A friend’s husband died last weekend, and like always when I hear news like this, I think about the afterwards: All the decisions she’ll make, all the people she’ll hug, all the words she’ll hear, all the feelings she’ll feel and all the feelings she’ll tuck away for another time. Inevitably, she’ll go through his … Continue reading Grief Talk: What to Keep, What to Give Away
I haven’t been to a movie since pre-Covid, and I can’t remember what I saw last. A dinosaur movie with my grandkids, I think? Oh, but I wish I could have taken them to my very favorite, in-all-my-life-favorite, theaters that used to exist in downtown Clarion, Pennsylvania. They were… Well, you decide.
Find a snow bank, about four feet high; maybe something off to the left of the sidewalk your dad snowplowed this morning before going to work. Pull your mittens up tight and start digging at about a foot below the top of the bank. (A foot is a safe bet for a roof. Shouldn’t collapse.) … Continue reading How to Read in the Snow
A few weeks ago, Carlene started “talking.” When she sits in my lap, she taps my face with her hands and says, “Mum mum mum,” and I am both proud and petrified. When I try to get her to say, “da da,” she always looks confused. “Who’s da da?” I imagine she asks. “He’s the guy we’re both growing up without,” I tell her.
There’s no way can I recall every bathroom or kitchen sink I’ve brushed my teeth, but I remember the feel of my father holding my chin with one hand while teaching me how to brush my teeth with his other.
Out of nowhere I remembered how much I love magic tricks and fireworks and I felt really happy. Peaceful happy. Fun happy. In awe happy. Don't question why happy.
Having spent the better part of two years writing a memoir about how I learned (and am still learning) to live with grief, I can say for certain that grief isn’t exclusively linked to death.
I read the letters, but not the ramblings because, you know, I'd have plenty of time before our next Zoom call to do that. Then he up and died, just like that, on Monday night.
I’m writing this on February 28, 2021, and I hear a train a mile away as the crow flies. When the wind blows a certain way, its whistle is as loud as if that train was passing through the valley that is my backyard. On February 28, 1983, two weeks before my due date, the … Continue reading The Feeling that Will Never Have an Explanation
Watching Dad drive the Mustang home, cigarette smoke flying out the window, he became a little more hip, a little more Rockford, a little more than just Dad.