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Facing Fear to Follow Father’s Footsteps

I squealed and talked into the camera. A selfie video. I was going to take the calculated risk of being drowned in an endless ocean to do what my father had done. To follow his footsteps.CharlesIsland3 (2)

Are you afraid? I am sometimes. I was afraid after my father died. I was afraid of a life without him, an ever-present anchor. A friend. A fan. A guide. Grief generates fear. How would I manage?

Honestly, I was always a person of fear. As a child, I feared the dark. Now I fear the water. Not so much that I won’t go into a pool that’s over my head, but I don’t venture far from the edge. I’ve never been on a cruise. The Titanic comes to mind. Read more

Keepsake Keeper Resolves to Latch Onto Memories & Hope of Heaven

I want to share a poem with you that I heard again just before Mother’s Day. I first read it in 2011 at a memorial service for a teenager. She had died “out of order,” before her parents.

Jessica was very much loved. Her family and friends crafted a garden at the church she attended and put the poem in concrete. A particular word stood out for me. It felt like that poem was mine. Maybe it will be “yours,” too.


A beach on the shore of Connecticut, where Dad grew up. When I go here, I think that I might be walking in his footsteps. He visited the beach as a boy and then with me.

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To Mom: What Would I Do Without You?

I discovered the homemade Mother’s Day card inside a box of her things and read what I’d written at the bottom as a young teenager.

“If I didn’t have you what could I do?”

Indeed, I told myself, sitting in her house among her things, This is the question I’ve lived with since she died.

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My mother and father on their 40th wedding anniversary in 1998. They marked the day by renewing their vows.

This is my 8th Mother’s Day without Mom. Among my friends are those who face their first Mother’s Day without their mamas. For others, it’s been many years.

We all manage to get through it, but not so easily. I hope by the end of this post, you can personalize my ideas and cope more easily.

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How Do We Survive Grief?

How do we survive grief? A major component is embracing new things. New routines. New relationships. But we stubbornly resist. We want things the way they’ve always been.

Must we discard the old to make way for the new?

Sometimes perhaps, but not always. Healing is at its best in the memories that contain both the old and new. And so we come to my father’s desk lamp.

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My husband using my Dad’s lamp.

The lamp reminds me of the aliens in the 1953 movie, War of the Worlds. Perched on two slender posts, the convex head beams light below – like an alien head.

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