exploring grace and gratitude following loss
My late daughter, Lena, scribbled, "life is a pretty word" on a scrap of paper. Her sentiment is the inspiration for this space. I hope you are encouraged to listen to your heart, soul, and emotions. They have a lot to tell you.
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They say it is never too late to apologize. Will forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance make a difference? We can hope.
Whether the forgetting is circumstantial, a lack of mindfulness, or time induced, I don’t like it one bit. Forgetting sucks.
Evil-eyed. Soft-hearted. Absent. Spare-the-rod. Disciplinarian. Mediator. Coach. Present. Dads have as many parenting styles and roles as there are men on Earth. For the most part, they do the best they can.
Did you know unfinishedness is an actual word? Listening to a recent NPR radio broadcast, I thought the speaker made up the word to make their point.
What happens when we connect with others near or far, living or dead? Can the connection with others be the hack we've longed for to manifest our dreams?
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion."
— Albert Camus in “The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays"
Standing at her graveside, the elder told the story, in native Anishinaabe tongue, of how the world began. We didn’t know a single word yet understood we were in that place where death and birth meet.
My voice went missing the first day of March. The best I can do is a whisper as I wonder why any of my words matter.
Shortly after my daughter was born, I was so taken in by the miracle of life, I wrote a lengthy composition on our shared birth experience. Writing about her birth and rereading it periodically, I could relive the joy and the possibilities of all that lay ahead.
The woman's eye in the tree, watching me write, gives new meaning to "live oak". Seemed like an opportunity to write a poem. Enjoy!
Work your way backwards to worry less. Can revisiting our original dreams show us the way forward?
How did she know? Might we each get a glimpse of the inevitable before it happens? Would you want to know?
We get to choose the words and behaviors we use to cope when devastation finds us. In this piece, using the found poem poetic form, words from an article on a life well lived are remastered to convey the starkness many people experience.
My message is not to convince you everything will eventually be pretty again. Writing is physical therapy for my soul.
Being a dork won't kill your humanness but being an asshole will.
The loss of innocence and trust hurt worse than the black eye. You can walk away.
Words have power. How can a single word become a guiding force for living with intention? My word for 2016 is "magical". What's yours?
The sun's cycles remind us that what we've lost returns.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?" --Sally Edwards
Ready, set, go and write your Sweet 2016 goals with intention. May you experience your most mindful and best year ever.
You know how it feels. One minute you're enjoying a beautiful wedge of chocolate layer cake with that special someone and the next, it's gone.
That particular Christmas is the last time our table felt full. The memories are still bittersweet.
Sheldon Cooper describes his spot as a "single point of consistency in an ever-changing world", so when I "saw" my dad seated at the next table, the memories came calling.
We all know at least one old soul. Why do we love them so? We delight in their wisdom and long for more.
Paris, city of light, darkened, for love.
Connecting color to our thoughts can bring a memory, an emotion or imagery to life. This poem is written from the power of color and how we might imagine where our loved ones go when they’ve left us here.
I went into childbirth labor on Halloween night an hour before midnight.
Resistance to the experiences life has thrown at me, the bricks of change I refused to accept are becoming the foundation of a way forward.
Here are words, thoughts, and sentiments taken directly from the hundreds of cards and letters we received when my daughter walked on. Real words from real people. Fine examples of what to say to someone whose world has turned upside down.
Quite the diversity of form these angels, dragonflies, and fried egg sandwiches; each is not like the other yet all are welcome to a seat at my comfort table. The metaphysical aspects of life are unknown, unscientific, and unproven. Yet there it is, tickling us with its possibilities of seeing, knowing, feeling the great mystery of the other side.
What do elder life transitions, closure, and downsizing have in common? They are complex yet melancholic occasions for mindfulness as we cover unfamiliar ground.