Suddenly it’s September…

Suddenly it’s September and the heat of summer is fading.  Vacations are winding down while school and work are ramping up again.   It seems surreal that covid stopped the world, changed our plans and ate, the better part of two years.

As we lurch back into the routines of work and life I wish you all the best that life has to offer.   After living through covid I understand better why our ancestors began celebrating birthdays and milestones, I understand better how fragile life can be and the importance of celebrating the wins.

No matter what you’re doing this September, please be gentle with yourself.

Celebrate the wins.







Not So Close!


We thought it would be a relief.


We were looking forward to getting and giving hugs again…

but now that we can, many of us don’t feel safe doing it.


For 16 months it was drilled into us:

“Distance and Masks will Keep Us Safe.”


For 16 months the world we knew changed,

… and it kept on changing.


Now, the one thing that was constant through it all,

the one thing that promised us safety… is changing.


As you look around you can see streets becoming busy again. 

People who got their second vaccine are starting to trust that it worked.


People are getting together with those they haven’t seen in months.

They are venturing out without masks…

People are Hugging again.


For 16 months the folks in the know said:  

“Keep your Distance and Wear your Mask.”


Now they’re saying:

“You’ll be fine.”


It feels like we’ve been waiting eons for this day,

and now that it’s here… we feel fear.


It’s Hard.

It’s Scary…  

We Want Hugs

     … and we’re afraid.


All of these feelings are normal. 


Change brings grief

and grief looks different for all of us.

No matter what you’re feeling, please be gentle with yourself.







Fresh starts and re-starts…

The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster.

All those resolutions we made as we rolled into 2020, about clear-sightedness and crystal clear intentions.    The metaphors for perfect sight were everywhere… and yet most of us were blindsided by covid in 2020.

As 2021 dawned some had hopes for a better year but sadly, covid was not done with us yet.  As Ontario tip-toes up to the end of our latest lockdown, we are hopeful that enough people have been vaccinated and hopeful that enough will act responsibly enough that we won’t have to do this again…


It’s hard not to be skeptical.

It’s hard to believe that this might be the end of covid for us.


Yet we need hope right now, more than we ever have…


It’s hard to know what to do.  

How much caution do we need to retain?

How much celebrating can we do?

Is it really over?


Life seldom turns out exactly the way we expect it will…


Grief Recovery helps make sense of it all.







Where is Your Enough?

We live in a fast-paced, competitive world, amidst the constant refrain of:

“Do More, Be More, Have More, Get More…”

“Learn the latest trick and and Do it all Faster and more Profitably than you’ve ever done before.”


We’re even promised that we can Relax More, Rest More, Retire Earlier…  all these riches hinge on getting stuff done now, getting it done well and making the right choices.  (whatever those might be)


But what about Enough?

When have we done Enough?  

When is it time to stop and rest?


The answer is different for everyone, every day.


What I know for certain is, too few of us are stopping to ask ourselves:  “Have I done enough?”


Covid has locked us in, put our lives on hold, put our loved ones at risk and put a lot of our choices out of reach… and many of us are acting like it’s life as usual.   We don’t know how to stop the striving.


This is your permission to slow down.

Or Stop.

Or take a nap.

The world will continue to spin.  

I promise.  xoxo

The friends we miss when we turn the page…

Maybe this year more than most, folks have been turning to books and movies to fill the hours.   We’re desperate to occupy our hearts and minds and to connect with others… even if those other’s aren’t “real” in a flesh-and-blood way.

When a story captures our imagination, the characters we have imagined become real in our hearts.

The friends we make in books, take us outside the four walls we feel trapped in.

They enrich our lives in countless ways…

… and when the story ends, we grieve.

Liminal days…


Liminal spaces are the spaces in-between.

They are the calm before the storm and the moments after it as well.

Liminal moments are pregnant with potential and unknowns and mystery… and they’re exhausting.


As we move into 2021 with the US election settled, many of us are breathing easier but there are many things still unknown.

Will our favourite businesses open again?  

Will the ripples from the pandemic change the face of our neighbourhood forever?   


Those who are old enough will never forget the year(s?) that the world stopped.  

From now on, there will be things that will be marked as BC and AC.   (Before CoVid and After…)


All of this change and all of the potential hanging in the air, has everyone on edge.

We’re all weary of it.   We’re all doing our best.

Be gentle with yourself.










We weave a life…

There are things that we don’t understand… and maybe can’t… until we do.     Life-lessons that seem antiquated right up until the day when life makes them real and relevant and very, very important.

Why keep food in the pantry?   Why do I need a stocked medicine cabinet?   Why do I have to tell people that I love them?   There will always be time for those things….

Then one day there isn’t time… and suddenly you can’t reach out and hug people that you love, or say goodbye to those who are dying.

