2020: Give or Take

As years go, 2020 is pretty hard to process. At a glance (and don’t we all wish we had only got a glimpse of it?), most would agree it was crap. I can’t just let it go at that, though. As it finally ends, I am feeling the need to think of the good things… Continue reading 2020: Give or Take


As I wrote my next post, I had many other thoughts circling; I didn’t feel it was right to publish it without acknowledging these questions which I have at best part-answers for. The piece is about COVID-so-far in our house. For most of us, for now, it is about the strange new normal and how… Continue reading Lament

Happy birthday to you…

Grief is marked by a long list of firsts: first day, first night, first Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, walk in the park, board game, family dinner, on it goes. My father’s birthday was this past week and though we weren’t sure at first how to mark it, I think my sister and I nailed it… Continue reading Happy birthday to you…

Thoughts and Prayers: Bunting

Despite Hallmark being used as a bit of a sneer, cards can, in fact, be effective in conveying emotion. “Thoughts and prayers” can be meaningful from the right source. The cards I received in the time after my father’s death did bring comfort: the comfort that comes from knowing you are loved and surrounded by… Continue reading Thoughts and Prayers: Bunting

Slán Abhaile | Safe Home

Even early on, the question haunts you once you make the decision to live away from your family, especially if the distance is continent-sized: “Will I get to say a last goodbye?” The question is easy to push aside, especially if everyone is healthy and young, but it’s there, lurking in the background every time… Continue reading Slán Abhaile | Safe Home

Lost Things

On our last summer visit to Canada, we began the journey by leaving a brand new, lovely, expensive hoodie on our first flight (and missing our next flight – but not because of the hoodie, kind of the other way around). Of course we didn’t miss it straight away, so weren’t sure where we last… Continue reading Lost Things


At this the darkest time of the year, I wish you light: the light to live by, the Life-light that blazes out of the darkness, that the darkness can’t put out. I hope that you will know the power and vulnerability of a tiny baby, and that you will find the mystery and the miraculous in… Continue reading Light

Who’s Counting?

Age, that old chestnut, has been coming up a lot lately, more than it really should. I know why I’m thinking about it: today one of the best gifts I’ve ever received celebrates a big birthday and I am still considering that with a mix of joy (for the fact that he is, and is in… Continue reading Who’s Counting?

19 Things I Learned in January, or How to Get Through Grief

    Okay, so most of these things I already knew, but sometimes being reminded is much the same as learning it again. Lists can be your friend, but sometimes it is better to have no lists. Be kind. Bite your tongue. Keep biting it. Don’t take it personally. Give hugs. Receive hugs. Sometimes it is… Continue reading 19 Things I Learned in January, or How to Get Through Grief

The Village Around

How do we humans do it? How are we able to bury our dead and keep on going, over and over? How can we mourn those we love, knowing we will have to do it again? Within us is this capacity to love and keep loving, to keep giving after loss. Just as it takes a… Continue reading The Village Around