Grief is a sacred journey

Family and Friends

Coming to Carry Him Home

After nearly three years of cancer therapy, my brother’s body was exhausted. There were no more options. Jim was dying. The previous week, I spent four days with him in his hospital room. We were often alone then. When

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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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My Lover’s Mama and the Negative Mother Archetype

After I’d known him almost a year, Vic took me to Connecticut to meet his mother Virginia. I was a love-soaked girl of twenty-two. “She can be rough,” Vic warned me. “She has a temper.” “It will be

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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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“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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Time to Celebrate and Forgive

The flower-decorated cake says Happy 100th Birthday. We hand out forks and napkins. Around fifty elders, over 90% women, murmur at the tables, their eyes filled with chocolate anticipation. Unlike many of us who always run late,

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To Forget and To Remember

The phone rang. That made twenty-two calls from my mother-in-law Virginia that afternoon. I knew because my phone counts how many times a particular number dials my house on a given day. My house phone is the only

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Captured by the Mother Archetype

Anthony Damiani soon realized that the students who had gathered around him to learn meditation and philosophy needed psychological understanding. It was the late 1960s. We sat on lumpy cushions on the floor in the American Brahman Bookstore in Ithaca while

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Winter Solstice: In the Midst of Darkness, There is Light

Lighting one candle from another – Winter night. ~Yosa Buson When I was a kid, no one helped me face catastrophe or loss. In the 1950s, everyone I knew feared a nuclear attack. Teachers told us to hide under our desks,

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“I Am Because You Are”: Community and Compassion

“I watched Vic talking on YouTube earlier today,” Deborah Gregory, poet and Jungian writer at The Liberated Sheep, wrote in a blog comment a few days after the Paris attacks. “It is the first time I have

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