Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

Disbelief

“Embrace your grief. For there, your soul will grow.” Carl Jung Yesterday my husband’s mom looked up at me with her nearly blind milky brown eyes and asked, “Is Vic dead?” “Yes,” I said quietly. “He died seven years

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The Woman Wants Red

I drove blindfolded or without headlights at night. I lost my way without a map or GPS. I panicked as my car slid backwards into deep ditches. Roads were blocked and I couldn’t get home. After my

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Dancing with My Mother’s Death

Three months after my husband’s stem cell transplant, he had wispy dark hair and terrific energy. I needed a break from cancer and care giving. He needed a few days alone. I signed up for a week-long Body/Soul

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Mythology, Nature and Healing: Daphne meets the Green Man

Eight days after my husband’s death, I dreamed of the Green Man, a pre-Christian northern European god of death and rebirth. Consciously, I knew him as a face on a garden gate, but the dream made me feel

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The Memory Game: Sharing Our Secrets and Wounds

“Tell me the first thing you remember,” I asked my boyfriend Vic. I wanted to know everything. His jaw tightened. He hesitated. I saw I’d hit a raw place, but it was too late. We were sitting upright in bed, leaning against

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My Lover’s Hands

We stood with three other couples, anchoring our side of the square. They were much older, at least in their forties. The sun-baked men strutted in shiny cowboy boots and red bandanas. The women twirled layered white

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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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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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