Category: Grief

When old dogs learn new tricks

When old dogs learn new tricks
We’ve become accustomed to the ‘kind of amusing but not really funny’ jokes about being old: my back goes out more than I do… I took up jogging so I could hear heavy breathing again… I’m so old I remember when emojis were called hieroglyphics. Bada boom. Thankfully, notions of aging as defined by some... Read more »

When the student is ready, the teacher will come

When the student is ready, the teacher will come
It’s my father’s birthday today. He is 119 years old. I write in the present tense because he is still very much alive; on my mind often and in my heart always. How I would love to talk to him today. There is so much that I left unsaid; so much I want to say... Read more »

Finally, I’ve seen the light. Now the struggle is to be the light

Finally, I’ve seen the light.  Now the struggle is to be the light
My path to a semblance of enlightenment was like a one-liner, ‘I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger, and then it hit me.’ For years I would wake up in the morning and ask, “Why am I here?” The moans and groans that were part of the hypothetical question were background music for a... Read more »
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My friend is gone, and the depth of the loss is deeper than I foresaw

My friend is gone, and the depth of the loss is deeper than I foresaw
I didn’t know him inside and out, but I regarded him as a genuine friend. Now he’s gone. And I realize what he meant to me. And how much I will miss him. We didn’t go to ball games together or play poker on Thursday nights, but we talked, we exchanged feelings, we sensed our... Read more »

The beginning of the journey

The beginning of the journey
Three years have passed since my first post introducing “Cheating Death: How I added years of joy and meaning to my life” to the ChicagoNow blogosphere. Many of my recent posts have reflected on current events, strayed from personal insights to politics and the social movements that are riling America: racism, the Me Too movement... Read more »

Thank you, Mary Oliver

Thank you, Mary Oliver
I was blind and She taught me how to see. (I knew nothing about wild geese). I despaired; what is the point I wondered. She nodded in understanding. When I am there l look to the sun. On the darkest day, it shows me the way to the miracles. Miracles, really… Sunlight bathes the bud... Read more »
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HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK Step 4: – No buts about it

HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK  Step 4: – No buts about it
My promise to the baby with the 2019 sash is to stay young at heart, regardless of the hundred and one daily reminders that I was born when the Dead Sea was still alive. It’s not easy to swim in the mainstream but if you’re finishing dinner before most people leave the office, you’re resigning... Read more »

HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK. Step 3 – Crash your Maserati into the Jones’ Jaguar

HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK.  Step 3 – Crash your Maserati into the Jones’ Jaguar
I’m not suggesting that money is the root of all evil, although there’s a compelling case for the proposition. Having the wherewithal to live without the fear of residing in the backseat of a ’96 Pontiac is essential to one’s well-being. And surely, having some reserve past the worrisome stress of living pay check to... Read more »

HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK. STEP 2: ABANDON ALL HOPE

HAPPINESS GUARANTEED OR YOUR LIFE BACK.  STEP 2: ABANDON ALL HOPE
Tricky word, “hope.” “I hope I win the lottery.” Harmless enough aspiration although I’ve repeated it a couple hundred times with absolutely zero results. “I hope the Bears win the Super Bowl.” Wow, this year the possibility is more than a pipe dream; it can happen. Surely there is nothing detrimental in being optimistic and... Read more »
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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 »