Valentines Day - and grief

I lost my husband in 2006, and since that time I’ve had so many different feelings as Valentines Day has come and gone. I’ve heard from others what they do to make it through the day, and I thought I’d share two ideas:

7 Essentials for Healing After Tragedy

7 Essentials for Healing After Tragedy - When I was in Dallas last month for a book signing at Moon’s Bookstore, I met so many wonderful people, and each one had his or her own incredible story. I came away with an assurance that people truly are, like Helen Keller said, “…born with an incurable capacity for making the best of things.”

Just Let Me Cry

Just Let Me Cry - I just returned from watching the new movie “Midway to Heaven” with my son. It is about a widower, his college-aged daughter, and the task they both have to move on with life after the death of his wife. The widower is struggling – and at one point he sits down to watch a DVD of videos taken of his family before his wife passed away.

The Darkroom

In the basement of the home I grew up in, my dad built a darkroom. That term may not mean anything to people now – in this age of digital cameras, a darkroom is completely unnecessary. But back then, to have photographs, the film from the camera had to be developed – and that had to happen in a place where there was no light.

Couch to 5K

“Are you in shape?” I knew the answer to the question – and I knew I didn’t like admitting to it. I always encourage people who are grieving to be gentle on themselves, not to expect too much of themselves, and to allow themselves all the time and space they need to go through the grieving process without self-recrimination.

New Beginnings

New Year’s Day, 2011. Here it Utah it is a brisk 11 degrees. The sun is shining brightly, and the snow covering everything sparkles so piercingly I have to squint my eyes to look at it. What are you feeling this New Year’s Day?

Welcome Home!

My son arrived home from his two-year mission to Argentina last week. I had anticipated the day of his return for the entire two years. It was hard sending him off two years ago, wondering if I had taught him all I should have, all he would need to know during those two years when our only communication, outside of one Christmas call and two Mother’s Day calls, would be a weekly email. My brothers served missions while I was growing up, and I knew from the stories they told years later that a lot of hard things can happen on a mission – things that wrench your heart, things that threaten your life, things that test your very faith in God.

Thankful for . . .

This morning I received an invitation to attend an event where Warren McDonald will be speaking. I had never heard of him before, so I went online and searched his name – and what I found gave me reason to question if I am truly thankful enough for the blessings in my life.

I Blame Cinderella!

I remember when Mom and Dad loaded us all up in the old station wagon and drove us to the drive-in theatre less than a mile away. Arms full of blankets and pillows, we were ready for one of our favorite activities: watching a Disney movie from our car. (The adventurous ones crawled up on top of the car and watched while lying on blankets spread on the roof.)

In memory . . .

After my mother passed away last May, my step-father invited my sister and I to come help go through Mom’s things. It was a tender day as we lifted clothes out of the closet and drawers, each item of clothing bringing back the memory of the last time we’d seen Mom wearing it.

Angels Watching Over Me

Monday evening we had planned to go to a Marvin Goldstein concert that had been arranged just for widows and widowers and their families. I looked forward to it for months, and could hardly wait to listen to his beautiful music and to hear him tell the story of his life.


“I’ve never felt so alone…” His head bent, his words halting, the recent widower could say no more, and covered his face with his hands, weeping. Haven’t we all been there? Feeling alone driving in the car, alone at dinner, alone sitting at church, and the very worst, alone at night in bed. Craving the sweet feeling of warmth next to us as we sleep – but knowing it is gone forever.

A Slower Pace

Richards Hollow Trail, Blacksmith Fork Canyon For her birthday, my oldest daughter Brooke asked if I would accompany her on a hike, high in the alpine mountains above Hyrum, Utah. First you have to know that she is more than twenty years younger than I am – and has always had incredible energy and drive. She accomplishes more in a few hours than I do in an entire day.
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