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Safety Issues in Grief

During early grief, we are preoccupied, distracted, and forgetful. We lose our cars in parking lots, forget pots cooking on the stove and are careless with sharp objects. We are prone to dropping things and falling, all of which make…

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Ghost Town

I live in another woman’s house. I drive another woman’s car. I wear her clothes and sleep in her bed. Sometimes, I stand in her closet and finger her jewelry and think things like, Why so many necklaces? and Where…

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Eleven Thanksgivings After 

The Monday before Thanksgiving my emotions pulled a surprise attack. The cold sunny weather provided a Texas-perfect backdrop for Thanksgiving week, with Monday marking the first official day of preparation. Dinner would be at my sister-in-law and brother’s this year….

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November Again

Leaves are turning the shades of autumn. Then falling, one by one, to the misted ground below. Summer flowers have faded and died. The sun hides behind dark and dreary clouds. It is November again. Was it long ago that…

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The Francis Slow-Cooker, Or How the Wars Came to Our House 

My son Francis survived his tours with the Tenth Mountain Division in Iraq and Afghanistan. He survived Afghanistan’s notorious Korengal Valley. If you’ve read Sebastian Junger’s book War or seen the documentary Restrepo, you’re familiar with the “Valley of Death.”…

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The Student Becomes the Teacher

Some of the finest people I know are the ones in our group. I often wonder why. Were these people compassionate, warm, and calm before? Or did the instantaneous change imbue them with kindness—like Popeye eating his spinach? We have…

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Moving On?

Have you ever had a friend who lost a child? You send your condolences, attend the funeral, make a few phone calls to make sure the family is doing all right, and then you go back to living your own…

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Healing Through the Written Word

My grandmother was a teacher and published author who instilled in me an admiration for those who can write well.  Entering college as an English major my intent was to become a journalist, but my education was put on hold…

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And For This I Give Thanks

I am acutely aware that autumn is here. As I write this, the air coming through my window is crisper and the leaves are taking on the golden and scarlet hues of the season. The shorts and tee shirts, which…

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Gaining and Losing

It is hard to believe that it has been thirty years since a single phone call changed my life forever, informing me that my 17-year-old-son, Scott, had been killed in an automobile accident. With those words, my “normal life” as a…

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