April 15, 2013

A Good Death

NY Zen Center for Contemplative Care in the NY Times

The work of our good friend Robert Chodo Campbell was featured in a short article and photo series in the New York Times yesterday. Campbell is one of the Executive Directors for New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, an organization that provides direct care to the sick, dying, and suffering. The series shows Campbell with his friend John Hawkins in the months leading up to and the immediate hours after Hawkins' death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Both the photos and the accompanying article—a brief but moving testimonial from the photographer, Joshua Bright, on the effects of witnessing death firsthand—are honest and sweet, even graceful. It is so easy to see the care and connection between Campbell and Hawkins throughout the photos. And it is so refreshing to see the New York Times highlighting an ordinary, good death. As Bright concludes the piece: "We could use news of a good death. Not a tragic death or a famous death, just a good one, the kind that might happen to any of us if we are lucky."

Robert Chodo Campbell and John Hawkins

You can read our interview with Robert Chodo Campbell, "Just Shut Up," here.

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