I was talking to a young woman who is balancing more than her share of family drama right now.     We talked about the wonderful memories that seem to come out of tough times.  The kind words, just when you need them.  Neighbours, looking after neighbours.   Shared laughter that seems to bubble out of nerves stretched too thin.   Without ever thinking about it, humans take the good with the bad and we weave the events of our lives into stories.  Over the years our stories become the tapestry of our life.

This year CoVid has changed the usual ways that we weave ourselves together and create memories.   We are learning that with care and effort we can weave a tapestry even when our strands cannot come together.

Life is testing our creativity and forcing us to make new patterns this year.

Whatever your beliefs this holiday season, I hope that you will take the time to make memories for yourself.   I wish you a tapestry filled with twinkle lights and hope for the coming year.  xoxo


Faith, Hope, Dreams, Belief and Grief….

I was recently invited into a conversation about the difference between Faith and Hope.

Although I declined to explore the topic when invited, today I realized what the difference is for me.

First let me say that I think Faith, Belief, Hopes and Dreams are all quite uniquely defined for each person.   Each of us weighs them a little differently and prioritizes the importance of them according to our own heart and understanding.

In Grief Recovery we talk about the grief that comes when life changes and our Hopes, Dreams or Expectations die unrealized.

I realized today, that Hope is what I hold, when I have no Faith.

Hope in the unlikely, is often the glimmer of light that keeps me stepping forward when I’d otherwise curl up and give up.

I have Faith that CoVid will end one day.
I have Faith that I will hug my loved ones one day.

I had Hoped it would be this year.
I had Hoped that the pundits were wrong and that we wouldn’t have a second wave.
I had Hoped that what we’d done to flatten the curve, was going to be enough.

It wasn’t. It isn’t…

We’re in the midst of an enormous second wave… and I am grieving, for the hope that has died and for the hugs, that are still very, very far away.  xoxo

the remainders of war…

Microwaves, GPS, Duct Tape, Crazy Glue

Epi Pens, Blood Banks and Transfusions…  

Inventions that feed us, find us, keep things together and keep us alive

a lot of what we take for granted

exists now because of war.


For those who have been blessed to live their lives in free and safe conditions, Remembrance Day can seem far removed from the realities of daily life.    Yet every day we take advantage of technologies that came to us, through wartime innovation.    There have been countless medical and scientific advances born on battlefields… but very few that advanced our standards of mental and emotional care.

We who live in peace, have the luxury of time and safety to heal our wounds but most of us were never taught how.    Instead we fall back on emergency coping skills that were never meant to be used long term.  


Don’t Be Sad

Be Strong

Stay Busy

Give it Time

Replace the Loss

… and if none of that works …

Grieve Alone



These old standards are useful for coping, moving forward and feeling sane when we are in the midst of tragic and dangerous circumstances but if you are reading this, you probably aren’t in tragic and dangerous circumstances.  

It’s time to quit using coping skills and get on with healing the mental and emotional wounds we all carry.

The Grief Recovery Method teaches people how to quit coping and get on with life.   It teaches people how to talk honestly about what they’re feeling, how to listen respectfully when others talk and then, it teaches small actions that when followed,  lead to healing.

We do not honour our vets by acting as if we are at war.

We honour our vets by living the best life we possibly can.

That’s what they risked their lives to give us.

To all the soldiers and vets both home and abroad: Thank you.  


To the rest of you:

Listen.  Talk.   Stay Open.   Heal.

These are the privileges that soldiers have risked their lives to give us.




…. they come every year and often we don’t give them much thought.   

Then someone you love dies.   You bury them, you cry, you grieve….  and you get on with getting back to life.   When friends ask, you tell them that you’re “doing fine” and you really mean it.    You think that you’re getting through and over and past missing your loved one… until your helpful automated calendar assistant reminds you that your loved one has a birthday coming up… and you lose them a little bit, all over again.

It feels strangely heartless to delete a loved-one from your contacts list… but if you don’t, this is what happens:   Siri or Alexa or Hallmark or whomever keeps track of birthdays for you, pops up a week or so in advance, so that you’ll have time to buy a card and send it.

But your person won’t be there to receive it.

What do you do?

Do you delete them from your contacts list?    Or replace their birthday with a deathday?  

If you delete the birthday reminder the day will likely sneak up on you anyway… you’ll be happily moving through your day, when you’ll be swept up in a wave of melancholy as you suddenly remember what day it is.     Or worse, the day after… and then you feel the added mix of being the schmuck who didn’t even remember their birthday…

Maybe it’s better to see that birthday coming a week or two in advance, rather than having it sneak up on you… on the day.  

And do you really Need or Want a reminder of their deathday?   Probably not.     So maybe you just leave that alone….

It’s messy.

This week my calendar reminded me that my sister’s birthday is coming up.   This will be the first without her.   She died just as CoVid locked us all in our homes.   It was a strange way to lose someone… it was hard not to be allowed to Be There to say goodbye.   Once CoVid is gone, we’ll have a gathering to remember her… we’ll hug and cry and do those funereally  things.   

I hope we get to do that before her next “birthday” rolls around.  xoxoxox

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