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by Judy
October 11, 2015

It’s been a little more than three months since my mom died and so many different threads of contemplations arise. When someone dies who you are close to, and especially I think if one is older, like myself, one is quietly plunged into reflections with an acute awareness of the limited time we have on earth. I find that without really trying, there are repeated themes recycling in my thoughts; thoughts on death, aging, being alone, on what has value, what I want to do and how I want to be. And who are we? How is it we can function on so many...

by Judy
September 27, 2015

On the 23rd of September was Yom Kippur, the most holy day in the Jewish religion – the Day of Atonement – and also as it turned out, the anniversary of my mom’s death three months ago, I lit Yahrzeit memorial candles both for my mom and dad. The candle burns for 24 hours through the night.

I woke up on the morning of the 24th at 6 am. It was still dark but the warm glow of the two candles that I had lit in honor of my mom and dad were still burning brightly and I felt such a sense of peace and stillness as if...

being loved without expectation

by Andrea
September, 2015

Yesterday I was sitting with my mother, having a glass of wine at the end of the day in her tiny assisted living apartment, about 6 miles from where I live. Teddy, my dog, sat faithfully by her feet. At one point, I glanced over at her clear eyes and soft skin. I momentarily felt disarmed by the kindness in her innocent face, remembering the time when the tables were beginning to turn, and I could barely see through the clouds. Tonight our conversation was simple and heartfelt. The fact that we were having a conversation at all was more than...

by Judy
September 13, 2015

As I stay close to my experience since my mom died about two and a half months ago, I am acutely aware how this grieving has its own course to follow, can’t be rushed and is always different. It is different each time a loved one dies – it’s different from day to day and is different, not similar, to anyone else’s grief although of course there are similarities.

When my father died at a relatively young age – 62 years old – it was very sudden. I was twenty-nine years old. He had a heart attack and I came from California to be with him...

when the table turns: endings and beginnings

by Judy
August 30, 2015

I am distinctly aware of the table turning in my life and open to it happening. For the past two months since my mom died, I have been living in my mom’s home – sorting through her “things,” dealing with all the practicalities of business and grieving my mom’s loss knowing that she lives forever in my memory and in my heart. I have also been spending time with Pat, my mother’s most lovely Aid, who came to love my mom and know everything there is to know about her life here.

Pat in some ways is a direct link to my mom – the mom of the past...

two sides of a coin, blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
August 25, 2015

So much of life can be viewed through the metaphor of “two sides of a coin.” Almost everything, in fact, can be seen in this way. There’s the bright side and the dark side. The ups and the downs. The struggles and the victories. And yet mysteriously, the net sum of our lives is not neutral. These two sides don’t inherently balance each other out or flatten the plane of our existence. Most of us would probably agree that at the end of the day, year, or lifetime, there is some net gain or some positive momentum generated, even if only incremental. We...

when the table turns: the things that matter

by Judy
August 16, 2015

I didn’t know what it would be like to go through my mother’s clothing…so many beautiful and familiar clothes that she had worn over many years and still so many of the clothes were so modern. She never dressed like what one would imagine an “old” person would. Her clothes were brightly colored – sometimes quite elegant and sophisticated and sometimes quite hip and young. She had always loved clothing and often dressed quite casual, but always with a flair – eye-catching earrings, colorful scarves, inexpensive but fun necklaces. She could wear...

by Judy
August 2, 2015

It’s been a little more than a month since my mom died. For a while there has been a well of tears just below the surface of my being – always ready to gush out – but more recently that has more or less subsided. It really is an ever changing kaleidoscope. I never know what will arise in consciousness at any moment – memories, images, sadness, reflections…sometimes even joy.

One thing that struck me after my mom died: She really was reviewing her life over the past few years. She was lying in bed so much and had a lot of time to think…to...

by Judy
July 19, 2015

It has now been a little more than three weeks since my mom died…it feels much longer. I still remain in my mom’s apartment down in Florida surrounded by her art work and the beauty that she created in her home.

Losing a mother when they have already lived a very long time – 99 years – isn’t necessarily easier than losing a mother when they are younger. I was amazed to be talking with her accountant who told me he just recently also lost his mom of 99 years in February and it’s been really hard for him. Yes, I had her longer than most, but...

the places we love - by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea | July, 2015

I am sitting on the front porch of our family cottage on Lake George, one of my favorite places in the world. It is a place where I feel so deeply at home that I often can't find that line where it ends and I begin. At the very same time it also feels ever new, with an innocence of seeing something or someplace for the very first time—a constant paradox, that only makes sense to the heart. Ever since I was a kid this lake has gripped me on this deep soul level. It feels like somewhere inside there are memories upon memories, some mine,...