Grief is a sacred journey


The Caregiver and the Hero: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

Vic in the stem cell transplant unit

Six weeks after my husband’s stem cell transplant in 2007, he drove our Subaru west on the New York State Thruway. A stocking cap covered his hairless head. I sat in the passenger seat. His jaw muscles popped […]

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The Problem with Preferences

By Bear Golden Retriever, Auburn, NY, USA (wikipedia)

I saw a bluebird couple yesterday. “No, NO!” I wanted to yell. “Don’t sit on that nesting box. The tree swallows live there. Try the empty box closer to the house.” They wouldn’t have listened. So, I watched through […]

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Three Life-Affirming Lessons from Death


1. Death makes us value life The death of someone I love reminds me of my own impermanence. The loss of their familiar presence makes me consider what matters most to me. In my twenties, I read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos […]

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Coming to Carry Him Home

Jim on the Westport River

After nearly three years of cancer therapy, my brother’s body was exhausted. There were no more options. Jim was dying. The previous week, I spent four days with him in his hospital room. We were often alone then. When […]

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Planting Life at a Time of Sorrow


My brother Jim seemed steady and a little stronger last week. There was talk of releasing him from the hospital to rehab, so I drove seven hours home to deal with what I’d left behind. I needed […]

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Holding Hands on the Threshold between Life and Death

With Jim, March 2015

My brother’s cell phone sings its song. He slowly picks it up from the tray table and leans back into white pillows with closed eyes. He seemed close to death a few days ago, although he’s stable […]

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My Lover’s Mama and the Negative Mother Archetype


After I’d known him almost a year, Vic took me to Connecticut to meet his mother Virginia. I was a love-soaked girl of twenty-two. “She can be rough,” Vic warned me. “She has a temper.” “It will be […]

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Poems to Soothe a Grieving Heart


Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you […]

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This


The great secret of death, and perhaps its deeper connection with us, is this: that in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without at the same time, lifting […]

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Two Goddesses and the Art of Friendship

Toulouse la Trec

Nearly two weeks ago, Jean Raffa and I taught our weekend workshop at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota, FL. On Saturday, we worked with the oldest known goddess text, written on clay tablets around 1750 BCE in Sumeria (Mesopotamia, […]

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