Grief is a sacred journey

Bereavement and End of Life

The Missing Edge

83 2 4 3 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.

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Listening to the Dark: The Descent of Inanna

153 6 2 Ancient mythology has much to teach us about grief and mortality. In this post, I take you an adventurous journey into a 5000-year-old story from Mesopotamia. This myth (a word we use for someone else’s religion) begins with listening.  “From the

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“Part of Living is Dying”: Interviewing My Sick Husband for StoryCorps

124 2 2 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

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A Word that Changes Everything

150 42 1 “I’m sure it’s cancer,” the oncologist said in an I’m-telling-it-straight voice in 2006. He forced himself to look into Vic’s eyes and then mine. “We don’t know what kind, so we can’t treat you

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We Are Not Alone: A Community Ritual of Remembrance

109 6 I arrive at the Unitarian Fellowship in Big Flats, NY a little early on Sunday morning. I need spaciousness and inner quiet to set up and lead a Ritual of Remembrance for this community. This

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Disbelief

270 2 2 “Embrace your grief. For there, your soul will grow.” Carl Jung Yesterday my husband’s mom looked up at me with her nearly blind milky brown eyes and asked, “Is Vic dead?” “Yes,” I said quietly. “He

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The Woman Wants Red

215 12 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.

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Dancing with My Mother’s Death

183 Three months after my husband’s stem cell transplant, he had wispy dark hair and terrific energy. I needed a break from cancer and care giving. He needed a few days alone. I signed up for a week-long

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Mythology, Nature and Healing: Daphne meets the Green Man

87 2 Eight days after my husband’s death, I dreamed of the Green Man, a pre-Christian northern European god of death and rebirth. Consciously, I knew him as a face on a garden gate, but the dream made

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The Memory Game: Sharing Our Secrets and Wounds

58 “Tell me the first thing you remember,” I asked my boyfriend Vic. I wanted to know everything. His jaw tightened. He hesitated. I saw I’d hit a raw place, but it was too late. We were sitting upright in bed, leaning

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