When Your Fear Goes Through the Roof–A Repost

I’ve worked for hours on a piece that isn’t ready yet…. I’m trying to wrangle some of my heart’s response to the past couple of weeks into words. It hasn’t gone smoothly. So until I get it done I give you this piece I wrote in November 2015. The situations have changed. Perhaps the fear […]

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A Life Overseas – To the One Who is Left Behind

Hi Readers! I was at A Life Overseas yesterday writing to those who are left behind. You may have already seen a first version of this post a couple of years ago, but if not I would love it if you joined me! “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between […]

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On Death and Living in the Moment

Today’s post is from my daughter-in-law Lauren. She is amazing and I love her words in this piece. You can read more about her work here. Thanks for reading! New Years Eve, four years ago.  It was 9 days before my dad died, but we didn’t know that then. Cancer doesn’t give you a timeline. […]

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Depression and the Third Culture Kid

Six years ago I entered the office of my primary care doctor and burst into tears. I sobbed until I could not sob anymore. I sobbed until all that was left was a broken soul and no more tears. When I left the office that day, I left with red eyes, a red nose, and […]

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In the Fourth Watch of the Night

Recent Headlines: Saturday, December 3 – 10-alarm fire in Cambridge, MA displaces 166 people. Saturday, December 10 – Explosions outside football (soccer) stadium in Istanbul kills many. Turkey declares Sunday a national day of mourning for the country. Sunday, December 11 – Terrorist attack in Coptic Church kills over 25 people with many more wounded. Most of […]

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When No One Shares Your Grief

A week ago my mom called with some sad news. Stefanous had died. I was so shocked. He was only 5 years older than I am. His youngest daughter was only just married two weeks ago. A flash flood of memories instantly floored me and I began to cry. For those of us who grew […]

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Conversation and Laughter at a Funeral Home

The New Comer Funeral Home is in a primarily residential area in Rochester, New York. It is a one story, unassuming building and the only indication that its business is death is the word “funeral.” We arrived at the funeral home on a bleak and rainy Friday afternoon for an appointment at 1pm. No one had died. There […]

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A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

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Dear Robynn, I enjoyed your “Friday’s with Robynn” post (A Hidden Pearl. January 29,2016). It really resonated with me, so thank you for posting it. It was very thought provoking for me. Earlier this year I experienced a very similar feeling to the one you had having returned from Thailand. My friends and I arrived […]

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The Healing Word

It is Monday morning and already the work week has assaulted me. My ‘to do’ list seemed to procreate over the weekend and I opened my email to many demands. It was a weekend full of family and life, which made the news of the Orlando shooting in a nightclub even more poignant. Having been off […]

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The Frozen Sadness of Ambiguous Loss

When my parents first went to Pakistan, they traveled by boat. They would embark on the journey at New York Harbor, heading to the balcony of the ship so that they could see those they loved, family members and friends, for as long as possible. They would wave goodbye for as long as they could, […]

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The Four C’s of Crisis Care

With many thanks to Melissa Dalton-Bradford  When you first meet Melissa Dalton-Bradford, one of your first thoughts is “She is the sort of beautiful that makes me feel beautiful.”  Your second thought is life is not fair because she is incredibly smart, speaks at least three languages, and is a talented performer. But when she begins […]

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In the Arena

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us.”* I’m sitting before the Christmas tree, covered in blankets and lost in thought. The tree has the look of a faded Hollywood beauty. A beauty that once turned heads but now gets barely a nod, […]

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An Album for the Unexplainable

On the afternoon of July 6th I was sitting on the 47 Bus coming home from work when I got a phone call from my daughter, Stef. She was crying so hard that I couldn’t understand her. When I finally realized what she was saying, I too began to cry.  Her best friend Brit had lost […]

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When the Ache is Heavy

 From Between Worlds – Essays on Culture and Belonging, Section on Grief & Loss Pen & Ink drawing from Annie Rebekah Gardner.

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Caring for People in Crisis

  Vlog-Caring for People in Crisis from Marilyn Gardner on Vimeo. My first VLOG!! WHAT?? Yes – I know what vlogging is! This is in response to the piece “Stupid Phrase for People in Crisis”

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Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis

God will never give you more than you can handle. While some may believe it is theologically correct, depending on your definitions, it is singularly unhelpful to the person who is neck-deep in a crisis, trying to swim against a Tsunami. A wonderful phrase recently came from Support for Special Needs. They suggest changing this […]

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“Who Among You can Put Christina Back in the Arms of Her Mother?”

   Sometimes a story emerges that captures all other stories. It becomes the iconic story, the one that explains everything. And everyone knows the story. Everyone from Qaraqosh knows the story of Christina. Christina was three and a half years old when she was literally snatched from her mother’s arms as they were fleeing ISIS. […]

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