So my congratulations to Mr Roy Moore, who has been living my phantasy in the State of Alabama. A populist twice elected sheriff of some sort (“Chief Justice” I think they call it), then twice removed from office for quite literally keeping the Ten Commandments (carving one set himself, I’m told), he is now the Republican candidate and thus presumptive Natted States Senator-elect. The primary wasn’t close. Thirty million dollars and the counter-endorsements of the entire Merican political class could not defeat him. A magnificent troll of Southern defiance, Moore rode to the polls on his fine horse, with his wife on the fine horse beside him.
This has made a recent swath of beautiful essays a surprise. In different publications over the past few weeks, I’ve stumbled upon writers who were contemplating final days. These are, no doubt, hard stories to read. I had to take breaks as I read about Paul Kalanithi’s experience facing metastatic lung cancer while parenting a toddler, and was devastated as I followed Liz Lopatto’s contemplations on how to give her ailing cat the best death possible. But I also learned so much from reading these essays, too, about what it means to have a good death versus a difficult end from those forced to grapple with the issue. These are four stories that have stood out to me recently, alongside one essay from a few years ago that sticks with me today.