Death, Dying, Grief and Mourning

            "Death is always the same,
                               but each man dies in his own way."

Carson McCullers, Clock Without Hands, 1960


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in Western Literature

An Anthology by  Adrienne Nater

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Death, Dying, Grief, and Mourning

in Western Literature


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Book of J  950 – 900 BCE

Translated from the Hebrew by David Rosenberg

Death of Moses

Death of Moses:

“Look: your death day arrives,” Yahweh said to Moses. “Summon Joshua,
and direct yourselves to the tent for encounter, so I may appoint him.” Moses and Joshua go to the tent for encounter, as directed

Yahweh came down to the tent through the pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud covered the tent entrance.

Now he appointed Joshua, son of Nun: “Summon strength and audacity, as you will direct the children of Israel to the land I vowed — for I will attend you.”


Moses ascends from the Moab valley to Mount Nebo in the direction facing Jericho. There Yahweh reveals all the land, from Gilead to Dan; then all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and now all the land of Judah to the Western Sea; then the Negev, past the oasis of palms this is Jericho, and out
through the valley to Zoar.

“This is the land I vowed to Abram, Isaac, and Jacob,” Yahweh said to him. ‘To your seed I will give it’ were my words. It is revealed to your eyes, though your body cannot follow.”

Moses, servant of Yahweh, died there, in Moab’s land, following Yahweh’s word.

Now he buries him there, in the clay of Moab’s land, in a gorge facing Beth-peor: no man has ever seen his grave, to this day.



Adrienne Nater, 2008

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