Category: Grief

I've never been so ready to die, and so intensely glad to be alive

I've never been so ready to die, and so intensely glad to be alive
This is not a paradox. To the contrary, dying well and living well are correlated as tightly as a magical yin and yang amulet. As I grew older, I came to see how these seemingly contrary energies were complementary and interconnected. Life evolved into an equation: the closer to dying the more precious every hour... Read more »

Reconciling to the reality that the love you feel, is not felt in return

Reconciling to the reality that the love you feel, is not felt in return
The dagger is plunged without mercy, piercing the heart. Defying your Minister of Security, you have left battlements and palisades behind and revealed yourself, naked, vulnerable, all defenses down. The wound is near fatal. The scenarios can vary. You are besotted with love for the man/woman of your wildest dreams. You are the prodigal child... Read more »

I’m 86 years old and fifty years from now I’ll be having Thanksgiving dinner at my granddaughter’s house

I’m 86 years old and fifty years from now I’ll be having Thanksgiving dinner at my granddaughter’s house
This is not a headline about spiking the stuffing with a psychotropic. It’s about the focus of this blog, cheating death by doing the things that give life joy and meaning. For me, of all the holidays we celebrate throughout the year, Thanksgiving is the one with the most… how shall I say it, sentimientos... Read more »
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This is more than politics. This is about good versus evil.

This is more than politics.  This is about good versus evil.
Disclaimer for my Republican readers: I prefer dialogue to demonizing, but events this week really floored me. Hate consumed anti-Semite guns down eleven at Pittsburgh synagogue. Evil is real. It has always existed in corrupt power bases, lurking in the sewers and dank alleys on the fringes of society. But it is out in the... Read more »

The beginning of the journey from the head to the heart

The beginning of the journey from the head to the heart
One hundred and thirty-plus posts have appeared since “Cheating Death: How to add years of joy and meaning to life,” became part of the ChicagoNow blogosphere. For the growing number of new subscribers who have added their names to the email circulation, here is a repeat of post number one, providing some insight into how... Read more »

Turns out the Grim Reaper is not the villain I feared all my life

Turns out the Grim Reaper is not the villain I feared all my life
I met the shrouded one when I was in my teens. He had taken a liking to my older brother and two of his college friends and my introduction came after their holiday season rendezvous on a slippery icy road on the way to Bradley University. I pretended to ignore him but his presence skulking... Read more »
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No cheating death today. But the terms of surrender are pretty good.

My friend died last night. On his own terms. Surrounded by his family. Breathing in their love with his last breath. He lived fully. When there was no longer room for joy in his stricken physical realm, he ceded the field. And died. I had talked to him about this moment. He did not hide... Read more »

Key question for Papa. Why am I still here?

Key question for Papa.  Why am I still here?
I spent an afternoon at the hospital saying goodbye to my dear friend. He is at death’s door, not yet clay but he will never again turn his face to the sun. The next day my granddaughter gave me a Father’s Day hug and time stopped. The Ode to Joy took this loving grandfather above... Read more »