piano and is taking lessons from my piano teacher. But he’s also still working, still making money. I teased him once that I’m good at people and he’s good at money, and that is still true. But we are both, right now, healthy and fit, with healthy children and grandchildren and houses and occupations and hobbies – so much love.

If there is a greater blessing than this, I do not know what it is.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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