A surprise starfish from a stranger

While watching TV, my phone beside me buzzed. A quick glance showed an unknown number from Washington State, so I tapped the red decline button, thinking ‘telemarketer, spam, someone selling something.’ A few minutes later, I received a text message from the same number: Please call me about Gregory's starfish. I was about to text... Continue Reading →

Imagining my brother at 60

Today marks my big brother David's 60th birthday. I doubt he ever imagined himself at 60, so youthful was his entire sense of being, but I do. I try to picture him every year on March 13, marking the march of time, celebrating that he was born, guessing at how he'd look each year, and... Continue Reading →

Screaming inside my heart, lungs

In my last post, I reflected on how my deceased brother continues to inspire me to get outside and to exercise — for my health, nerves, sanity. He also inspires my outrage. His step-mother (we have different dads) rightly pointed out that during this pandemic, David — in addition to fueling and calming himself with... Continue Reading →

On the Edge of 47

[Not quite the same ring as Stevie Nicks’s “On the Edge of 17”...?] I'm in a brief liminal state between 46 and 47 years old right this minute; my birthday is tomorrow. When I was born in June of 1973, my big brother David was already 12. Numbers. Ages. They're hard facts, and should seem... Continue Reading →

present (or, I hate shivasana)

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” — Mary Oliver There's a whole lot of sitting with ourselves these days, whether we like it or not. Being present. It comes as no surprise to me that this word which... Continue Reading →

My brother the doctor, extra missed today

Today is my big brother David's birthday. He would have turned 59, and would probably have been freaking out about being on the verge of 60, which I'm certain he would have considered O-L-D. Ironically, aging seems to be one of the only things he was afraid of. It's also Friday the 13th, and we're... Continue Reading →

Kookaburra

When I was growing up, we sang a lot. At home, in church, at school, wherever. One of our family’s favorites to sing together was a tune my mom says she learned in summer camp when she was 12, in Texas, where we all grew up. I'll remember it forever, she wrote me. Maybe because... Continue Reading →

Love like velcro

I wasn’t looking for another dog. We already had one, and he was damn near perfect. But when I saw Trixie’s black, white, and tan face, I was done for. A tiny color photo in an email was all it took. That was 12 years ago. Trixie came all the way from Arkansas in a... Continue Reading →

What makes this year unforgettable?

After thinking about a short piece for a long time, which I envisioned being called “10 Things 10 Years After Your Brother Dies,” over the summer I finally wrote it and Modern Loss — a platform I appreciate so much — published it. I loved working with Gabi Birkner, a compassionate, smart, and intuitive editor... Continue Reading →

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