Dear Son, My heart is aching for you. I can feel your exhaustion as you struggle to make sense of your friend’s death.   I imagine your grief and confusion. For those of us who hold vigorously to life, it’s impossible to understand.  Why couldn’t he see his life clearly?  Why didn’t he work on his […]


I want to acknowledge my shock and sadness about the devastation in Japan.  The reality of earthquakes is so much greater than my fears as a child. Thoughts race through my mind.  They don’t fall into a cohesive essay. They weave themselves into the fabric of grief for all loss. Do I watch the swirling […]

Death and Faith and…

My dear Grandson. When I read your post on Facebook, I wished that I could hug you and sit with you and talk and talk.  “No one up there is looking out for us,”  you said. I understand why you are questioning.  It’s hard to reconcile the sad and shocking things in life to faith […]

Suicide…the Ultimate Sorrow

My children and grandchildren live outside of my ring of protection.  Much of the time I convince myself otherwise.  Not always. The brother of my grandson’s close friend has taken his own life.  It is devastating.  I understand that he had been depressed, but what was so catastrophic?  Was it a chemical thing?  Was life […]

Rehab for One and All

I haven’t read the books yet, but I sense my discomfort with letting go. My certainties that I can help, that I know at least some of the answers, and that everyone and everything depends on me, are each a hindrance in our new situation.  We are breaking ground in new territory and it’s going […]

Growing up with Love

This is a hard one, isn’t it?  Your daughter is 18 and diving headlong into a situation that you can foresee as difficult if not emotionally dangerous.  What’s a father to do?  The perils of dating older men at this age are frightening to contemplate. I don’t know the answers…but I have some thoughts… Your […]

Mother of the Day

Dear Daughter-in-Law, This is a Mother’s Day of rejoicing. I have five daughters: two by fortunate birth and three more by choice.   I am grateful to each of you for mothering my grandchildren. I toast you as precious women whose courage, tenacity and steadfast commitment to raising admirable young people I recognize and appreciate. You […]

What can I do?

There’s nothing I can do. My wonderful long-time friend lost her husband yesterday.  One minute he was there, the next he was gone from her. In many ways she and I are kindred spirits, the kind of friends who think of calling and then hear the phone ringing…and there we are.  It’s no surprise that […]

Pain by Pitiful People

Dear Daughter. You are never too old to need my protection.  If I can give it, I do.  And I know when I can’t. I can’t save you from the lady behind the car rental desk who is so miserable and small-minded that she automatically hates you for who you are.  Her selective deafness and tight lips […]

I Can’t Protect You

Dear Son, When the light goes off and my head rests on my pillow, I pray for the health and safety of my children and grandchildren. If I am wakeful I say each name.  For now you are on the top of my list every night.  As always, I want to protect you. But I […]