Grief

27 posts
Finding Joy Amidst the Grief

"What's the worst thing that could happen?," my counselor asked me?  "I get cancer," I replied. "And what's the worst the worst thing about getting cancer?" she continued. I paused, "It would be painful," I replied. *** Pain is something I actively avoid. As a child I decided I would do a flip on the monkey bars, which are probably outlawed by now (thank you 80s school playgrounds). Upon spinning...

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Grief Is Best Served with a Casserole

It had been a long nine months. In and out of the hospital the whole time. Sometimes spending only a few hours, others spending more than a week. From the day she learned she was pregnant, she knew it was different. She would say to her husband, “Something isn't right.” She never used the word wrong. That would be too much. Too strong. Too harsh. "Wrong" might make things worse. “Not right” would leave...

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The Table Of Suffering

She lost her baby that fall. It was early in the pregnancy, but there had already been celebrations and joy at the positive test. Then there was blood and aching and sorrows that sliced them open. Our baby came two months later, the little girl we were planning to adopt. And it was too early. Way too early. I sat in a NICU holding her impossibly small hand and praying...

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A mother’s love, some chocolate, and why you shouldn’t wait to say “I love you”

I learned a lot from my mother, as I assume most people who are blessed with good moms do. And there is something to the phrase "a mother's love" though I can't explain it.  In August 2015, my younger sister and I had flown from opposite coasts to spend some time with Mom in Arkansas. Our scheduled visit ended up being spent at the hospital and things were not looking...

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Grief, Gratitude, and Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated after moving to this old red-brick farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our fifth Thanksgiving in this place. Is it any wonder I am looking back? Every year, we have roasted a turkey bought from a local Lancaster County farmer. I no longer attempt complicated new recipes because these turkeys are so flavorful. There are many reasons to take good care...

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Finding Your Place At God’s Table When You’re Grieving

It was nearly five months ago that I saw a group of EMTs wheel my grandmother into the back of an ambulance. She hadn't been able to eat much and her body had become weak and frail. She often complained of stomach pains and said nothing tasted like it used to. We seemed so far from the days when I used to watch her standing in front of her seventies...

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On Mothering, The Holy Spirit and Making Space

I slip earbuds into my ears to find that she has chosen my music to be the backdrop to which she finds her words. She's in her first ever creative writing class and to everyone's amazement, words ease out of her like a knife passing through soft butter. My daughter is a writer and she's a dang good one. She's so good, in fact, that she recently used her gift...

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After The Storm

My father’s big hands light a hurricane lamp and pull a porch chair closer to his. With a gentle touch on my shoulder, he bids me sit. Trembling joints remind me I have not rested once today. Crackling portable radio grates against my ears, still squawking emergency broadcast After-Disaster instructions. He places a paper plate and a cup of water in front of me on a t.v. tray and urges...

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What Hospitality Looks Like in a Castle

As a writer, I abhor a cliché, and I am no fan of idioms and proverbs. I prefer my words fresh and perhaps a little startling. I like words that wake us up and rattle our usual ways of thinking and seeing. We say if these walls could talk, but what if the creaky floorboards have more important things to declare? We say a man’s home is his castle, but...

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Grief and Joy

I walk with tears in my eyes down to my favorite viewpoint, and I pray. “God, it’s been a year and a half. I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t still be weeping about it.” But I am. I’m just tired, I tell myself. And that is true. Or maybe I’m PMSing. That may be true, too. But both of these statements serve only to minimize my tears...

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