Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

Keeping Love Alive When Grief Goes Underground

I miss my big brother’s Sunday calls. I want to tell him Bob Dylan won the Noble Prize in Literature. My brother Jim brought Dylan records home from college when I was 14. I want to tell him Clinton

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Letting Go of Fear

I lie in darkness under warm blankets. Willow snoozes on her bed on the floor. It’s 4 a.m. My heart pounds as though I’m being chased. No one here except me and this demon. Each breath comes knotted and

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A Gift of Love Delivered Long after His Death

My TEDx talk has over 50,000 viewers. The numbers keep growing. I’m glad it continues to help people who grieve. My husband Vic and I met fifty years ago this week. My love keeps growing, too. In

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Is There a Time Limit on Love?

A woman told me people seem uncomfortable when she mentions her dead husband. “My husband would have loved this” or “his love still supports me.” Why does his presence in her thoughts disturb her friends? Why is it odd

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Regret: It’s Too Late Now, or Is It?

I sobbed myself to sleep the night after my brother Jim’s memorial service. The huge gathering went smoothly, including my reading, but something gnawed inside. In the middle of the night, I woke up with a knot in

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The Thief: When Cancer Returns

“I’m calling from Dana Farber,” a hushed male voice said on the phone. Oh no. It’s my brother. “Why are you at Dana Farber?” I asked in a quiet measured tone. Dana Farber Cancer Institute was where he

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The Half-Life of Love: Eight Years Later

The half-life of love is forever.  ~Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her Eight years after my husband’s death, I carry our love in my heart pocket. I’m used to the ache. Longing doesn’t surprise me. I don’t

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The Caregiver and the Hero: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

Six weeks after my husband’s stem cell transplant in 2007, he drove our Subaru west on the New York State Thruway. A stocking cap covered his hairless head. I sat in the passenger seat. His jaw muscles popped

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The Problem with Preferences

I saw a bluebird couple yesterday. “No, NO!” I wanted to yell. “Don’t sit on that nesting box. The tree swallows live there. Try the empty box closer to the house.” They wouldn’t have listened. So, I watched through

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Three Life-Affirming Lessons from Death

1. Death makes us value life The death of someone I love reminds me of my own impermanence. The loss of their familiar presence makes me consider what matters most to me. In my twenties, I read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos

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