Grief is a sacred journey

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Do You Trust Your Creative Self?

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

“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

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

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

“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

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

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

“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

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

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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