Grief is a sacred journey

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The Sacred Water of Life: Prayer Walk for Seneca Lake

85 38 Women walkers carried the water vessel in a ritual circumambulation of Seneca Lake to bless the water and create a circle of protection for the lake.                 The vessel moved without stopping, handed from one

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Persona: How Promoting a Book Created a New Social Self

144 6 Last week, I went to REP Studio in Ithaca to record passages from my book for National Public Radio’s Author’s Corner. I needed two takes of two readings, each 80-83 seconds. Peter Johnson of Author’s Corner

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Bees, Butterflies, and Blessings: Cycles of Nature and Grief

137 14 6 If you’ve read my blog or visited my Facebook page, you know photography helped with my grieving process. In 2008 when my husband Vic died, I rarely took photos. Vic was the family photographer. The evening after

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My Lover’s Hands

161 2 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

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Do You Trust Your Creative Self?

I walk along a country road with a woman writer, a seven-year-old girl, and a boy who is three. The children run ahead, down a steep dip in the road, out of sight. A huge truck comes from

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Ritual at the Crossroads

100 6 “A ritual would help,” I said to my friend Pat. “I’d love that,” she said. “I’ll think about it. I want to be near water.” I’d just arrived at Pat’s home. She and I met

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Traveling Solo But Not Alone: Managing a Meltdown

307 42 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

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Disco Balls and Candles: Grief Ritual in Unusual Places

88 32 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,

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In the Company of Friends

77 30 “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

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She’s Seven Now: When Dreams Lead the Way

100 26 On June 3, I planned a quiet day to take stock of my life. It was the seventh anniversary of my husband Vic’s death. I wrote about the ritual aspects of the day in a

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