Grief is a sacred journey

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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

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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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When Dads Die Young

Lon C. Ware, 1916

My Father’s Day story, “Running from Dad’s Death,” was posted at Open to Hope today. It’s about the last time I saw my dad, just a few days before his death. I was fourteen and scared, unprepared for death in a way I can hardly […]

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A Ritual for the Seventh Season of Grief

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June 3, 2015 was the seventh anniversary of my husband Vic’s death. I planned a day with an empty calendar. I needed time to check in with myself and see where I stand. Am I pushing grief or anything else under? Do I need to […]

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An IPPY Award and a Promise Kept

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“I probably won’t go to the award ceremony,” I said to my brother Jim when I told him Leaning into Love won the Gold Medal IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards) for Aging/Death & Dying. The IPPY is considered one of […]

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When Tears Tell the Truth

Elaine and Vic 1968

We met at the beginning of my senior year in 1966. I was a government major at Cornell focusing on South East Asia and China. The more war protests Vic and I attended and the more sunsets we […]

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