A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

Deck the halls with calls for charity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! ‘Tis the season of incongruity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! #CottageChristmas or starving children? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! My heart is caught and I cannot win this thing! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laa. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do this. The sense of incongruity is overwhelming me this Christmas. I go from essays … Continue reading A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

The Life of a Good Man

"The life of a good man who has died belongs to the people who cared about him, and ought to, and maybe itself is as much comfort as ought to be asked or offered. And surely the talk of a reunion in Heaven is thin comfort to people who need each other here as much … Continue reading The Life of a Good Man

Losing My Umbrella – Some Thoughts on a Father’s Death

I am looking through old pictures when my eyes begin to blur with salty tears. So many of the pictures I've been looking through are pictures of my father. Whether summer or winter, there he is - his familiar face with his ready smile. My dad smiled from his bones. It was never fake, never … Continue reading Losing My Umbrella – Some Thoughts on a Father’s Death

A Fog of Tragedy

There is a fog over the Charles River. While the sun is trying to burn through the mist, the fog is heavy and solid. I wonder if this is what it is like for those families affected by another school shooting. The fog of disbelief and anger so heavy; the gut-deep sadness and nausea overwhelming. … Continue reading A Fog of Tragedy

The Holy Work of Grieving

"Why must holy places be dark places?"* Two days ago, my friend's dad died. In twenty first century vernacular - she "lost" her dad. "Lost" is such a silly thing to say - like she needs to just go searching for him and she will find him; like it's a child's game of hide 'n … Continue reading The Holy Work of Grieving

Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up … Continue reading Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

Advent Reflection – If You are Weary

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. It is beautiful - a Balsam pine tree that brings the forest into our living room. It's a tall tree, reaching proudly to our ceiling, decked out in the season's finest white lights and many years of ornaments. I sit beside our tree and I almost forget that … Continue reading Advent Reflection – If You are Weary

Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

Robynn and I were recently texting about Thanksgiving. This year both of us will fill our houses and hearts with people who are hurting. These will be the tables of the broken-hearted, chairs of the grieving, glasses of the bewildered, and dessert plates of the deserted. What do we do when our tables are filled … Continue reading Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

Morning Sky Over Central

It is windy today as I walk toward the subway. Leaves of varying shades of brown, yellow, and faded orange dance in the street, nature defying the human view of a Monday morning. I turn the corner on Massachusetts Avenue, and the morning sky over Central Station in Cambridge meets me with beauty and hope. … Continue reading Morning Sky Over Central

Death, Loss, and TCK Grief

Yesterday I unexpectedly found myself by a lone bench on an empty ocean front. A boat was just off the shore, solitary but securely anchored in the sea. I ached with the unexpected beauty, the symbolic solitude of the boat. I felt like this boat. Alone, but securely anchored. As I stood there, a scarf … Continue reading Death, Loss, and TCK Grief

The Funeral Cocoon

November has come and the golden-red hope of Autumn is rapidly turning to bare trees and chilly winds. It is a cold time to lay a coffin in the ground. We sat in a small chapel at the Massachusetts Veteran’s Cemetery in Winchendon, Massachusetts.  Winchendon is the town where I was born, where I took … Continue reading The Funeral Cocoon

In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

On June 7th, in 1926, a baby boy was born to a family in the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was fourth in the family, joining three sisters, a mom and a dad. Two years later his youngest sister was born and the family was complete. He was named Ralph Edward Brown and he is … Continue reading In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

Empty Spaces

I walked through the darkened living room just now and gave a little gasp as I looked toward your spot.  Your chair is so empty.  Gone is your big personality and sheer joy at being alive. Gone is the glass of water, the box of tissues, the tank of oxygen. Gone is your Swiss Army … Continue reading Empty Spaces

My Response to #Metoo

Social media has been alive and active with the status "Me Too" - largely posted by women. Some have just typed the words "Me Too" or #metoo, while others have put a longer explanation under the words. If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we … Continue reading My Response to #Metoo

It’s Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be

Friends, my youngest cousin tragically lost her husband just a day ago. My heart is breaking for her and her two littles. It's not the way it's supposed to be. They are a young family and my heart hurts thinking of the grief and loss that they are experiencing. He leaves behind so many who … Continue reading It’s Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be

On Lost Cats and Lost Kids

"Tigger! Tigger!" It is around nine at night and I am half way home when I hear the call. A mom is slowly walking up the street, two mournful kids trailing behind. Every few steps they call out "Tigger! Tigger!" "Oh!" I stop. "Are you looking for a kitty?" "Yes," the mom replies. "She seems … Continue reading On Lost Cats and Lost Kids

“Just Your Presence”

A beautiful article in the Boston Globe today tells the story of a woman who is dying. She invited her friends over for a luncheon, a chance to celebrate while she still had life. One of the friends verbalized her feelings of awkwardness and helplessness in the face of her friend's suffering. As she did … Continue reading “Just Your Presence”

On Monasteries, Children, and Loving Our Enemies

Gunmen Kill at Least 28 Coptic Christians in Egypt The headline spares nothing, except that there were children. I numbly read the article describing the pilgrimage. The group was headed to St. Samuel Monastery for a pilgrimage when pick up trucks reportedly drove up to the busses and began firing automatic weapons. I read as … Continue reading On Monasteries, Children, and Loving Our Enemies