Letting Go

Just Tulips

Dedicated to: My Mom Last week in my chaplaincy internship, we were asked to select a photo from a spread on the table, and write a story. Afterward, we each shared with the group and discussed how the story reflects our theology and style of chaplaincy. Here is my photo, here is my story: My Mother often brought tulips home from the market. My favorites were the bright red ones with the

Self-Judgement on the Path

Entering a new environment of any kind can bring up wonder, curiosity, fear, anxiety, joy. The experience was no different as I entered the zendo (Buddhist temple) at Upaya Zen Center for the first time. Although I had been studying Buddhism and practicing meditation for several years, each temple has its own chants, forms, and overall “way of doing things”. These forms are an important part of Zen practice, encouraging constant

Spreading Ashes: A Poem

As we delve into a series on the world of grief rituals, I wanted to begin by offering this poem that was written by a dear friend, Lauri Stock, after a weekend spent spreading her mother’s ashes with her family and mother’s friends. I asked if she would write about her experience to share with the Peace Through Grief community, and she replied with this beautiful poem. They spread a portion of

The Art of Grieving

photo courtesy of www.tnhtour.org A year and a half after my mom passed, I attended a 7-day meditation retreat at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, CA with Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (or “Thay”, as many affectionately call him, which is Vietnamese for “teacher”.) My first exposure to Thay’s teachings was in an Eastern Philosophy class in college. I always found his writings to be healing and accessible, so when I heard about his retreat, I signed up

Motherless Day

Tonight I am enjoying a quiet night in with my sleeping niece while my sister enjoys a (rare) evening out with a friend. It’s Mother’s Day Eve, our third since our mom passed — and the second since my sister became a mother. With days like these on the horizon, I wonder, “What will it be like? A day of celebration? Or sorrow? Will I cry? Or get angry? Will I feel peace? Will I

Six Steps for Saying Goodbye to Stuff

Saying Goodbye to Stuff: Six Steps for Letting Go After Loss Sorting through our loved one’s  belongings can feel daunting and overwhelming, not to mention emotional. We often find ourselves clinging to their material items because we no longer have their physical touch. Every “thing” seems to hold a story. But deep inside, we know we don’t want to haul around a truckload of stuff for the rest of our lives. So we embark

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