Beginner's Heart
loss Archives

After any death, there is (at least in all the cultures I’m familiar with) a ceremony. In our case, Mom’s funeral. It was definitely a family affair: my sister-in-law led the service, reading well-known & well-loved excerpts from the Bible. […]

At her best, my 14-year-old cat Kali is doing great. She can still jump (most of the time) onto my desk to eat the snack I fixed (NOT for her). She usually maneuvers the leap from the coffee table to […]

Poetry always helps me with grief. With rage at injustice, with loss. With all the sorrows — as well as joys — of human existence. Today’s poem is for the many victims rippling out from the horrific centre of the […]

Today is my friend Carol’s memorial service. It will be held in the chapel where I was married, on the campus where Carol, her husband , and most of my family — including my husband & I — went to […]

One of my students just unfriended me on Facebook. First, however, she sent me a lengthy email, hurt & angry that my posts reflect poorly on her political party, and her political hero. I fully accept responsibility there — as […]

I’m reading Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. She notes that death makes way for birth, and that birth follows death. In my family, we’ve always believed (a kind of Oklahoma folk belief :)) that when one passes, another comes. […]

Sometimes, when things really cut deep, I try to compartmentalise. I want to be the oyster: coat pain and irritation w/ something soothing, wall it off. I wish the boxes produced pearls… Other times, everything bleeds together. A bit like […]

A former student, sharing sad news with me, paid me a lovely compliment this past week. First he told me of his mother’s impending death from cancer. Then he said: I knew you’d want to know. And – I thought […]

I lost my journal yesterday. Now, in the spectrum of griefs, on a day when almost 100 people lost their lives in Norway, this is a very tiny blip. It’s just paper, w/ some words and drawings and pasted-in ephemera. […]