It’s Not Happy Holidays For All

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It’s that time of year when everyone is writing about the holidays and grief. Or rather the grief that holidays bring on, remind us of. Most of those articles and blog posts contain similar themes, great advice, and useful tips. Do I have anything new to add? Perhaps not. Except to remind you that your […]

What Is Your Legacy?

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One of my favorite pastimes is to watch old reruns of the decades-ago sitcom Three’s Company. I adore John Ritter (the young chef who shares an apartment with two girls) and his antics. He makes me laugh in a switch-off-my-brain-and-just-enjoy kind of way. The popular sitcom ended in America in the early eighties, which is the time I was […]

A Star Named Robin Williams

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The day I turned 50, Robin Williams’ spirit left the earth plane. Significant milestones, in significantly different ways. When we forget, life reminds us. It’s a world of opposites. Everything is cyclical. It’s like flipping a coin. Heads you win; tails you lose. Someone celebrates. Someone mourns. A day of color and the glitter of happiness for some. A […]

“Do you believe there’s an Afterlife?”

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This morning I went to an interview. I was interviewing at the school district to teach a series of Continuing Ed courses. The Director of the Continuing Ed Program was a very nice gentleman…suave, polished, and kind. He asked very good questions, questions I enjoyed responding to because I am passionate about what I teach. […]

Unfinished Business: The Weight of Grief

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I never got to say goodbye. I haven’t spoken to my brother in five years. If I apologize, he could harm me again… Guilt. Regret. Blame. Forgiveness issues. The unfinished business of life eats away at us. Slowly. Relentlessly. It wears down our heart and soul. So we resort to prescription pills, alcohol and sugary […]

When Grief takes Our Power Away

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“Perhaps the deepest wounding in grief is our realization that we are not in control and we are not safe. We’ve spent a lifetime preparing for every possibility, protecting ourselves and our loved ones by buying safe cars, making sure we wear seat belts, stopping smoking, getting regular medical check-ups, submitting to vaccinations, living in […]

Love is all that remains

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Sitting in a Panera and crying into my bowl of soup wasn’t quite what I’d bargained for. But that’s exactly what happened as I turned the pages of Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness, Scarlett Lewis’ emotionally engaging story of losing her 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis in the Sandy Hook Elementary […]

A Love Story that Never Ends

Sweet Lorraine Fred Stobaugh’s wife Lorraine passed away in early 2013. The 96-year-old sat down to say a beautiful and unique goodbye by writing “Sweet Lorraine.” Much as he wanted to sing it for her, his lack of musical talent, he felt, stood between him and a poignant eulogy. Green Shoe Studio, an Illinois-based music […]

Let’s Talk about the End of Life

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Barbara Brotman is a Chicago Tribune reporter, wife and mom. But she’s a mom who was gutsy enough to use a family holiday dinner to have a crucial conversation most of us would run miles from: the end-of-life conversation. Calling it a non-traditional holiday activity, Brotman used the opportunity to get her husband, 22 and 25-year-old daughters (and […]

The Purpose of Grief

Every sad ending contains the seeds of a new happy beginning. I know this for sure and have lived through it myself. In a recent phone call, this truth was revealed to me one more time. One of my jobs as a hospice volunteer is to make follow-up phone calls to bereaved family members. How the conversation will […]