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Author Archives: umagirish

Grief is a lonely feeling

Grief is a lonely feeling

The pain of grief is something only the grieving understand. When my mother passed away and I was in deep shock and pain, the best healing gift I gave myself was a Grief group. Drowning in a turbulent maelstrom of emotions, I felt all alone. I was all alone. Neither my husband nor my daughter could touch… Continue Reading

“Being” with the dying

“Being” with the dying

In Last Acts of Kindness: Lessons for the Living from the Bedsides of the Dying, Judith Redwing Keyssar writes: “People tend to do what makes them feel comfortable when a loved one is dying. In an attempt to control their emotions, some make food, some drink, others make plans and others take long walks. There… Continue Reading

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life

Eckhart Tolle is one of my favorite modern-day mystics. In his book A New Earth Tolle talks about the duality of life. There’s night and day, up and down, happy and sad, tall and short. Duality is the nature of the physical world we live in. It is a world of opposites, of contrasts. So it… Continue Reading

To all my motherless friends…

To all my motherless friends…

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.… Continue Reading

Midwife to the Dying: Part 2

My conversation with Judith Redwing Keyssar continues as she explains the terms “hospice” and “palliative” care, self-care for caregivers and cultural differences in death and dying. Read on… 6. People oftentimes think of hospice as “giving up on a loved one.” How would you respond? NO, NO, NO. Hospice is NEVER about giving up. Dying is… Continue Reading

Midwife to the Dying: Part 1

Judith Redwing Keyssar is so much more than her impressive credentials. She is someone who is comfortable with death and dying, and assists people through this significant transition. Director of the Palliative and End-of-Life Care at Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the San Francisco Bay Area, Keyssar’s book Last Acts of Kindness: Lessons for… Continue Reading

Don’t Hide Your Light

We all hide bits and pieces of who we really are. Lillie Leonardi was no exception. But when the truth of who you are is buried so deep that you’re living a lie, the spiritual disconnect causes untold stress. Lillie is a mom and grandma. She was also an FBI agent serving as a Community… Continue Reading

Death: Scared or Sacred?

The call came at 10:15 on a Sunday morning. It was Lana, the hospice nurse, calling to let me know that 70-year-old Bessie was actively dying in our in-patient hospice care facility. “She has no family,” Lana said to me. “We’re starting a Volunteer Vigil for her. Can you come sit with her for a… Continue Reading

With Sympathy…Chelsea Hanson

Wisconsin native Chelsea Hanson is the founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes. An only child,  Chelsea lost her dad when she was only four. Losing her mom Donna when she was 28 years old was another devastating blow. Today, the 43-year-old is a Grief expert, entrepreneur, and author of five booklets about life after loss whose… Continue Reading

Your pain can be another’s gain

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… Continue Reading