BY CHRIS CALKINSSEPTEMBER 24, 2023 6:00 AM For many years, my work as a health care administrator and teacher have intersected in meaningful ways. I have had the unique honor of being present at the end of life with several individuals, and stood with families in the moments before and […]

Practicing empathy prepares us for the inevitabilities of life

BY VALERIE STAPLETONAUGUST 27, 2023 6:00 AM People can leave you when you’re not ready. Sometimes they leave with no remnants of connection left behind. When one of my closest friends took his own life, I turned to art to stay sane. On Aug. 25, 2019, I got the call […]

Art helped find a connection after catastrophe

BY JACKIE NAGINEY HOOKJULY 30, 2023 6:00 AM I answered the phone and could tell this friend was unsettled. A relationship and job possibility had both ended for him. Grief had come for a visit, but I didn’t recognize it at first. As a spiritual director, celebrant and end-of-life doula […]

‘Helping’ someone who is grieving may look different

BY MIKE BERRENAJUNE 25, 2023 7:00 AM Many men describe their grief experiences as feeling devoid of emotion and lacking tears. My father, Lou, was not like other men. He shared his loss and his grief openly, showing tears and savoring memories of when he lost my mother and my […]

Dad provided model of grief and grieving that helped through ...

BY LAURI PERMANMAY 28, 2023 6:00 AM When my teenage sister died in a car accident, friends and neighbors blessed our family with oodles of food. The large dining room table, used only on holidays, was covered with food, enough to serve all the out-of-town family members who crowded in […]

Dementia brings ‘unofficial loss’ and often leads to grieving alone

BY KEN BAXTERAPRIL 23, 2023 6:00 AM Hanna Arendt, one of my favorite philosophers, said, “We will lose everything, including our lives.” I would add everything and everyone, and in no particular order. In my younger days, I helped people navigate an ever-changing, and increasingly dangerous world. Teaching self-defense to […]

The ‘what-ifs’ are real, but we must live without fear

BY AL VICERE MARCH 26, 2023 7:00 AM It’s March 30, 1981. My wife Nancy had gone into labor hours earlier that morning with our first child, our daughter Jana. Things progressed slowly. That was the start of a pattern. Jana always was late. The slow pace continued, so I […]

Ghostbusting and the power of living forth

BY JACKIE NAGINEY HOOKFEBRUARY 18, 2023 7:00 AM It was a cold, rainy night two weeks ago when ten people arrived at my house and began mingling around the snack table. After 30 minutes of small-talk we moved into our “relaxing room”— what most people call a living room. Some […]

Attend an evening of soul-fed storytelling in State College

BY EVELYN WALDJANUARY 22, 2023 8:00 AM We’re moving quickly into another new year. The older I get the faster time passes. It is customary to wish folks a “happy new year.” Yet for some folks, happiness is not something they wish to hear about — at least not right […]

Why ‘Happy New Year’ may not be possible for all

BY BETH MCLAUGHLIN DECEMBER 25, 2022 8:00 AM I watch as my mother inches forward in her recliner as she readies herself to stand. She pauses and looks at me, “Beth Ann, do me one favor before I die, would you?” “Of course, Mom, what is it?” She wags her […]

The shape of me