Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

Holding Hands on the Threshold between Life and Death

My brother’s cell phone sings its song. He slowly picks it up from the tray table and leans back into white pillows with closed eyes. He seemed close to death a few days ago, although he’s stable

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Poems to Soothe a Grieving Heart

Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

The great secret of death, and perhaps its deeper connection with us, is this: that in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without at the same time, lifting

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Two Goddesses and the Art of Friendship

Nearly two weeks ago, Jean Raffa and I taught our weekend workshop at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota, FL. On Saturday, we worked with the oldest known goddess text, written on clay tablets around 1750 BCE in Sumeria (Mesopotamia,

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Solo on a Bench Built for Two

“We’ll sit here in the afternoon sun when we’re old and too tired to walk,” Vic said when we designed a deck with a two-person bench shielded from the wind. “We’ll watch sunsets here.” He dubbed it

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The Missing Edge

I sit at one end of a pale turquoise couch in my brother’s living room. At the other end of the sofa, my frail brother sits and dozes in his baggy gray sweats. His pale head nods

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Listening to the Dark: The Descent of Inanna

Ancient mythology has much to teach us about grief and mortality. In this post, I take you an adventurous journey into a 5000-year-old story from Mesopotamia. This myth (a word we use for someone else’s religion) begins with listening.  “From the Great Above she

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“Part of Living is Dying”: Interviewing My Sick Husband for StoryCorps

Vic and I waited in a quiet room in our friend Steve’s house while the sound engineer set up his recording equipment. Vic wore thick layers of bulky clothing over his cancer swollen body. Four months before, after a severe drug reaction, he’d

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A Word that Changes Everything

“I’m sure it’s cancer,” the oncologist said in an I’m-telling-it-straight voice in 2006. He forced himself to look into Vic’s eyes and then mine. “We don’t know what kind, so we can’t treat you until we figure

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We Are Not Alone: A Community Ritual of Remembrance

I arrive at the Unitarian Fellowship in Big Flats, NY a little early on Sunday morning. I need spaciousness and inner quiet to set up and lead a Ritual of Remembrance for this community. This is my

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