Rituals & Memorials

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

To Hold Death in One’s Hand

Today, I found a bird on my porch. It must have flown into the window and suffered enough damage to not wake up again. A fitting day with death, I thought, just days before I depart on my journey toward chaplaincy. I am going to spend the next several years becoming more and more comfortable with death, so why not now? “What are you going to do with it?” Also with

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

Continuation

I wrote this last week on my Dad’s 63rd birthday. 5/20/14 It’s a beautiful Spring evening in the Pacific Northwest. Sunshine is penetrating my skin, eased by a gentle breeze. Bird songs fill the air. I’m grateful to breathe in this air, grateful to see the Puget Sound through the evergreens. I look down at my feet and see my dad’s long toes peeking through the grass. I smirk his little

Letter to My Mother

I wrote this letter to my mother in my journal while sitting on the above rock. It had been a month and a half since she passed, and I took a solo trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Dear Mom, I miss you so much. I miss your laugh. I miss you in the morning when I visit, in your robe or pjs, making toast, sipping coffee or tea, so

Nature Heals (Part 1 of 4):

The Forest, The Trees Hello dear friends! This post kicks off “Nature Heals”, a four-part series exploring how nature can help develop a deeper understanding of peace through grief… There is an old saying, “Not seeing the forest for (because of) the trees” which means getting so trapped in the details that one fails to see the whole story. This makes sense in grief, too. We can get so caught up

5-Minutes for Compassion

“Use what seems like poison as medicine. Use your  personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.” After my mom died, I was having so much trouble connecting with her. I was feeling lost and alone. I turned to meditation as a way to calm my heart and to connect with her spirit. A few months later, in reading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron I came across a

The Closure Debate

After my first post, a friend sent me a link to Nancy Berns TEDx-talk on Closure. That friend had recently lost one of her newborn twins and the video helped her find comfort in her journey with loss. I agree- it’s a must watch for anyone dealing with grief and perhaps struggling with the idea of “closure”. (Scroll down for the video) Closure is a concept we’ve all heard of, right? It’s

The Yellow Shirt

This story was shared with my sister last Friday by a friend of our mom – it touches on  creating traditions and ends with a revelation on peace. “I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives…” *The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It

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