Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

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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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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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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