A very personal essay about mothers and mortality. How can we celebrate Eastertide during a time of COVID-19? In the May 5, 2020 print edition of Christian Century, online here. … [Read more...] about What Language Can I Borrow?
(I wrote this for Easter 2020, but it's still applicable in Easter 2021. Published in The Christian Century.) Yesterday was Good Friday. Instead of working on a sermon or reading scripture to follow Jesus along the Via Dolorosa, I spent hours on the phone with my elderly mother, trying to help … [Read more...] about Easter during a Pandemic
Do you sometimes have body memories -- that is, memories triggered by bodily experiences? Today I sat down in a dentist chair, opened my mouth for Abby, my dental hygienist, and was pierced by grief and a sense of doom. My body seemed to recall -- more clearly than my mind -- a teeth cleaning … [Read more...] about Body Memories of Grief
My little church experienced two unexpected deaths in two weeks -- fatal heart attacks of otherwise healthy persons. During that same period, a good friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a month. I did all the things a pastor does. I visited hospitals and put … [Read more...] about When Grief Sucks Us Dry: A Funeral & “Fun Home” On the Same Day
Do you know someone who is struggling with infertility? Perhaps this is the story you live, but hide from others. Or perhaps you have a different but similar sort of heartache. Do you know the feelings of repeated loss and grief, which bring a sense of hopelessness? My friend Elizabeth Hagan has … [Read more...] about BIRTHED: Finding Grace through Infertility, a book review
My father died in the early morning hours of Father's Day, about a month ago. My husband and I have been keeping my mother company since then. We're grateful for flexible schedules -- an upside of being a writer married to a teacher on summer vacation. As the days pass, we are finding our way to … [Read more...] about This Is How We Grieve
My father wrote the liturgy for his memorial service many years before his death. Working with it after he died, I felt very close to him. As a pastor, I have planned and conducted many funerals. Years ago Dad told me he wanted to prepare his own memorial service liturgy, and asked me to send him a … [Read more...] about Memorial Service Liturgy