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 →

Grief Vacation

Last weekend, my husband Peyton and I flew to Denver for a special occasion. I had reserved a small SUV rental, knowing where we were ultimately headed—south past Colorado Springs and Pueblo, then west to the small town of Alamosa, and really, finally, to the Sangre de Christo Mountains, where several 14,000 foot plus peaks... Continue Reading →

#NationalSiblingsDay

Since when did everything have a “day”? I blame social media for ensuring that not just regular birthdays, death anniversaries, and every other family-oriented holiday on the calendar, but even more days of the year, now pain me. I admit I'm particularly sensitive to this one, and I don't mean to be all triggery. Having... Continue Reading →

Calling the Dead

Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed the terrifying tsunami that followed an earthquake bigger than ever recorded before in Japan. That tragic domino effect cumulatively killed more than 18,000 people, many of whose bodies were never recovered. Countless families had  beloved pieces of their worlds violently ripped away from... Continue Reading →

Days of the Dead

I think a lot about loss. Past loss, future loss; past pain, future pain. The delicacy of existence, of life. The only absolute for each and every one of us: eventual death. There are times it nearly consumes me — it creates anxiety even in moments I am attempting to enjoy something as benign and... Continue Reading →

Bad Math

David would have been 56 today. A photo of us, my head resting on his right shoulder and our brother Tommy sitting at his left, pops up in my Facebook feed as a “memory”—as if I would forget this birthday without this visual reminder. The photo is from a restaurant in Houston called Julia’s where we... Continue Reading →

Ashes, Ashes

A couple of days ago, I clicked the small ornate letter T on my iPhone, as I do most mornings, and ran my finger down the appealingly slick surface, scanning the headlines in my New York Times app. Sick of the elections, racial tensions and ongoing police dramas, I kept scrolling, taking note of items... Continue Reading →

Anniversaries

There is something about anniversaries that seems to automatically set us up for disappointment, regardless of why the day is significant. The year marker of a lovely experience like a wedding, or a benign thing like a birthday, or an accomplishment like quitting smoking are wrought with expectation and memory: What if he doesn't remember? Will I get... Continue Reading →

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