Category: Good grieving

I moved a mile away to a different world

I’ve been gone for a couple of months, lost in a land of packing boxes, Goodwill donations, and memories. After 24 years in the same house, every item I touched contained recollections of the time we spent there. There were many goodbyes – to cassette tapes, maps and detritus from travel, newspapers with notable-at-the-time headlines.... Read more »

Send your child off to college and start something new

Every fall, I feel a tug back to the moment when my kids abandoned my ship and launched their own to go off to college. Oh, the heartbreak, the relative silence in the house, the too few people for dinner. Did I want them to stay home and continue to be their complex and intriguing... Read more »

The 12 things you should know about grieving

Just why I had to write a book about grieving escapes me right now. Do I really think I am the wise one who can enlighten the millions of us who are in grief at any one time? Is it hubris that I have appointed myself the guardian of new ways to look at this?... Read more »
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Writers write, parents let go: a dispatch from Iowa City

Reporting from the Midwest stronghold of creative writing for my annual visit: It’s fairly crawling with aspiring novelists, essayists, memoirists, poets, and related others. For a whole week, we meet in groups of 12 under the tutelage of successful writers who actually make a living doing this, trying hard to help us get better. We... Read more »

Taking mothering for granted on Mother's Day: Not me

Mother’s Day isn’t easy. It can be fraught, for people who received less wonderful mothering than they deserved from their own mom, or from the people who stood in for her. Also for those who received wonderful mothering, and so ache for the presence of their own recently departed mothers. Also for those who long... Read more »

Joy and sorrow can live in the same house: Lessons in grief from an Irish wake

I got caught up in an Irish wake recently when my husband and I stopped in to a familiar restaurant for a quick bite. We pulled up to the only two seats at the bar, ordered, and settled in to talk. Then we noticed the mounting noise – deafening volume, male and female voices, some... Read more »
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It’s Donna Day 2015: Her short and important life

Today is Donna Day. Never heard of it before? Well, listen up. Donna was a livewire, dancer, adorable girl who died. She died four years ago, at the age of four, after surviving brain cancer as long as she could. I know about Donna because her mom is Sheila Quirke, a well-known blogger known as... Read more »