Grief is a sacred journey

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Living with Impermanence

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“You likely have cancer,” the oncologist said to Vic. With those words, my husband and I landed in a world of crisis care and lost dreams. I was (and still am) part of a women’s mythology class that had […]

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My Grandma’s Juicy Secret

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After Mom entered an Alzheimer’s residence in 1995, I received two cardboard boxes of mementos. Her husband had found the musty crushed cartons in the basement when cleaning out Mom’s possessions. Since Mom no longer recognized what she […]

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How My Dog Taught Me the Power of Ritual

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Our ten-year-old Lab left the car reluctantly. Instead of running ahead and waiting on the dock for us to throw a stick, our water boy stood near the car door without a wag. “He has cancer,” the vet […]

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When We Had Plans

Vic & Elaine 1981

When our two-hundred-year-old barn was in danger of falling down in 2005, we built a new one. We put large windows in the southwest corner and added pipes for plumbing. We imagined Vic would have cabin fever if he […]

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TEDxChemungRiver: Good Grief! What I Learned from Loss

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There is power in grieving intentionally and purposefully. Telling her own story of loss, Elaine Mansfield explains the use of ritual as a tool for empowerment during life’s most challenging times.

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Twelve Rituals That Marked My Way: 2014

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Rituals focus my attention and bring a sacred sense to life. Personal rituals help me honor the things for which I’m grateful–friendship, family, the earth, and bereavement and grief work. In this spirit, I look back at rituals […]

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Three Lessons about Loss from my TEDx Talk

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“Yes,” I said in May 2014 when I received a red-lettered invitation from TEDx Chemung River I had applied the month before. “Sure, I’ll figure out how to give a TEDx talk. November 8 is five months away. Plenty of time. I’ll […]

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Long Distance Love

David, Anthony, & Vic 1978

“Why?” I moaned. “You’ve been gone over a month. The kids and I miss you. I’m lonely.” “E, I’m sorry,” Vic said from somewhere in Israel where he was doing research. “I’ll only be away a few days […]

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A Woman’s Hands

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These hands aren’t girlish pink and plump, but the palms are smooth and soft. Not ancient hands, but aging hands. No arthritic swellings or broken joints. No aches when typing, chopping, or loading firewood. They are my able […]

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Give Thanks for the Teachings of Trees

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November grief has a sharp edge. Six years after my husband Vic’s death, I still struggle with holidays. I know I’m not the only one. Sorrow needs space this time of year. Since hiding makes me sadder, I […]

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