Grief is a sacred journey

Family and Friends

When Tears Tell the Truth

139 1 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

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Mother-Daughter Healing: An Alzheimer’s Story

165 46 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

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Snapshots: Photographs to Heal the Heart

52 34 2 Vic got serious about photography in 1990 after a borrowed camera malfunctioned and there were no photos of our first trip to India. In his usual style, my husband turned aggravation into action. He bought a

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The Abandoned Table: Changing Places after a Death in the Family

74 1 We ate dinner at the antique oak table. Vic’s stepfather had given it to us when we bought our home in 1972. We each had our place—me closest to the kitchen, David to my left, Anthony across the table,

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Learning to Forgive

143 Where is my Victor?” my mother-in-law asks. “He died, Virginia,” I tell her quietly. Her face scrunches into a grimace. She throws her head back to the right as if to shake something off.  An insect?

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Please Leave Love Notes When You Die

96 86 1 A small group sat around a table in the Watkins Glen Public Library. They’d come to hear me read from Leaning into Love. I told stories and read for forty minutes and then turned it over

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The Comfort of Small Things

90 Chickadees throw back their heads to praise the dawn. Bring us morning. Bring the light. They bring me faith in exchange for seeds. Mexican music blasts over the driving range loudspeakers. A tiny brown and white pup nibbles my pudgy five-year-old fingers. Hello,

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An Unexpected Gift

94 He was lucky to get a teaching job when few were available in 1973. I was lucky to have his financial and emotional support. We were both lucky because we were in love. I was also

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When Dreams Tell Our Future

162 18 “I had a dream last night,” Vic said in a thin raspy voice. “Really?” I said. Although he’d experienced a lifetime of vibrant dreams, he’d had few during recent months fueled by prednisone, codeine, and Ambien. “Yeah. I

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My Grandma’s Juicy Secret

61 After Mom entered an Alzheimer’s residence in 1995, I received two cardboard boxes of mementos. Her husband had found the musty crushed cartons in the basement when cleaning out Mom’s possessions. Since Mom no longer recognized what

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