Grief is a sacred journey

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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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A Ritual for the Seventh Season of Grief

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

“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

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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Bloom Where You Are Planted

“Bloom where you are planted.” ~Fortune Cookie My husband Vic died in early June 2008. Even though I was newly widowed, I was grateful for long days and spring green. Nature made it clear there was more than death

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Mother-Daughter Healing: An Alzheimer’s Story

Hill Haven Skilled Nursing, 1999 My healthy sun-browned body lies in a hospital bed with railings. My pale mother lies facing me. I often feel like her mother now, holding and caressing her like a sick child. Mom and I became comfortable with

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A Message from the Moon: Synchronicity as Inner Guide

I’m in a small country church. Someone turns off the electric lights. The full moon illuminates the chapel with soft apricot-toned light. Then they open a window to let night air in. I feel lonely for Vic

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Snapshots: Photographs to Heal the Heart

Vic got serious about photography in 1990 after a borrowed camera malfunctioned and there were no photos of our first trip to India. In his usual style, my husband turned aggravation into action. He bought a high quality Nikon

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The Abandoned Table: Changing Places after a Death in the Family

We ate dinner at the antique oak table. Vic’s stepfather had given it to us when we bought our home in 1972. We each had our place—me closest to the kitchen, David to my left, Anthony across the table, and my

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Learning to Forgive

Where is my Victor?” my mother-in-law asks. “He died, Virginia,” I tell her quietly. Her face scrunches into a grimace. She throws her head back to the right as if to shake something off.  An insect? A

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