Tag Archives: grief

Called

On account of darkness, called: The ball game on the unlit field; the interminable argument. The migration of hummingbirds; the crescent moon, incrementally. Dusk. The hope for something better; the search for survivors. The ovulation of hens. The play of long-ago children. The open throats of morning glories; the songs of wrens, of larks, of […]

Leaving

I hoped he was dead when I woke the next morning,  eight hours after I left him holding the hand of the next hospice volunteer. We call it “vigil:”  a bearing witness and keeping company with the actively dying. We do it for them and their loved ones —  exhausted, grieving families and friends — who are desperate […]

Mike’s grave

Up the hill from my home is a cemetery opening onto a foothills trail that leads to a high school track, where a runner long sidelined might begin again, might test against age and injury the possibility of recovery, or at least resilience.   And then might walk home through the cemetery, but not before stopping […]

Reading lists

The other evening I was on the phone with my best friend Chele, who lives in Michigan’s wild, wintry Upper Peninsula.  I was sharing with her a meditation from Being With Dying,   Zen priest Joan Halifax’s reflections from decades of helping the dying and the living consider the inevitability of their own deaths. Chele […]

Falling

We speak of falling in love,
but there are other ways to fall. Deeper. Longer.

The shape of goodness

A couple weeks ago, I got one of those phone calls you don’t want to get, the ones that — this you realize later — divide time into before and after. What?” I said.  “What?”  Uncomprehending.  Because Mike was a runner — perhaps the best known runner in this large and lively running community — […]

I am not resigned

Every decade or so, when my plastic-covered address book — the old-fashioned kind with tabs for each letter of the alphabet — begins to fall apart, I buy a new one and begin transferring names.  Not just the names of the living who are still part of my life, but the names of the dead […]

Two wolves

I was surprised by Orlando — not the wholesale carnage of the latest gun violence, which has become too familiar to shock any American — but the virulently anti-gay sentiment which apparently motivated the killings. I came out 35 years ago, so I’m no  stranger to homophobia.  I’ve heard all the slurs; I’ve been heckled for daring to […]

Building toward yes

When I looked up at the robins’ nest this morning, I was shocked to see how the youngsters had grown.  It’s only in the last few days that they’ve begun twittering when their parents arrive with food. Before that,  the only evidence of their arrival was their silent, perpetually open beaks — four — jutting skyward. Now, […]

Leaving

I hoped he was dead when I woke the next morning,  eight hours after I left him holding the hand of the next hospice volunteer. We call it “vigil:”  a bearing witness and keeping company with the actively dying. We do it for them and their loved ones —  exhausted, grieving families and friends — who are desperate […]