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Death

date
Jan
23
2014

Dear Girls: On Half a Lifetime Without My Mother

Dear Girls, This week marks 18 years since my mother died. Exactly half my life ago. Every day after January 24th, 2014 will mean that I have been alive longer without her, than with her. My mother, my beautiful, glowing mother. It seems impossible that she’s been gone for so long. Almost two decades later, Read more…

date
Oct
23
2013

On Grief and Healing

I began working in the world of grief in 2007, officially becoming a bereavement counselor for a hospice in Chicago a few months after I graduated from my masters program. I did so almost with curiosity, which is strange to look back on now that this path I’ve been on seems so strong and so Read more…

date
Sep
15
2013

Objects of Loss

In the months and weeks following my mother’s death, my father and I carefully pulled apart the pieces of her material life. We sorted through her closet, threw away her cosmetics, gave away her cookbooks, her shoes, tossed away the little scraps of paper that ran rampant on her desk, her looping handwriting cascading across Read more…

date
Aug
01
2013

On Ten Years Without My Father

The last thing my father ever taught me was how to install a showerhead. I was twenty-five years old and taking care of him at the end of his life in a small condominium in Southern California. The cancer had gone to his bones by this point and he was unable to get out of Read more…

date
Apr
12
2013

Finding Hope, After Mother-Loss

It’s been almost fifteen years since I first came across Hope Edelman’s book Motherless Daughters. I was twenty years old and living in New York. My mother had been dead for two years and I was more lost than ever. I can’t remember how I came across this book, whether someone told me about it, Read more…

date
Jan
24
2013

Sixteen Years Without Her

Dear Mom, You have been gone for 16 years. Almost half of my life. All morning I’ve been trying to imagine what you would think of me now. I’m thirty-four years old. I live in California. I’m married with two little girls. I’m a writer, and a therapist. I keep wondering if these are the Read more…

date
Jan
16
2013

How Long Do We Grieve

I took this photo of Veronica this morning when I dropped her off at preschool. It’s our morning ritual. After putting her lunchbag in her cubby, reading her a few books, and giving her a hug, I then stand outside the schoolhouse and draw hearts or flowers or smiley faces on the glass for her. Read more…

date
Dec
17
2012

Dear Dad: On the World We Create for Our Children

Dear Dad, I’m sitting here in my little house in Los Angeles, wishing more than I have in a long time that you were still here. Some terrible things have happened in our country and I don’t know which way to turn. I feel angry and confused and sad. So, so sad. I suddenly don’t Read more…

date
Dec
16
2012

Holding Them To My Bones: Thoughts on the Newtown Tragedy

I have so much to say and nothing at all to say. I feel that, as a grief counselor, and as someone who has experienced so much grief, I should have comforting words to offer, but the truth is that I do not. I have been writing about this tragedy since I first found out Read more…

date
Oct
16
2012

Dreams of My Mother

Last night I dreamed about my mother. Specifically, I dreamed that I was besotted with grief over her death, and crying in big, heaping tears. I was crying the way I sometimes want to, but seldom do anymore. I’ve been missing her a lot lately. I’ve been wondering what she would think of me if Read more…