Artful Living After Loss Blog

“Get Over It” and Other Unhelpful Advice

I originally wrote this piece for the Creative Grief Studio and wanted to share it here as well. Post-election many people found themselves unexpectedly grieving over the outcome. As will happen, there was also judgement about the validity of that grief. Ironically, I...

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Sometimes It’s The Little Things

I helped my daughter move from the Grand Canyon to Bozeman, MT outside Yellowstone this week. I followed in her car while she drove a U-Haul across 4 states with her life inside. Once again, I couldn’t help but think that her dad should be here so I had a little...

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America’s Best Idea

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service. This year the parks will celebrate their centennial. The National Parks have been and continue to be important places for our family. We have made memories that will last a...

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Hard Is Hard. Let Go of Comparisons.

Picture a giant warehouse stacked to the ceiling with boxes. Now imagine those boxes are filled with types of losses: divorce, death of a parent, bankruptcy, chronic illness, death of a spouse, pet loss, a child moving to another state, and more. What shelves do you...

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Stories and Cupcakes

I have a folder on my computer called, “Tools Laurie Uses.” My friend was a tech geek to say the least. She earned a Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 1987. Her dissertation was on fractals, for heaven’s sake. She was a...

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My National Park Quest

A big welcome to those of you participating in the Meaningful Making e-course. I hope you found the quest tool helpful and are ready to start planning your own, whatever that looks like for you. As I mentioned in my article, I have used photography and hiking since...

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty My rating: 4 of 5 stars Happily a book of fiction that does a nice job covering the emotions of grief in a real way. I’ve read several that devolve into platitudes and the commonly held myths of grief but not this...

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Good at Hospitals

“I’m going to come sit with you tomorrow. I’m good at hospitals,” she said. It was September 28, 2008, the night before my husband had major surgery to remove his cancer and his esophagus along with it. I’m not sure what I was thinking by not planning to have someone...

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Book Review: Signposts of Dying by Martha Jo Atkins

Signposts of Dying: What You Need to Know by Martha Jo Atkins My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is such a valuable book for someone who finds themselves companioning the dying or is anticipating being in that position. I have had the privilege of escorting two loved ones...

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My Grief is Giving Me ADD

Six years ago today, my husband died. You’d think I would get better at getting myself through this day and maybe to some degree I have. Last year - the fifth anniversary - was tougher as I remember it. Today, I’m not carrying the intense sadness of that...

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Book Review: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows My rating: 4 of 5 stars My grandparents used to describe the depression in some detail and all spent their formative years in mill towns of the south. Reading this book was like having a conversation with them again. The...

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