Sign in

Integrative health coach. Sr Implementation manager at a SasS startup. Studying positive psych. Curious cat with lots of hats. Writing is my magical pensive.

My childhood home has been in my family for over 60 years. Located in the suburbs of San Francisco on a lane with nearly identical houses all around it. They each have a small porch, large square window, and a smaller hexagon portal like window near the garage. Some are two stories, ours is only one. Plus an attic which holds decades of treasures mixed in with receipts and old Christmas decor. I loved the attic as a kid. I still do now. Being up there has always made me feel like a detective. That up there, breathing in the…

The world is experiencing complicated grief

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

When my mother died people would say, “I can’t imagine.” The truth is that we don’t want to imagine. It is unfortunate we do this.

There is no up without down. No life without death.

Ignoring this fundamental duality does not allow us to be fully vulnerable.

Currently, all humans face a global pandemic. An invisible and nefarious virus threatens to overwhelm health care systems, kill people, and destroy our economy. We are vulnerable. This reminds me of grief. Specifically, anticipatory grief.

We anticipate change, pain, and death. The path forward is not clear.

Death is final. Pandora’s box is…

White Lies

Lies build the white walls

Walls for card houses

Houses we thought we needed

Needed to fulfill our red white and blue dreams

Dreams not dreamt but sold

Sold in magizines and on TV, a promise to belong

Belonging and safety are the dream

Dream star spangled dreams and you can be free of worry

Worry is for people to lazy to afford the white picket fence

Fence oureslves in with comfortable lies

Lies. Little white lies.

Lies build white walls of our card homes

Homes that crumble with a large gust of reality

Reality creeps into our…

A poem

You learned power would make you whole
You learned status would make you whole.
You learned money would make you whole.
You learned that there is not enough for everyone. …

Imagine a healing brain instead of getting through a dark tunnel

Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

Grief over the death of my mother is different than I anticipated. There is no other experience in my life where I have been so clearly aware that I would never be the same as I was before. They talk about “getting through” hard things. Getting through the grief. Which implies grief is like a tunnel. You start out in the sunshine and for some undetermined amount of time you are in this dark sad place and then you make it to the other side the same you as before.

(you) → (you + grief) → (you)

The idea that…

Make a toast to your loved ones

Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

I took a public speaking course in college. I was abysmal. I trembled from head to foot each time I gave a speech. Despite my best intentions, I rambled and never improved substantially.

Now I am an advocate of making spontaneous and public toasts. What changed?

At 25, I wrote and delivered my mothers eulogy. There were around 500 people in attendance. At least 10X larger than any audience I had previously spoken in front of. I calmed my nerves and delivered the speech with grace. I could feel in my bones that I did right by my mom.There …

Anticipatory grief, a prophylactic double mastectomy, and missing my mom

This is my mother’s journal entry following her mastectomy. She was 35 with stage 4 breast cancer.

February 28th, 1997 has come and gone. It was a lovely, sunny, blue day. Diane, Dee Dee, Jan, and Dave were with me to check in and wish me well. When I woke up, the hospital room was filled with people. It felt so good. I can’t remember clearly, but I felt love around me. It’s amazing how great I feel after surgery. It was much easier than delivering Melanie and Mattie, although they were worth all the aches and pains!

It’s now…

The Grief Police — My Don’t List

Photo by Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

Our society loves simple cliche phrases and happy endings. Reminders that life is unfair, random, and ends in death are hard to grapple with. We are busy and not prepared to make space for something so vulnerable and confusing. This makes supporting someone that is dealing with grief a challenge. We do not have a good grief vocabulary in America. This has led me to feel like the Grief Police. A job I didn’t want and no one asked me to fill. I create my Don’t List to feel less grumpy, lonely, and to help create more productive and supportive…

Funeral flowers

I was wandering the aisles of this beautiful nursery trying to find flowers for the ceremony. Centers for the tables specifically. I entered the store stoic — playing this role of a responsible 25 year old. One that knows how to pick out her mother’s funeral flowers. The store spun like a merry go round as I searched.

Are these orchids to tall? Will they match the room? Didn’t she hate roses? What about tulips? What about a mix of flowers? Why didn’t I listen to her on the importance of flower arrangements.

My “I know how to plan my…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store