Category: Grief

Thoughts For Father’s Day


Dad taught History; Mom, English literature and composition.  Their “vintage comments and quotes” often come back to me with a smile.  I was 29 when Dad went to Heaven, and 50 when Mom was called Home.  Love grows.  I like growing older very much.  I see them as persons in their own right, apart from me too.

It’s wonderful to read writers that older loved ones read, to feel the continuity, and to hear the sources of their language.  

Here are a few of my dad’s sayings: “Make sure you save time for your own work.”  “It’s a good night to stay home.”  Good advice, Dad!

reading the poets
of my parents’
their voices

 Poem published in SMILE (2010).
The photo is by Karl.

NEW TIME – Life After Loss

UPDATE, September 28, 2014:  I also have a small site, Grief And Acceptance.  Blessings, Ellen

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On Friday night, Karl and I enjoyed excellent fish dinners at Rupp’s in downtown Sheboygan.  Neighbors gave us gift cards to thank Karl for help with house repairs.  Everyone was happy about changing the clocks this weekend.  How wonderful to drive home while it was still light.

I remember going to Rupp’s after my mother went to Heaven over seven years ago.  “Normal” for me was being with her in the nursing home during her last illness.  It was different to return to everyday life.  My family experienced many losses after we came here, and the warmth and good food at local restaurants reminded me of my mother’s kitchen–especially the homemade soups!  I enjoyed cooking for her too.

Everyday routines and familiar places help so much with coming to terms with change and growing new chapters.   We keep our loved ones close in new ways.

This morning, while it was still dark, there were deer in the front yard.  They must be hungry and waiting for new spring growth in the woods.

I waited patiently for the Lord;

and he inclined unto me,

and heard my cry.

Psalm 40: 1 (KJV)

Isaiah 40 Wings As Eagles

This morning an eagle flew by the window in this little room.  What a gift.  I will also be listening for the song of the red-wings. Many other songs yet to learn!

“…they that wait upon the LORD
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40: 31 (KJV)

Image is a free sample from
From Decorative Tile Designs.

In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel, by Jan Karon

I wrote about In the Company of Others, Jan Karon’s most recent novel, in my journal this morning.  I finished reading it yesterday.  This is what I said, in my informal notebook writing style:

Wherever Father Tim and Cynthia go, they help hurting people heal, while talking about their own hurts and growing pains at the same time.  They listen and care and accept.  Point towards God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but gave this book 3 days & wish to reread all of Karon’s novels.  It took me time to get to know the new characters.  I needed the right time–and the snowstorm gave me this time.  But then the book flowed for me as all Jan’s books do.  Because she writes about the universals & writes so well.  

In the Company of Others was published by the Penguin Group.  Copyright 2010 by Jan Karon.   The setting is Ireland.

I watched a video of Jan Karon on her website and she spoke of how she loves her readers.  So true.   She is a deep writer, with a great sense of humor!

Today I went shopping for a few basic things and loved the lavender winter sky.  I thought about how the image could fit into a poem and then decided to simply let it bless me!

Photo by Karl.

Mourning Dove – Poem By Margarita Engle


On the eve of my grandmother’s burial,
I remember a story she told me
about her father’s funeral
in a wild part of Cuba, long ago.

When the family returned to the farm,
the scent of incense from church still fresh on their brows,
they found all the cows tied to trees,
cattle rustlers on the run,
alarmed by the return of the mourners.

Now I picture my grandmother’s spirit gliding
through coffin, soil and sea,
back to the farm
of sugarcane and stargrass.
All the cows are still waiting,
while green-fringed palms
sway and soar, everything winged.

By Margarita Engle

 “Mourning Dove” was also published in Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in Need (2007, Elin Grace Publishing; with Time of Singing).