It seems like I haven’t written in forever.  So much has happened in my world and in our world, I hardly know where to begin.  So, I’ll start with me, because it is all about me after all.

My favorite grandma, Marcella, made her transition a couple of years ago (for those of you who don’t speak “metaphysics,” transition means died). She was ninety-four, so it’s not like it wasn’t expected, but it totally caught me by surprise.  There is something so final about death that even when you know it’s coming, somehow it still blind-sides you.

My sorrow temporarily silenced my voice.  Not only did my writing stop but, I actually got laryngitis.  Our grandparents often leave us with pearls of wisdom, and when we lose a grandparent, it can feel as if we’ve lost the connection to their wisdom. Luckily, my grandma wrote poetry and sprinkled her wisdom throughout. I thought I might share some of my grandma’s writing with you.  She was a wonderful writer and artist with great sense of humor.  I have found a lot of comfort in her poetry and short stories.  The first poem is: 


The antics of a fly

On the window pane

Made me miss the sunset.

                     – Marcella Krisel

I love that!  First of all, it’s a true story.  She really was watching the sunset when she noticed a fly cleaning itself.  She couldn’t take her eyes of this fly licking its legs and wings, when it flew away she’d missed the sunset. 

This funny little poem has such a profound spiritual lesson.  Often in life we are so focused on the little annoyances that we miss the bigger more important things.  Then we blame those annoyances for “making” us miss out on something wonderful.  But it’s our choice.  We choose what will get our focus.  That is a bit of wisdom for which I can thank my grandmother.


Let me leave you with this…

I am invited to play

With a Ouija Board.

My partner and I

Place our hands lightly

On the little skate

And we get it started

By gently pushing it

In a circular motion.

We continue to help it

In this manner

Until it begins to write

By itself, it seems.

Suddenly it will take off

And spell out a long sentence

Very quickly, as if it is afraid

That one of us might

Try to interfere.

When I sit down to write,

Something very similar happens.

I have a feeling I want to express

And I begin cautiously

Trying to put into words,

When, right in the middle

Or perhaps toward the end,

The pen takes over

And completes the poem

In a totally unexpected way,

But always in a better one

Than I had envisioned.

      -Marcella Krisel

I love and miss you Grandma.

Gabrielle Michel

Gabrielle Michel, a pioneer in the grief movement and Founder of Graceful Grieving, is an interfaith minister, spiritual counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist and Grief Recovery Specialist. Her specialty is helping people work through spiritual crisis after a major loss. In 2004 she experienced a spiritual crisis of her own. February brought the miscarriage of her first baby. July: the death of her younger brother. In October she said goodbye to a dear friend who succumbed to emphysema. And on December 22nd, she joyfully welcomed her second baby into the world, only to say goodbye to her the very next morning when death claimed her as well. Seeking solace in the midst of great spiritual pain, Gabrielle embarked on a quest to find comfort, eventually becoming a Grief Recovery Specialist. What she discovered during that time, are what she believes to be the missing pieces for grieving parents, and those who have lost a loved one. Her studies, training, ministerial and spiritual counseling experience, along with her own recovery from deep despair, make Gabrielle a compelling, relatable writer and speaker on the topic of grief. Though the subject is dark and painful, her resilient spirit, disarming sense of humor and accessible demeanor allow her to produce books, workshops and lectures that engage, inspire and empower.

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