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Giving Away Eyeglasses: Seeing Loss Through New Lenses

If you’re wondering what to do with eyeglasses your loved one left behind, I’ve got an option for you. I found a home for my parents’ eyewear, but first I had to tackle the hesitancy of letting go.

I’d been collecting the pairs of prescription eyeglasses for years as I found them scattered about my parents’ house in drawers and cabinets. I put them in one spot for a future giveaway. It wasn’t as if I didn’t plan to get rid of them, but then the day approached and I struggled.project20parentglasses

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Rejection Letters: Stories Reconnect Mother and Daughter Beyond Grave

I felt like history was repeating itself after I received my first rejection for the book I’m writing about my grief journey. Was I inflicted with a curse or a defective family gene?

I was a girl when my mother received her first rejection letter. Mine came via email, but back in 1982 the letters came through the U.S. Postal Service. Mom received 40-something rejection letters for a handful of magazine articles, but only about a dozen rejections survive. After she died, I found them in a cardboard box under the dining room buffet.

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My mother’s articles and rejections letters.

We keep our rejection letters like love notes from the boyfriend who told us goodbye. Why? Maybe we hope by reading the lines over and over again, we can figure out what went wrong. Was it the writing? The execution of the idea? Or just not a good fit for the publisher?

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Grieving Mom and Dad Differently

Memphis’ first snow of the season reminded me of my daddy, and got me to thinking about how differently we can mourn the loss of each parent.

Dad grew up in Connecticut and had a lot more experience with fierce winters than me. He once won a snowball fight so completely that I opened my coat and a wall of white spilled out.

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My father rests from shoveling snow after an unusually large dump of snowfall in the Memphis area in 1988.

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Stepping on Toes: Different Perspectives on Grief

Grief is such a common experience, and yet so individual and personal, that we’re bound to step on each other’s toes from time to time when trying to define it, express it and get through it.

I thought about this after the Twitter chatter on the deaths of actress Carrie Fisher and, one day later, her mom Debbie Reynolds. Some people took issue with various people’s portrayals of Reynold’s grief, as if it was being romanticized. As if some folks were insinuating that a parent who doesn’t die after losing their child does not love quite as much as Reynolds did.

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Debbie Reynolds’ autobiography was among the things I found while cleaning out my parents’ home. My mother was a fan of the performer.

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