Life Without Judgment

The hole we cannot fill

This past weekend I attended the annual fall meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bereaved Parents of the USA. One of the topics that came up in our discussions was the inevitable change in family dynamics when a member of the family dies. Many events can shift the interactions among family members – a child relocates to college, for example, or starts an independent adult life, or someone moves far away, or makes a significant life change. However, death means that someone is gone completely, irrevocably, utterly. Death may shift a family dynamic more intensely and permanently than anything else. An image came into my mind that I’ve seen over and over in dental offices. It’s an image o

Castles of the future

Like many people, I grew up believing in a cause-and-effect relationship between how you live and what life brings – in other words, if you treat others with kindness and work hard and do your best, you will be rewarded with good things such as long life, happiness, and security. However, after cancer and the loss of my brother as well as witnessing the difficulties and heartbreaks suffered by so many people, I have grown to believe that no consistent, trustworthy connection exists between what we do and what life hands us. Our castles, no matter how brilliantly engineered and lovingly constructed, are built on sand. These days it surprises me less when one of them falters, when sand shifts

Melancholy mode

I have a folder on my computer where I keep blog posts, both finished and unfinished. Over the last couple of months it has grown to include around fifteen drafts in various stages of completion. Some are overwritten and need to be pared down. Some have as little two or three lines of text. Some meander and don’t know what they intend to say. Whatever their status, none are ready to release into the world. For some reason I can’t yet get them to the finish line. This “almost but not quite” feeling is not restricted to writing. It seems to permeate my life right now, as though despite my constant and earnest efforts, everything I do and everything that happens around me is not quite what I wa


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