"The question isn't whether we're going to have to do hard, awful things. The question is whether we have to do them alone." Unitarian-Universalist law enforcement chaplain Kate Braestrup tells the story of a police woman who embodies the both/and of love and new life, and crime and death.
Omid Safi honors each life lost in Orlando — with a hard look at the realities we face, and an appeal to the urgency of compassion to heal our wounds.
Blame abounds in times of crisis, but this can be a destructive endeavor. Instead, Courtney Martin advocates for emotional generosity to ourselves and each other, and for holding ourselves accountable for bringing about a better reality.
Loss and trauma can cast us into uncertainty. Parker Palmer finds solace in the words of William Stafford, and wonders if being lost is the first step on a path to something better.
Collected counsel on forging meaning and joy from our suffering, and finding calm in times of tension.
How do we cut through distraction to nurture our best selves forward? Our executive editor shares reflections on rediscovering the glory around and within us, from the journey of an olympic runner, to the lyrical labyrinth of rap, to healing the void of loss with art and memory.
When grief or hardship strike, they are best borne out in solidarity. Trent Gilliss serves up readings on our collective sorrow and celebration in the passing of our heroes, and taking a new perspective on the grit of beauty, nature, and family.
“There is a silence that always speaks if we listen.” A Haitian-American living in Belgium offers a poem for the silence and an invocation for belonging.
One of our columnist's most influential teachers passed away this spring. Sharon Salzberg with a reflection and an homage to "a man who completely walked the talk of his values."
Nature cannot erase grief, but makes it easier to bear. A woman holds fleeting memories of familial warmth as she visits mid-coast Maine, and finds solace in the brave journey of the alewives from sea to lake and back again.
Beloved Irish poet John O'Donohue on beauty's true grit, and finding it in the transformational edges of our daily lives.
When a beloved celebrity dies, collective grief can be a strange, sacred place. A Minneapolitan celebrates Prince, and what his life can teach us about becoming fully and uncompromisingly ourselves.
When loss is unexpected, grief is complicated. Zaha Hadid will be remembered for her dazzling feats of architecture, Mohammed Fairouz contemplates the profound loss of the work that is now unknowable.
Homelessness is present on the streets of Denver each day. So are stories of resilience, compassion, and dignity even through life's most difficult trials. A live-in volunteer at a Catholic Worker house realizes that we find home in those with whom we journey through our toughest moments.
From an eloquent and soul-touching tune, to testaments of moving forward from complex suffering, our executive editor shares demonstrations of the boundless and surprising bravery of which we are all capable.
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye? For pets and people both, it’s not always clear when the time has come. Jane Gross on watching her dog die and reckoning with the decision of when to let go.
Our sense of connection to each other can feel lost, but support and goodwill come to the fore when we need it most. Returning from a mournful period of loss, our executive editor shares his wonder at the spaces in our lives where the warmth of kinship and community still shine through.
In the waiting room of a doctor's office, the dramas of life and death play out quietly. A reflection on the power of paying attention to the stranger, and to the burdens we all carry.
To love life in its fullness is the key to wise living. Parker Palmer with a poem on transforming suffering and restoring life.
What happens when we open ourselves to the gift of vulnerability? Profound voices on public displays of emotion in politics, the making of identity, the inspiration of wilderness, and advice from a classical pianist on pursuing what moves you and being glad in others' good fortunes.
Each year brings the loss of a life we loved. But what if our grief served as a conduit to community and creating a more thoughtful, interconnected world?
The loss of mobility as we age does more than hamper one's movement. It separates us from the things we love. Jane Gross on grieving the temporary loss of her dog after suffering a concussion.
How do we continue to bear witness when violent loss becomes cyclical? How do we mourn? An educator grapples with her own struggle to uphold the memories of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, in a time when we have started to become numb to tragedy.
The daughter of the renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi turns to ancient rivers and archaic rituals to find comfort in the uninterrupted thread running through her past, present, and future.