In response to June

In response to June

This week two readers of the book I wrote about life after loss got in touch to say what amounted to the same thing. One with an offhand comment, and the other with a handwritten two-page letter: You may not know where your baby has gone, but I do. Here’s the secret. God will save you from grief. Am I the caged animal, or are they? Which one of us eats better—the one who forages, or the one who is fed?

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Be where you are, darling

Be where you are, darling

Every now and then, I come across a community or a room that feels comfortable in its sass. There’s a certain rebellious streak I need to note, if it’s going to have the fortitude to include me. Us. It’s got to be a reclamation of sorts, a straight-forward pride of a weird sort that flies in the face of the western world’s oppression of anything real or raw. Modern Loss is one of those places, like ours but a bigger tent. Hop over there to read my thoughts on some intention-setting heading into the New Year—just for us.

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The power of positivity

The power of positivity

Sweet and simple, like a picture book from some other time, but I’ve made a devoted practice of turning up my nose at positivity. Doggedly charting and patrolling the boundary lines that denote my private space. Keeping anyone who would tell me to ‘manifest my joy’ out of my space. Not keeping out joy itself—never!—only those people who would insist upon my performance of it. Anti-positive is not pro-negative. Anti-positive is the staying off your feet of heart-convalescence, permission to be as you are. To breathe.

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Why we glow

Why we glow

I am one week away from the release of my fourth book—my first for adults, and first non-fiction—NOTES FOR THE EVERLOST: A FIELD GUIDE TO GRIEF. I’m spinning. Nervous-spinning. Beset with twitches and dreams of falling and thick with memories and gratitude. Shambhala, my publisher, worked with me to prep for this busy season, and they said: We know you’re a photographer, and that’s great—how about videos? Readings, excerpts, that kind of thing. Can you do that? Always that same moment, the pause of the bereaved. How much can I say? How warm is this room?

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A collection of dismantled almosts

A collection of dismantled almosts

Comfort and companionship is everywhere. People you'd automatically turn to can turn up empty, like a house with all the lights out. Nobody is home. Nobody answers the door even though you know they're inside there, somewhere. You can only walk away. And people you'd never expect to be comfort-giving companions appear in your life mysteriously equipped, regardless of knowing baby death or not. Many do not. Yet there they are, standing with you.

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