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


BY JACKI HUNT NOVEMBER 27, 2022 7:00 AM My mother was the only one of her six siblings to go to college. Although she didn’t get past the second year, having married my father and then given birth to me 13 months later, she remained curious about the world, and […]

‘In the Garden’ and Mom’s final words


BY EVELYN WALDOCTOBER 23, 2022 7:00 AM I remember as a child the anxiety I often felt when it was time to play sports. Two children were chosen as captains and picked their teams one person at a time. In the end, there would be a few of us remaining, […]

Embracing all of who we are can bring hope, healing, ...



BY MADDY ARTHUR SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 6:00 AM Sometimes, when people ask me where my dad lives, I say “Western Massachusetts!” In reality, he lives (read, exists) in a jar on my desk. The day my sister brought me his ashes was the first time we had lived together since […]

Grief you can’t escape — and don’t want to


BY MARIA VINCA AUGUST 28, 2022 6:00 AM I remember once as a child when we had a babysitter, a rare occurrence for our family, and my siblings and I were home with a high school girl named Biffy. We were sitting around the family room playing with the TV […]

Recognizing, accepting the gifts that come from loss


BY ALICIA ANDERSON JULY 31, 2022 6:00 AM The dress we ordered for my mom to wear to my daughter’s wedding in May 2020 still hangs in the spare bedroom at my house. It is a dusty blue that brought out the lovely blue of her eyes. The only other […]

Grama’s unworn dress stirs up memories, reflection




BY JOHN VALENTIK MAY 22, 2022 6:00 AM June 19 is Father’s Day. This will mark a milestone in my life, as it’ll be my first Father’s Day as a father and my first Father’s Day without my fathers. I lost my stepfather to lung cancer on March 31, 2020. […]

Approaching a Father’s Day of firsts


BY EVELYN WALD MARCH 27, 2022 7:00 AM “How’s retirement?” This is the latest question I hear on a regular basis. On Dec. 31, 2021, I retired from my main, full-time job. I continue to work part-time for Tides and serve a small church. This was a big decision for […]

Retirement offers a new way of being



BY JANE P. BUTLER FEBRUARY 27, 2022 6:00 AM My mind is the fog on a rainy day protecting me from knowing the extent of the grief yet to come. I am in a trance with a list to finish. Checking off each item keeps sadness hidden. When all is […]

Nature’s healing promise