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 […]

Grief and Gratitude

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When the death of a loved one knocks us down, gratitude is the farthest thing from our minds.  And it is okay to honor that you don’t feel it. More likely, you’re angry, bitter, and feeling abandoned by your loved one in some sense. Feelings aren’t always logical and it’s important to go with the flow. […]

To all my motherless friends…

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I write this post with tears streaming down my face. Mother’s Day is always hard. It reminds me that the hole in my soul will never go away, no matter how many years go by. It reminds me of the love and tenderness with which my mother nourished me, something that helps me love well today. […]

Your pain can be another’s gain

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I’ve been in Chennai, India, for two weeks now. This is my first trip back home after both my parents went home to their Maker. My mother in January 2009, my father in August 2010. In my sister’s apartment where I’m staying is a precious remnant of my mother’s life. It is a sheet of […]

Wishes for the Grieving Heart

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Wishes for the Grieving and Healing Heart opens with a heartwarming story of the water bug that turns into a dragonfly–a perfect metaphor for the transformation from physical form to spirit. It heralds a significant truth: When you lose someone you love, life will never be the same; you will never be the same. But […]

No Heart for the Holidays

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Diwali, the festival of lights, is to India what Christmas is to the West. The first Diwali after my mother passed away in January of 2009 was the hardest. It was her favorite festival. In the countdown to it, she’d get really busy drawing up lists of sweets to order, firecrackers and clothes to buy […]

We’re all part of the same story

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This book is about a dog named Kona that died. It’s about a singer-songwriter’s jaded, faded dreams. It’s about heartbreak and loss and grief. It’s about the power of a letter. It’s all this and so much more. It’s a slim book that’s heavy with emotion. But to me, the words that contain its core […]

Hard Conversations around Death

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In my previous post, I addressed the topic of “Anticipatory Grief.” Now meet a woman who is living it. Tersia Burger’s 38-year-old daughter Vicky suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a brittle bone disease, a genetic disorder. She was diagnosed at eighteen months and suffered 41 fractures by her third birthday. But Vicky married at age 21 and […]

Healing Through Grieving: Interview with Rabbi Ann White

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Ann White is the founder of Creating Calm Within Chaos, a rabbi and trauma chaplain.  She teaches that we will always have chaos, but amid the chaos, the secret to a vibrant life is to create an inner sanctuary so that we can be the calm within chaotic situations.  She is the author of Living […]