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grief

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Post-Parent Holidays

The loss of one parent may upset the balance of holiday celebrations if that person was the family gathering’s lynchpin. More often than not, the celebrations simply go on, minus one. When both parents are gone, holiday plans can get shaken up like a snow globe. If your already-small party …

IV in hand

The Chance for a Better Goodbye

The post Too Soon brought up the topic of last days. With medical science’s ability, for better or worse, to rescue us from the bodily failures that swiftly took our ancestors to their graves without an adjustable bed or plastic water pitcher in sight, more of us will experience a …

older mom and daughter

Scale of Loss

About a year after my mother died, when I was in my late 20s, I stepped on an elevator at work and into the middle of a conversation between two women I took to be in their early 60s. “What’re you doing this weekend?” one asked. “Well,” the other said, …

balloon

Untethered

I had a lot to keep me busy after my father died—emptying his house, deciding what to keep, trying to sell or donate the rest, finally putting the house on the market. That summer, my husband and I went on a vacation to Italy we’d planned before my dad’s unsuccessful …