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January 24, 2018
The Shore after the Storm
The sun rises over the ocean where I live, two miles from the Atlantic. You...
August 30, 2017
My Tears Had Names
Guest Post The phone rang. My newborn must have been asleep—I have no recollection of...
June 30, 2017
Poetry Friday: “The Fawn”
Narrative poetry has its special challenge: how does it differentiate itself from prose? David Mason’s...
June 02, 2017
Poetry Friday: “June Prayer”
How to pray for someone bent over by grief when nature is stretching upward in...
April 20, 2017
The Eye Behind the Camera: Kirsten Johnson’s
When we first see the close-up of the dead bird on the ground, we wonder...
April 12, 2017
God is a Wild Old Dog
God is a wild old dog / Someone left out on the highway —Patty Griffin...
March 22, 2017
The Landscape of Grief
Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a...
March 10, 2017
Poetry Friday: “Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme”
It’s fairly common for a poem to be inspired by (or be in conversation with)...
February 07, 2017
The Song of the Desert
“The Word of God which is his comfort is also his distress. The liturgy, which...
January 23, 2017
The World at Midday
I spent Christmas Eve with my mom last month for the first time in years....
January 02, 2017
Poem for the New Year: “In the Candleroom at Saint Bartholomew’s on New Year’s Eve” By Heather Sellers
This poem moves me and impresses me with its sense of almost-but-not-quite arriving at connection....
November 01, 2016
Poison Ivy and the Path of Grief
Though its fruit should’ve been in season, too many harsh Midwest winters left the leaves...
September 30, 2016
Poetry Friday: “After” by Marjorie Stelmach
Grief is a state of being that almost defies articulation. When you’re in it, it...
September 23, 2016
Poetry Friday: “Visitation Rights” by Jeffrey Harrison
I sometimes talk to friends who have died. Especially to friends who acted as spiritual...
August 04, 2016
Last September, I was in Philadelphia for the first time since my freshman year of...
July 29, 2016
Poetry Friday: Four Sonnets
Sonnets meditating on illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages may sound a bit sanctimonious, even...
June 14, 2016
Fifty Shores of Grief
I write this the evening of June 12, 2016, the day forty-nine people died in the...
May 19, 2016
The Long Regretful Wait
By Tony Woodlief My mother’s quavering voicemail was right: I hadn’t called in a long...
May 17, 2016
Grief and the Weight of Glory
The wind whips through the quilts and sheets on our clothesline, cracking now and then...
March 08, 2016
Thawing at the Edges
When the spring teases me one day, outplaying the winter dullness for just an afternoon,...
February 23, 2016
Poetry in a Season of Lament, Part 2
Two Poets Laureate On Grief, Detachment, and Finding New Ways to Live, Part 2 By...
September 21, 2015
Let Me Die Like This
When I die, Lord, let me go in a plane crash, spiraling down, earthward, earthward,...
July 21, 2015
A Bug Night of the Soul
It was a night of tumors, broken relationships, lost jobs, and loneliness. A night of...
June 15, 2015
His Murderer and His Keeper
Some days I can’t remember: Am I Abel or Cain? Blackberry soda in the afternoon...
May 29, 2015
By Jessica Mesman Griffith My best friend died suddenly almost two years ago. She’d lived...
May 12, 2015
There’s a line from last year’s thought-provoking film, Calvary, that’s uttered by a young French...
May 05, 2015
When We Die
A text from a friend: “What do you believe happens when we die?” She’d recently...
April 07, 2015
Saving the World: A Reflection on Germanwings Flight 9525
A couple of weeks ago, a German man decided to kill himself. There are thousands...
April 03, 2015
It Is Finished: Christ’s Words from the Cross
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head,...
February 19, 2015
After the Killings in Chapel Hill
It’s less than forty-eight hours since Craig Stephen Hicks shot and killed three Muslim students...
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