How to Apologize

If you ever want to feel really REALLY shitty about yourself: Leave important people out of the obituary. Yes, I’ve done that. Me, the editor. The supposedly thoughtful, sentimental one. And let me tell you, add that feeling to the general crumminess of grief, and you have the perfect recipe for a clammy pit of … More How to Apologize

Soak It In

It’s that time. The time of year worse than the whole of winter combined. When we’ve had it. With every synapse of our minds, every follicle of our skin, every phantom cell of our soul: We need Summer. But Summer is a flighty, uncaring temptress. She takes her damn time. She naps and adorns her hair and organized her closets. … More Soak It In


Yes, I was raised Catholic, but that doesn’t have anything to do with this. It’s a realization I had when I read a stirring essay by April Perry. (Thank you, April, for writing it.) And here is that realization:

Words of Wisdom

As I venture forward into a future without Sue or Shirley, I’m comforted by these words of wisdom from Shirley herself. They are from a speech she wrote for our wedding, and I read them at her service. Take advantage of the insight that only a century of living and loving can truly bring. I think you’ll find … More Words of Wisdom


What has helped you through grief or a particularly challenging time? For me, it’s writing. Very few people have ever read my poetry. It’s my great intimacy. But right now, I can find no other way to express the events and emotions of the last few days. Shirley’s death clings to my soul in a … More Bereavement

Meaning of Dreams

Oh, to write again! Today I’ll be pouring words onto the page and trying to organize them in some meaningful sense for me and for you. In the meantime, I wrote this (rather eerie now) piece last week, before the shock of Shirley’s death, and I feel I must share it now. The holiday apparently … More Meaning of Dreams

A Life on a Page

I wrote my second obituary this week. That’s not something I ever thought I’d add to my repertoire, though I guess it’s nice to have something productive and helpful to do in times like these. The last time this happened I was like a deer in headlights when the family asked me to do it, … More A Life on a Page

Deja Vu

We lost Sue’s mother yesterday, a beloved grandmother to my husband, to my daughter, and to me. All of our recent sorrow wells up fresh and takes on a new burden. We’re flying back to Minnesota. We know all too well the list of tasks awaiting us. We had our orientation only a year ago. … More Deja Vu

Haunted Easter

Thanks to my poetry post on Friday, I found the following poem in my inbox this morning. My favorite line: “We see your raised face/at both sides of a day.”