Reluctance

At this time of the year, whatever festival or occasion we celebrate, most of us can recall a vignette of some kind that is part of our personal lore of the season. Some experiences we cherish and remember for a lifetime, others persist in memory, though in truth maybe they are better forgotten.

A Grateful Heart

Though it may seem like a paradox of extremes, grief and gratitude are inextricably linked. Gratitude is an aspect of grief that seems oddly counterintuitive to our experience of loss and sadness. When it comes right down to it, who is ever really grateful for the experience of grief? However we reconcile the effect of death and grief on our heart and spirit, when the final outcome of all our pain and sorrow is deep gratitude for the sacred gift of life, we are transformed both emotionally and spiritually by the death of one we love.

Steady Change

When we stop to consider everything that’s happened since the death of our loved one we realize that our lives have changed – dramatically and irrevocably.

Changing Forward

Grief is an inevitable part of both life and death. Since this website was first launched almost ten years ago, the number of people whose lives have been forever changed by death has increased exponentially. Likely this number will continue to grow. While the fundamental nature of grief remains unchanged, our personal, individual experience of grief has become more layered and more multidimensional because of the frequency, intensity, and alarming regularity with which death occurs in the wounded world in which we live.

Other Love

In grief we are very suggestible. Sometimes we take our emotional cues from the relationship of others to the one we grieve who has died. When “should” takes on larger than life or larger than death proportions, often we set ourselves up for an experience of grief that feels neither personal nor authentic.

The Love of God

In grief there's a kind of fluid balance between fear and love.

Grief at Lent

Lent is a time of spiritual introspection and self-examination that leads to the renewal of our faith and a closer relationship with God.

Comfort

Comfort is an experience.

Christmas

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10 NRSV)

Celebrate

Grief often collides with the ongoing celebration of life.

Transactional Joy

When we grieve at Christmas, often there is a vast disconnect between superficial merry making and the transactional joy of Christmas. We may be surrounded by friends, family, and those we call family, yet we may be unable or unwilling to enter into the organized good cheer of a seasonal gathering. We ask, “What’s wrong with me?” because we are longing for the presence of our loved one. Transactional joy cannot be experienced in emotional isolation. There are always two parties to any transaction.

Thanksgiving

On October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation, “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” At that historic time of divisive war, no one was spared from grief. Everyone lost someone or something - a loved one, property, dignity, or an old way of life.
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