A few weeks ago I was in Pittsburgh speaking about suffering and grace. I shared about the loss of our son, Mack, who died of a blood infection just short of his ninth birthday on New Year’s Eve 2012, and I shared about the grace of our faith that we […]

Celebrate the Love After a Loss

As a campus minister for 3rd Way Collective, I find myself in a lot of interesting spaces. Our organizational identity is rooted in faith-based peace and social justice, and striving for this means that our work ends up centering on what it means to belong. So many of the local, […]

Community Creates a Sense of Belonging

Diana Malcom
During the past few years, our world has known tremendous tragedy. Just last month, a plane crashed at our own airport, taking the life of a generous doctor and his pilot. That’s the local. It’s almost too painful to think beyond our own village. It demands much of us, as […]

Grieve a Great Loss at Your Own Pace

Alicia Anderson
I could barely drag myself out of bed the morning after Willow died. For nearly four and a half years, she had been the main reason I got up early, dressed and went out to walk in all weather. A gray and white Siberian Husky with heaps of soft fur, […]

Social Media Grief Sharing Can Help Heal

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When I began my career in the funeral industry at the age of 21, I had a lot to learn. Looking back on it a half-century later, one thing I’ve learned is I would do it all over again. Although the hours were pretty hard on my family and me, […]

Lessons Learned as a Funeral Director

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“In like a lion, out like a lamb.” “April showers bring May flowers.” Spring is a time of dramatic changes in weather, the cold hard earth softening and bringing forth new life … and endless clichés. Spring is not only the time of nature’s rebirth, it is also graduation season. […]

Preparing for Transitions

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Reposted from Targuman. This past month I had the great privilege to participate in an “OLLI” course with our local funeral home director, rabbi, and Orthodox priest. I was surprised that there was less I knew about the Orthodox mourning traditions, than I did about Jewish ones. One tradition was […]

Remembering the Dead

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As much as we hate it, people we love die. No ifs, ands, or buts — just when. No salve can be applied. No panacea found. There’s no “right” way to grieve. No degrees conferred when, maybe, we are able to string some decent days together. One step forward, two […]

The Lost and Founds of Grieving

Pamela Monk
Let me tell you a story. My father died in 1994. It wasn’t an easy death, he wasn’t an easy man. The official cause was septicemia, but I know it was chagrin. He was on dialysis — his kidneys failed him after years of chain smoking and diabetes. Dad had […]

Stories Can be Passed Down like Heirlooms