Many people don’t begin to explore the unseen aspects of life until someone they love has died. It is the most natural thing in the world to reach ourselves into the mystery when someone we love is no longer in our physical world.
We’ve learned to trust what we can see, so we doubt ourselves when what we can’t see grabs us and makes us stop in our tracks. But that happens a lot after the death of a loved one.
The thing is, the invisible world is much bigger than the world
Something in the air changes. You feel it, even though you can’t prove it. There is just this sense that they are near. Invisible, but there.
What do you do in a moment like that?
I have worked with hundreds of people learning to process their grief through writing, and I can’t remember anyone who hasn’t experienced this. We all feel a little funny about it, because we question whether we simply want it so badly that we imagine it into being.
Some things will remain a m
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
I wonder, does everyone have a boulder they’re given to carry through their lives? A constant reminder of a very particular lesson they’re meant to learn?
Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. But the boulder of my life, while heavy and awkward to carry, is also the lens through which I see myself. It says to me over and over, you exist, you are here, you are held to the earth through the weight of
Is it true that nothing prepares us for losing someone who means everything to us?
What about the childhood you lost because [fill in the blank.] Or the career that made you feel like you had a real purpose, only to get cut in the quick slice of a budget?
Or the relationships that fell by the wayside for reasons known or unknown.
Or the leg that got amputated, or the hair that fell out, because of illness and treatments that your body couldn’t manage in any other way.
black ink butterfly quickly flits across the page its beautiful air When someone we love dies, all we are left with are their ethereal imprints. From deep feelings of connection to them, to memories we shared, to the scent of their clothes, they live on in intangible ways. Both within us and in the world around us. Like the butterfly that flaps its wings and causes a hurricane half way around the world, the unseen world has a powerful effect on us. We become more attuned to i
If you have lost a person, a pet, a job, a marriage, your health, a dream - whatever your loss - this course helps you feel the comfort and healing you need. And I'll tell you how (and why) it works. First, losses leave empty holes. But like a person whose arm has been amputated, there is still pain where the arm used to be. It works that way with other losses, too. We feel an emptiness about what we've lost, but there is pain in that emptiness. This is where the writing you'
A mother and her teenaged daughter sat next to each other in a recent workshop, writing letters to the family member who had died and left both of them heartbroken. The loss was devastating for them, but they had a hard time talking to each other about it. The mother came to the workshop hoping it would help. The daughter came because she told her mom she would. The writing prompt followed a quiet meditation. Everyone in the room poured their hearts out onto the page for near
Synchroncities are such an important part of the healing process when we’re grieving the loss of a loved one. When we can no longer see the person we’ve lost, our senses become heightened to another level of awareness and we perceive a whole different dimension of life. Last night, in the final session of a 4-week workshop in which participants made art to express various aspects of their journey through grief, a synchronous moment came in the form of this sunset. Just prior
When death comes for someone you can’t even imagine letting go of, it is a heartbreaking, soul-crushing experience. No one can prepare you for what you will feel. And what you feel might be so overwhelming and intense, that you do the natural thing - you put a barricade around yourself so no more pain can get in. The thing is, if pain can’t get in, neither can healing. Or love. Or the sweetness of memories. All those things that broke your heart also once gave you the greates
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. According to hospice workers, that is the #1 regret of the dying. I was reminded of this recently, when I walked into the room of a patient who was upset because his family wanted him to have a risky surgery that offered no real promise of success. He had spent too many hours on the operating table in recent years, and he just didn’t have it in him to undergo one more. When I asked h
When I told her about my word project, she thought for a minute and decided it really wasn’t for her. She wasn’t feeling very well. Her liver was getting bigger, and it was pressing on her other organs, making her very uncomfortable. I asked how long she had been sick. She said her breast cancer had first shown up 15 years ago. She was sad to say it had just returned, and it was now in many other parts of her body, as well. She wasn’t afraid to die, and she sort of wished th
I bet this story isn’t going where you think it might. Seeing the word God inside a big heart on a blog about grief and death makes an obvious kind of sense, doesn’t it? Dying patients do tend to grow in their faith as life draws to a close. And to some extent, that is what this story is about. But there’s more to it than that, and I hope you’ll be as moved as I was by the way this one ends. The patient was a clear-eyed, clear-skinned, clearly tired man in his early 80s. He s
There is no more important time to know (or discover) what you really believe about life and death than when you’re struggling to come through the grief of losing someone important to you. The emotional loss is heartbreaking, and that is the part they refer to when they say that time heals all wounds. And they’re right - it really does. But your beliefs about life and death can either liberate you from grief or keep you stuck there. And when you don’t know what you believe, t
I believe in the power of words to heal. Whether we write them ourselves or they’re written by others; whether they come through poetry, a novel, or a memoir; they give voice to the unfolding stories of our shared human experience. They contain seeds of wisdom, new perspectives, loving guidance, a sense of hope. It is with this belief that I wrote Invisible Ink. I wrote it for myself, to help me find my way through the grief that hit me so deeply when my mom died. I didn’t kn
Most people are familiar with the 5 stages of grief that Elisabeth Kugler-Ross defined in her groundbreaking book, “On Death and Dying.” This information has helped countless people understand at least some of what they were experiencing in the aftermath of a difficult loss. Grief, like parenting, was sorely lacking a manual at the time she laid out these 5 concepts, and the world has been grateful ever since. I remember referring to them when my time came to experience grief
One of the many things Invisible Ink was designed to do is help people create a bridge between themselves and their loved ones who have died. I think it is working, because I hear all the time that this process has given participants a greater sense of connection with the person they have lost. That is a hard concept for some people to think about. We have been taught forever that ‘reality’ exists only in the things we can see. Those who come into my program with doubts find
People have been dying since the beginning of our time on earth. And even though we seem to finally be addressing this situation a little more openly these days, there is still a disconnect between what we’ve been taught about death and what we experience when it actually happens to someone we love. I don’t remember being taught that once someone dies there is no way to interact with them anymore, but that is definitely what I grew up believing. I think most people did. But i