Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

Regret: It’s Too Late Now, or Is It?

169 59 I sobbed myself to sleep the night after my brother Jim’s memorial service. The huge gathering went smoothly, including my reading, but something gnawed inside. In the middle of the night, I woke up with a

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The Thief: When Cancer Returns

185 1 “I’m calling from Dana Farber,” a hushed male voice said on the phone. Oh no. It’s my brother. “Why are you at Dana Farber?” I asked in a quiet measured tone. Dana Farber Cancer Institute was

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The Half-Life of Love: Eight Years Later

255 66 1 The half-life of love is forever.  ~Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her Eight years after my husband’s death, I carry our love in my heart pocket. I’m used to the ache. Longing doesn’t surprise

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The Caregiver and the Hero: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

102 Six weeks after my husband’s stem cell transplant in 2007, he drove our Subaru west on the New York State Thruway. A stocking cap covered his hairless head. I sat in the passenger seat. His jaw muscles

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The Problem with Preferences

90 I saw a bluebird couple yesterday. “No, NO!” I wanted to yell. “Don’t sit on that nesting box. The tree swallows live there. Try the empty box closer to the house.” They wouldn’t have listened. So, I watched

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Three Life-Affirming Lessons from Death

168 2 1. Death makes us value life The death of someone I love reminds me of my own impermanence. The loss of their familiar presence makes me consider what matters most to me. In my twenties, I read The Teachings of Don Juan

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Coming to Carry Him Home

361 1 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

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Planting Life at a Time of Sorrow

333 My brother Jim seemed steady and a little stronger last week. There was talk of releasing him from the hospital to rehab, so I drove seven hours home to deal with what I’d left behind. I

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Holding Hands on the Threshold between Life and Death

180 1 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

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Poems to Soothe a Grieving Heart

370 6 Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by

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