As always, my feelings seem intensified on a holiday. My heart is filled with many emotions. A chunk of it feels broken and bruised, holding place for my sister and her family as my nephew struggles for his life. A raw spot chafes from the loss of our friends’ child who died this year. And […]

Losing a Friend

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness… Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise…“ Psalms 100 I am not a memory keeper. I look to others in my life to save the details of my history – to rehash and relish silly […]

Saturday: Three Funerals and a Birthday Party

Why is death always a surprise. It is, after all, a foregone conclusion. There has been a turnaround. Our social calendar is filled with more celebrations of life than celebrations in life. In spite of this cumulative knowledge and no matter how many years we have lived, we are stunned when life ends for someone […]

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Meredith Grey Thanksgiving brings out my feelings of gratitude. Through the years my Thanksgiving posts express the joy I feel in my life. […]

Our Fathers (who art in heaven)

Dear Friend, Our lives have been entwined through many years, so I should have known that the death of your father would have a profound effect on me. Not because I knew him. Still, what affects you affects me. And it is the universal feeling of loss, of becoming an orphan at an advanced age […]

El Dia de los Muertos

I’m sitting by the altar this morning in my typical glow of nostalgia. The warmth of the fireplace can’t match what I feel from my memories. My thoughts somehow fill me with joy that transcends the pain of loss. Loved ones live again in a way that coincides with the ancient Aztec belief that their […]

…on Living with Suicide

My Dear Friends, As parents we want to believe that there is always something  we can do to help our children. If we could do… or if we could have done… This propensity for making ourselves responsible is a heavy burden on our best days. On this worst day I wish I could lift this […]

More Thoughts on Death

Acceptance of death is a work in progress. It is a aggregate of little losses that don’t end with the last breath. It is the involuntary onset of change that leaves us stumbling in confusion, even if we anticipated it. After lingering illness, although our conscious minds wouldn’t wish a return to the last days […]

Your Daughter’s Life

My Dear Friend, I called yesterday to do what friends do; to be available, to listen, to speak if necessary, and hopefully to comfort. You comforted me. You weren’t trying. You were being yourself. You were sharing. I am comforted to know that the two of you are holding each other up with the soothing […]

Learning, Learning, Learning

I have set myself up for some new lessons.* I realized how much I have to learn when I visited my Dad’s wife last week. She is losing ground to dementia. Memories are no longer shared and cannot be jogged to the forefront of her mind. It is becoming harder for her to assimilate words […]