Footprints in the Snow

I’ve been to two different events in the past week, both presenting stories that reflect beliefs about the afterlife. One was at the synagogue — so the Jewish perspective.  The other was at a local museum, which is having an exhibition supplemented by talks related to Russia, so – beliefs from an Orthodox Christian view. Not surprisingly, both Jewish and Orthodox perspectives have clear ideas about what happens to the soul once it leaves a body. Continue reading “Footprints in the Snow”

For Mary Oliver with Gratitude

Here I sat… in the days and nights following the news of poet Mary Oliver’s death, feeling that there is no one in my world (alive) with whom I can speak of this loss.  But along comes an email from a soul-companion and deeply connected traveler on the way. My niece, Katya, who is one embodiment of her beloved uncle’s poetic longing writes to say that I am not in the least alone with this. That Mary Oliver means much to her, too. She reminds me that she first heard Mary Oliver in Philip’s recitation of the poem, “Wild Geese.” The poem he chose to speak to her during a painful and pivotal time in her life. In fact, she says and continues to say, that poem changed my life. Continue reading “For Mary Oliver with Gratitude”

Impulse to Share

He always said all the leaves would be fallen by his birthday.

On the day before what would have been Philip’s 71st birthday, I finished reading my book (sounds so narcissistic!) for the first time. I mean reading it all the way through without my critic’s eye and editing pen in hand. It’s been a surprisingly good few days of reconnecting with myself and with Philip. It’s given me another go at reflecting on who I’ve become …who I’m becoming after three and a half years of time and tears. Continue reading “Impulse to Share”

A Blogger’s Excuse and Inching towards Publication

To care deeply and offer care. To breathe into the moment.  To pause, go slowly, give thanks, say, “I love you.” I’ve been learning this again … and again in these past weeks since my mother went into the hospital with an infection called cellulitis that was quickly made worse by pneumonia. On September 9, I flew quickly to New York to be with her. She’s been learning to breathe more deeply and consciously, learning to do that which has been done habitually and shallowly for 95 years. We are learning patience and trust in the body’s inherent ability … and desire … to heal, to live. Continue reading “A Blogger’s Excuse and Inching towards Publication”

Process: Grieving and Writing

Writing and grieving have intermingled so fully, I can no longer disentangle them.

In these past weeks, I have felt as though I entered into stage 742 of grieving. Who knew – despite reading all about it – that this would be such an ongoing and many-sided experience? You read it and hear it – grief changes you … always. But to live it is to know something in a way you cannot know through others even as their words ease and confirm your own experience. In many ways, those words have been like a hand held out in the darkest time of my life. In other ways, I continue to learn grief in real time, in real emotion and body. Continue reading “Process: Grieving and Writing”