The Shattering of Loss

I have been shattered before.  I remember this feeling. This aimless wandering around my house, not sure what to do next. The holding my daughter close and smelling her hair and being at once comforted and afraid. The explaining to my son that it is okay to actually feel something about this, that the pasted smile on his face doesn’t have to stay, the joke at the ready can remain unspoken. Worrying that the weight of this will mark them in a way I cannot prevent or erase. Worrying that…

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How We Grieve Without Losing Our Way

I spent the weekend nursing my children’s wounds.  Not new wounds—although Lottie did catch her finger in a door and Caden stepped on a tack.  This weekend I nursed the old grief that surfaces every now and again. Our social media highlight reel paints a picture of fun family time spent together this weekend.  We ran the Jingle Jog 5K, planted bulbs, and debuted one of our Nutcrackers (with two ballerinas in the family, one Nutcracker a holiday season isn’t enough).  The kids finished their homework and did their chores….

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What It Really Means to Love “Like a Mother”

She stands in the kitchen looking at me. Her hair is stringy and needs to be brushed. She’s shifting from side to side uncomfortably, unsure of what I’m doing there or what to say. Her brother overdosed last night. Her mother is my good friend, and the swirling vortex of grief and community sucked me into her kitchen, stocking the refrigerator and tidying the counters because that feels like something when there’s nothing. “I don’t know how to make lasagna,” she says, glancing at the pan I’m sliding into the…

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As My Grandmother Died, I Learned That All Mothers Matter

I watched my grandmother die today. She was nearly 93, at the end of a long and storied life, and she had no pain. My mother and I were with her, alone together in the room as she left us. In offering condolences, the hospice workers commented on how sweet she was, how kind and loving. That wasn’t the Mimi I knew. The Mimi I knew was a force to be reckoned with, a powerful self-centered woman who valued possessions and external validation above nearly all else. She frequently recounted…

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I Forgot to Love My Husband: Here’s What Happened

I love my husband Gabe more than I thought it was possible to love anyone, but sometimes I forget. I get swept up in our day-to-day life, managing the comings and goings of our tribe and making sure they’re fed a vegetable every third day or so, and I forget. I forget that I’m doing all this next to a guy who, when I see him walking toward me in a crowd, still makes me look twice. I forget that when we were dating, teenage-girl butterflies swarmed my stomach when…

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