Until Death Do Us Part

What a Life

My mother-in-law died this week. She was the mother of my first wife, Pam, who died almost 10 years ago now.

I’m feeling for Dad especially right now, her husband, as I recall my own grief following the death of my first wife. I remember how hard it was for me to even think about a life without Pam. I’m sure it will be hard for Dad too. (more…)

A Birth That Changed My Life

Forever

I love all four of my children very much – but the one that changed my life forever was the birth of my first son, Devon.

I will never forget holding Devon in my arms for the first time. His mom had to have a C-section and so following the surgery, they gave Devon to me to hold. (more…)

Dying Is Not the End of Life

If you can count on what’s next!

Dying is hard because of relationships.

Some saying dying is hard because of physical suffering. While I have not personally experienced physical suffering in dying, I have experienced the inner angst that comes from the inevitability of no longer being in relationship with someone whom you love deeply. (more…)

Everyone Needs a Wart to Slow Them Down

5 Reasons not to rush through your grief journey

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I had my second wart (since my 58 years of life) on the outside of my left pinkie toe and it slowed me down – a lot!

Today, when I tried to charge through the mall to complete my chores, I couldn’t because the wart was rubbing against the inside of my shoe. It hurt! But it forced me to walk at a normal pace. To my surprise, at the slower speed, I actually began to notice and enjoy everything around me. I really did. (more…)

Thanking God for Good Poops!

Why wouldn’t you thank God for that?

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One of the most endearing pictures I have of my first wife is of her sitting on the toilet as a little girl. Seeing it again reminded me how much I miss Pam. We all do. It’s coming up for her ninth year in heaven, when she died at age 47. (more…)

Bringing Mom Closer

When Mom has died, Mother’s Day can be a sad day.

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Mother’s Day is an acute reminder of what we still miss when Mom is no longer alive on this earth. We celebrate – but it’s bittersweet. Joy mixed with sadness.

Strong memories capture our hearts and minds as we think about the love we shared. On a day when many gather as families, we also find ourselves shedding some tears as we miss her. It’s important to remember and bring Mom closer. (more…)

Everyone Needs a Grief Friend

5 Qualities to Consider

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“Why would I tell you deep things when I don’t know you?”

As a counselor and narrative therapist, I engage people who don’t know me all the time. And I want them to tell me their deepest worries and struggles.

After hearing a person’s story, I will often ask if they have a good friend. (more…)

4 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts That Won’t Cost You a Dime

(And they’re too big to fit under the Christmas tree)

I’ve learned about these gifts from spending time with people as they are dying.

I’m just wondering why people don’t think about these prior to their last moments of life on earth. What would happen if we chose to share these special gifts this Christmas? These are BIG gifts. (more…)