Grief is a sacred journey

Family and Friends

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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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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Traveling Solo But Not Alone: Managing a Meltdown

My plane left San Francisco at 6 a.m. I curled into a window seat with Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. When I arrived in Newark, I read the departure board. Flight to Ithaca canceled due to air traffic

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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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Finding the Sacred Feminine in Nature and Friendship

My friend Gail stopped me at the check-out at Wegman’s Grocery a few weeks ago. She beamed love at me and told me she’d just bought another copy of my book to give as a gift. Of course, this makes

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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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When Tears Tell the Truth

We met at the beginning of my senior year in 1966. I was a government major at Cornell focusing on South East Asia and China. The more war protests Vic and I attended and the more sunsets we

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Mother-Daughter Healing: An Alzheimer’s Story

Hill Haven Skilled Nursing, 1999 My healthy sun-browned body lies in a hospital bed with railings. My pale mother lies facing me. I often feel like her mother now, holding and caressing her like a sick child. Mom and I became comfortable with

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