• Ode to an Urn Maker: Commemorative Urns of Eliza Thomas

    July 18, 2016

    Ceramic artist Eliza Thomas has a unique practice of creating commemorative urns and offering them to those grieving a loss. Hearing of this work, I was intrigued, and tried to track her down. When we finally meet at Caffe Borrone in Menlo Park, we are just a short walk from Stanford University. Next door neighbors […]

  • Remembering ‘The Last Lecture’ co-author Jeff Zaslow

    February 17, 2012

    “Best selling author, Jeffrey Zaslow, who wrote best-sellers such as The Last Lecture about a professor dying of pancreatic cancer and a recent book on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery was killed February 10th in a car accident. Mr. Zaslow, 53, is survived by his wife and three daughters.” Soon after our daughter Erin was […]

  • Does Jesus Like Chocolate?

    July 18, 2011

    She was staring at the glass of chocolate Ensure.  “Annie” didn’t like chocolate but was so devout in her Catholicism that she did not want to offend Jesus.  She looked up at me and asked, “Does Jesus like chocolate?”  It was such a funny question and I stifled a laugh, because I knew she was […]

  • Hats Off to a World War II Vet

    May 29, 2011

    Yesterday was a wonderful day. While standing in line at the pharmacy, the gentleman behind me smiled. I don’t go to the CVS to make friends, but somehow yesterday I did. This older fellow’s smile, along with his vet’s hat, was engaging. He looked too young to have been in WWII so I asked him. […]

  • Elizabeth Edwards Showed How to Meet Challenges with Humility

    December 9, 2010

    There is no shortage of “Remembering Elizabeth Edwards” articles. This deluge of information sometimes leads to overload and subsequent dismissal. The passing of a public figure, like with any notable event, is an important opportunity to spend some introspective time alone. I read through many of those articles and finished feeling unsatisfied by the shallow […]

  • Celebrity Deaths Remind Us We Are All Mortal

    December 8, 2010

    Celebrities often appear bigger than life, untouched by the everyday challenges of “regular people.” So, when their lives come to an end, it is a stark reminder that we are all mortal, and no amount of fame and fortune can change that fact. Collectively, we seem to mourn celebrity losses because of the mutual admiration […]

  • We’re Strengthened When We Say ‘I’m Here’

    March 7, 2010

    I recently attended calling hours to support a close friend who had suddenly lost her cousin to cancer. When I arrived, I joined the end of the receiving line and proceeded to view the television monitor which displayed a memorial of the deceased. Several people behind and in front of me were quietly talking amongst […]

  • The Faces of Grief: Mourning Those We Never Knew

    November 19, 2009

    Although there are many approaches to grief counseling, most focus directly on the grief we experience over the death of a loved one. But what about the unexplainable, and often embarrassing, grief experienced over the death of someone we never knew? The pop star whose life was unexpectedly ended, the child brutally killed by a […]

  • Celebrating the Celebrity – Recognizing Our Own Power

    June 27, 2009

    By Anne Hamilton, M.F.A. I was saddened by the news of Michael Jackson’s sudden death on June 25th. We were kids together. We grew up together. We both sang and danced little routines, and had dreams of becoming a star. Of course, his dreams came true and he became an international star – but he […]

  • Celebrity Deaths Remind Us of Our Mortality

    June 26, 2009

    By Richard Beck — When Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died, many people, myself included, were deeply saddened. How do we begin to make sense of grieving the deaths of celebrities, many of whom we have never met in our lifetimes in person? There are many layers to the experience of such loss and grieving. […]

  • Cat is Missing 54 Days and Counting

    June 24, 2009

    Betty writes in: There is so little information to be found on how to deal with the loss of a pet…not death…worse, their being lost and not knowing where they are or if they are scared or hurt or dead. It is true that if you just knew what happened to them, the healling could […]

  • Helping Others to Help Us During the Holidays

    December 30, 0200

    At the time in our life when we need people the most – following the death of someone we love – most of us feel abandoned. When people should be rushing in to hold us, support us, accompany us, and love us, most run in the opposite direction or at best are paralyzed, not certain […]

  • In My Mother’s Kitchen: An Introduction to the Healing Power of Reminiscence

    October 28, 2010

    Robin Edgar’s book, In My Mother’s Kitchen: An Introduction to the Healing Power of Reminiscence, illustrates how to recall and record memories of your loved ones in order to develop rituals that celebrate the times you had with them. This inexpensive paperback  is available at