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 →

Out-aging my big brother

This week marks 12 years since my big brother David died. David was born 12 years before me. I'm now the same age he was when he fell 200 feet while hiking in the Colorado mountains: 47 years old, 47 years young. It's weird enough being his age. But, next year, it will be 13... 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 →

Move Your Skin

I often wonder how my brother David would have reacted to developments in the world had he lived. Would he have joined Facebook? Probably — he would have liked creating photo albums of his trips and carrying on conversations in threads with other athletes. I think Instagram would have delighted him, with his penchant for... 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 →

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 →

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 →

What Haunts

After my big brother David fell from a mountain peak in Colorado eleven years ago, I became consumed with the loss, with his life, and especially with extreme sports and outdoor adventure stuff because it was what consumed him — and what killed him. It haunted me. It haunts me still.

Shit Will Go Wrong

Suddenly I'm surrounded by amazing women who have had their lives “go pear shaped.” That expression, which my husband picked up from his English bandmates, loosely means that the best laid plans have gone terribly wrong. Right now, many of my female friends are dealing with some really tough shit: A divorce, the aftermath of a... Continue Reading →

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