Descent Into Darkness

“We must drop unguarded into the holy bath of grief, inside of which all truly happy men and women must bathe to transform the great losses of life, in war, sicknesses, the loss of homelands and the loss of one’s confidence in human decency into a wailing that ends in poetry and elegant praise of the ability to feel. For desire, mistaken for love, without the capacity to truly feel the losses that actual loving entails, is what makes murderers of people who have no home friendly enough to allow them both the complete sadnesses and joys their love can feel.”

– Martin Prechtel, Stealing Benefacio’s Roses

There are certain archetypal events that change a life, that leave an imprint so deep on psyche that even if the conscious mind forgets the date, the unconscious reminds you every year through shadows of memories, dreams, and sensations of the day that … Click here to continue reading...

Guiding Children Through Grief: The Aftermath of the Colorado Floods

“Mommy, Ryan’s not being kind!” I hear my four year old, Asher, yell from the next room. Our dear friends, who we’ve seen every Wednesday since Asher and Ryan were babies, are staying with us at my mom’s house since we were all evacuated from our homes as a result of the recent floods here in Colorado. Ryan has been through an extremely challenging year punctuated by several extreme losses, and while his parents are as attentive, loving, and compassionate as they can be, sometimes it’s just too much for a little guy to process. When his own internal floods rise up, the overflow sometimes comes out in the form of pushing boundaries and prodding others.

“Ryan, are you trying to hurt me?” Asher asks.

“Yes,” Ryan replies with a mischievous grin on his face.

Ryan is one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met and I know he doesn’t … Click here to continue reading...

A Flood of Grief

Life seems so normal until a fire burns through your home, or someone you love is diagnosed with a serious illness, or you’re awaked at 6am by your cat uncharacteristically digging her claws into your toe until you get out of bed, pull back the curtains, and find the 500-year flood roaring through your backyard. Have you ever had a dream where a tsunami rises up a beach until it’s at your feet? That’s what this sight was like, except that it wasn’t a dream at all. It was the beginning of a story that is still unfolding, a test and challenge in our family’s life that we are walking through as best we can.

The next hour is a bit blurry. I remember yelling “Flood!” and my husband jumping out of bed. I remember my older son, Everest, asking if Tashi was okay and me explaining that it was … Click here to continue reading...