“One of the most despicable religious fallacies is that suffering is ennobling—that it is a step on the path to some kind of enlightenment or salvation. Isabel’s suffering and death did nothing for her, or us, or the world. We learned no lessons worth learning; we acquired no experience that could benefit anyone. And Isabel most certainly did not earn ascension to a better place, as there was no better place for her than at home with her family.”
—Aleksandar Hemon, in his astonishing, powerful, gripping, depressing New Yorker essay “The Aquarium: A tale of two daughters.” It’s only available in print. Don’t read it unless you feel you must.