I can’t say, “Has it been forty years already?” because when someone you love dies, even a day without them is a lifetime.
‘Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas
Haraldson Christmas Rule Number One: No gift shall be opened until Christmas Eve. No exceptions.
The Unassuming Santa
I miss my dad all the time, but especially at Christmas, when I know children would be looking at him, thinking, Is that Santa?
Grief Talk: Acknowledging the Date(s) (part 2)
Readers Respond: So many unique and inspiring ways to remember our loved ones.
Grief Talk: Acknowledging the Date(s) (part 1)
On April 5, the first anniversary of my dad's death, I ate a tin of kippers for breakfast. He loved kippers on saltines. I'm curious how (or if) you mark the date of death and birthday of a loved one. Are there traditions you've established or have considered establishing? How do you think about or … Continue reading Grief Talk: Acknowledging the Date(s) (part 1)
Grief Talk: What to Keep, What to Give Away
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
Going to the Movies
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.
How to Read in the Snow
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
Grief Talk: “Merry” Christmas?
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.
A Laundry List of Moments
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.