It is with great sadness that we report the death of Ronan Louis, the dear son of TNB contributor Emily Rapp and her husband, Rick Louis.  Ronan was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease in January 2011.  He passed away peacefully at 3:30am on February 15th, surrounded by family and friends.

If you would like to join us in making a donation in Ronan’s memory, please do so at the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, who have been a huge support to Emily and her family.

Also, please feel free to express your sympathies on the Little Seal Facebook page.

On behalf of everyone here at TNB, our most heartfelt condolences.


Behold, I make all things new.
-The Book of Revelation

We are not only permitted but required to believe that cosmic time as we know it, through all the immensity of its geological ages and historical epochs, is only a shadow of true time, and this world only a shadow of the fuller, richer, more substantial, more glorious creation that God intends; and to believe also that all of nature is a shattered mirror of divine beauty, still full of light, but riven by darkness.
-David Bentley Hart, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?

Against Angels

By Emily Rapp


Against Angels

If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever.’ A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see his grandchild.”

-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed