Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

The Problem with Preferences

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 through

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Three Life-Affirming Lessons from Death

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 by Carlos

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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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Planting Life at a Time of Sorrow

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 needed

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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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Poems to Soothe a Grieving Heart

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 one you

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

The great secret of death, and perhaps its deeper connection with us, is this: that in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without at the same time, lifting

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Two Goddesses and the Art of Friendship

Nearly two weeks ago, Jean Raffa and I taught our weekend workshop at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota, FL. On Saturday, we worked with the oldest known goddess text, written on clay tablets around 1750 BCE in Sumeria (Mesopotamia,

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Solo on a Bench Built for Two

“We’ll sit here in the afternoon sun when we’re old and too tired to walk,” Vic said when we designed a deck with a two-person bench shielded from the wind. “We’ll watch sunsets here.” He dubbed it

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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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