Poetry Friday: “All You Who Sleep Tonight”

After seventeen years of marriage, sleeping alone in our bed evokes a deep, intimate loneliness. I miss Rob every time I turn off the light and slip beneath my blankets. Since he died, many nights I just can’t do it. I grab a sleeping bag and pillow and camp out for the night on theContinue reading “Poetry Friday: “All You Who Sleep Tonight””

When Despair Speaks

Many people who mourn don’t feel they can admit the darker parts of grief. The days they don’t get out of bed. The feelings of anger or hopelessness or desperation. Oftentimes, when a grieving person tries to share these darker places, his or her feelings are diminished or silenced by others. “There’s always hope,” we’reContinue reading “When Despair Speaks”

The One Who Lost Her Husband

“Oh, you’re the one who lost her husband,” she says as I introduce myself and shake her hand. “Yes, that’s me,” I reply. I wonder now if she caught my name, or if this single event in my life will be my defining feature, the one thing she remembers each time she sees my face.Continue reading “The One Who Lost Her Husband”

Reteaching Loveliness

My youngest daughter adores pigs. What began as an obsession with Peppa Pig cartoons has grown through the years into a full-blown love affair with swine. She owns a full pig costume, complete with snout, ears, and pig slippers. She fawns over adoptable pot bellies on Petfinder.com. She sleeps in a bed invaded by anContinue reading “Reteaching Loveliness”

Poetry Friday: “A Green Crab’s Shell”

As I child, I loved to collect shells on family trips to the beach. Walking along the shore, I added smooth stones, shards of sea glass, even crab parts to my bucket. A diverse assortment of seaside treasures. Inevitably, the crab shells and legs and claws I found so fascinating would begin to stink inContinue reading “Poetry Friday: “A Green Crab’s Shell””

The Comfort Between the Words

I once visited a high end restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, where video screens were installed in individual bathroom stalls. Once you latched the door behind you, the screen booted up and began to play. It felt like the perfect motherhood cliche. Even in the bathroom I couldn’t get a sliver of silence. We NorthContinue reading “The Comfort Between the Words”

The Nicest Gift You Could Give

The year after our first daughter was born, Rob gave me a Kitchen-Aid standing mixer for Mother’s Day. In secret, he headed down to our local Williams-Sonoma store and picked it out. We’d only been married for three years. He didn’t yet realize how much I hate to cook.  In those years, we were prettyContinue reading “The Nicest Gift You Could Give”

Poetry Friday: “Before Writing Back…”

What do you say to a friend whose loved one is dying? What words are adequate in the face of death? We stammer or babble or, worse, say nothing. What our friends need in their grief, what we need in ours, is the person who will allow her heart to beat beside ours. The companionContinue reading “Poetry Friday: “Before Writing Back…””

Have Mercy On Me, A Sinner

During the research and writing of What Your Body Knows About God, Rob got serious about prayer. In his research, he discovered that 12 minutes of focused prayer actually helped to rewire the brain; and he worked hard to carve out time to pray, often in less than hospitable locations. At work, Rob found aContinue reading “Have Mercy On Me, A Sinner”