Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

Betsy - An Extravagant Friend We are in Athens, mere steps away from the Acropolis that sits high above the city inviting people of every tribe and nation to come and walk its ancient paths. It is the height of privilege to be here and I am deeply mindful of this. And though Athens has … Continue reading Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

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

Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

Dear Dad, Soon after you died, I began planning Mom's 90th Birthday. As I planned, I would periodically panic - something seemed to be missing. Now I know that something was a someone. It was you. Normally I would have talked to you about it, talked to you about what you would want to add, … Continue reading Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

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

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

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

But Still – It Hurts

Dear Dad, I'm up early and all is dark outside. They say it is going to rain and even now I hear the drops splatter on the pavement outside. I woke up thinking of you - your life as it was before the last six months, your life as it was the last six months, … Continue reading But Still – It Hurts

A Fight to Live

On Sunday afternoons we observe post liturgical nap time. It is a sacred time where the apartment is absolutely still as we go to our respective spots and either nap, read, or rest in general. We have done this as long as we have been married and I don't believe it will ever change. This … Continue reading A Fight to Live

A Brief Reflection on Airports and Life

I am bleary-eyed at the Orlando airport. There's a reason why the infamous "they" tell you to get to the airport early - long security lines extended far into the lounge area. We sighed as we inched our way through, a bright green electronic sign informing us that the process would take 35 to 45 … Continue reading A Brief Reflection on Airports and Life

Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

Tomorrow I will board a plane and travel to Florida for my mother-in-law's funeral. Since we found out last week, I have been thinking about death - how final it is, how permanent it seems, and how unreal it is until you are actually back in a place where the person lived. I read these … Continue reading Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

Broken

Over the weekend, the father-in-law of one of my colleague's was badly injured in a bike accident. When I inquired as to how he was doing, he simply said "Broken".  With multiple fractures and bruises, that is the most descriptive word possible.  Broken.  Early this morning we received word that my mother-in-law died. Her body … Continue reading Broken

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. … Continue reading On Death and Living in the Moment

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 … Continue reading Conversation and Laughter at a Funeral Home

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 … Continue reading An Album for the Unexplainable

A Death Anniversary

A Death Anniversary by Robynn On April 12, 2014, our youngest daughter, Bronwynn, went bowling with her Sunday School teachers. The previous week she and I had been to a special Butterfly Pavilion at the mall. There she had purchased three tiny caterpillars in a precarious cardboard box with her own money. She had watched … Continue reading A Death Anniversary