Grief is a sacred journey

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My Lover’s Hands

Vic's Italian hands, 1991

We stood with three other couples, anchoring our side of the square. They were much older, at least in their forties. The sun-baked men strutted in shiny cowboy boots and red bandanas. The women twirled layered white […]

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Do You Trust Your Creative Self?

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I walk along a country road with a woman writer, a seven-year-old girl, and a boy who is three. The children run ahead, down a steep dip in the road, out of sight. A huge truck comes from […]

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Ritual at the Crossroads

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“A ritual would help,” I said to my friend Pat. “I’d love that,” she said. “I’ll think about it. I want to be near water.” I’d just arrived at Pat’s home. She and I met in 1970 […]

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Traveling Solo But Not Alone: Managing a Meltdown

With Pat and Anthony and a hang glider. Or is that an angel?

My plane left San Francisco at 6 a.m. I curled into a window seat with Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. When I arrived in Newark, I read the departure board. Flight to Ithaca canceled due to air traffic […]

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Disco Balls and Candles: Grief Ritual in Unusual Places

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On Saturday, July 25, my son Anthony Mansfield hosted a Leaning into Love reading at Monarch, a dance club in San Francisco. The reading was set for early evening in a downstairs room under the main bar, a place […]

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In the Company of Friends

Lauren at Vic's memorial service 2008

“Are you OK?” Lauren asked when she called the morning after Vic died. Lauren Cottrell Banner is one of a few friends who attended Vic’s death. She helped me swab his mouth, chant prayers, and read passages […]

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She’s Seven Now: When Dreams Lead the Way

Elaine at 6 or 7

On June 3, I planned a quiet day to take stock of my life. It was the seventh anniversary of my husband Vic’s death. I wrote about the ritual aspects of the day in a previous blog, […]

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Walking Each Other Home

Alyssa Duncan

Sharyn and I met in 1973. I’d moved to Hamilton, NY with my husband and our three-year-old son after Vic got a teaching job at Colgate University. I was pregnant and mad. I didn’t want to move away […]

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Soul Care in Hard Times

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“No detectable disease on CAT scan. Better than last time.” I received this text message from my brother Jim as I loaded my car to drive to his home seven hours away. When I read the message, I […]

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Finding the Sacred Feminine in Nature and Friendship

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My friend Gail stopped me at the check-out at Wegman’s Grocery a few weeks ago. She beamed love at me and told me she’d just bought another copy of my book to give as a gift. Of course, this makes […]

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