Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Most
Popular

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

Can a Minister Heed His Own Lessons of Death?

The Reverend Forrest Church never expected to live past 60, since all the men in his family — including former United States Senator Frank Church —had died before reaching that age.

 

So when Reverend Church was diagnosed three years ago with terminal cancer, he decided to go public with his imminent "progress" toward death. His hope was to help others find their way to a "good death," if that was possible, as he had counseled others to do for more than 30 years as a Unitarian minister.

In April, a three-month-long series of talks began between Church and writer Carl Lehmann-Haupt, in which they covered issues ranging from questioning the afterlife to having regrets to finally accepting death. "We're all terminally ill," Church said. "Life is a gift that comes with death attached."

 

In the end, Church focused on life, love, faith, and family. He died on Sept. 24, 2009, a day after his 61st birthday.

 

The conversations are the final gift Church gave us—a roadmap of how it's possible to live a good life to the end.

the
Forrest Church Diaries

A Good Life to the End

When Reverend Forrest Church was diagnosed three years ago with terminal cancer, he decided to go public with his imminent "progress" toward death. His hope was to help others find their way to a "good death," if that was possible, as he had counseled others to do for more than 30 years as a Unitarian minister. More

Services & Discounts

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

1-800flowers.com (1-800flowers.com)

Members save 20% or $20 on purchases of $79.99  from
Fruitbouquets.com.

Collette Vacations

Members save up to $200 per couple on select tours with Collette Vacations.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.