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.
There is no handbook for grief. With grace, kindness, and gentleness, a daughter candidly shares her experience of mourning after the unexpected loss of her father.
When teaching about 9/11 and the dignity of all lives, a professor encounters a student in class who lost her father in the World Trade Center attacks. Her kind response is a reminder that we must sometimes reconcile our advocacy for, and anger towards, others with compassion for our fellow human beings.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son's loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.
Rituals provide structure for the full spectrum of our emotional lives - but for those who don't identify with an organized religion, how are rituals developed? Courtney Martin ponders the "muddy, sacred" experience of creating rituals.
Pediatric oncologists and parents alike are searching for someone to help them bear the suffering they must witness. An essay reflecting on doctors, Dante, and treating children with cancer.
A trip down the Grand Canyon (and, of course, a poem) reveals a truth and shows us all that we are most whole when we live in the layers of our being.
A winding path that flows from experiencing the grace of wholeness and seeking the ineffable to seeing the hidden systems in plain sight, and the otherness and belonging necessary for all of us to thrive.
Some of the best things of the week: on quiet nobility, thin places, the fist of fate, severed friendships, and Malcolm X.
Closure may not be all it's cracked up to be. Courtney Martin on the death of a friendship and the insatiable, sometimes unsatisfying, need to create silver linings where none exist.
When we succumb to the distractions of this life and the will of others, we must hold onto something. But what? Some questions to turn over and explore to guide you.
Have our funeral rituals disengaged us from the embodied act of physically burying the dead? A grandson on the our discomfort about death — and we can reconnect with the lives we lost.
In a season filled with joy and angst, reflections on rethinking tradition, being a light for others, and wading through the giving conundrum. Plus, a map that will suck you in for hours, a reflection on the courage to hope in the face of despair, and a call to embrace others' truths over being right.
A brother contemplates the loss of his sister to cancer, the place where she searched for home, and the stories that rise up within him.
From vignettes pondering time and sci-fi holiday singing to impassioned calls for community, a look into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope.
Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez are creating a national movement of dinner parties for 20-30 year olds that are humanizing grief and creating new communities after loss.
With the decisions about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, powerful words from a Holocaust survivor and essays dealing with grief and loss, systemic solutions, and polls that polarize.
From a virtuosic performance to an audio selfie and poems on abundance, a feast of ideas and passages for you to take into your week.
For International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a suicide survivor asks us open ourselves to loss and allow each other the space to mourn and grieve without shame. If we support the healing of the soul, she writes, we may begin to celebrate our inner resilience and the divine spark in us all.
Sometimes a song can help us through the darkest hours of our lives. Reflecting upon the loss of her father, Jen Raffensperger shares Josh Ritter's "Lantern" as her greatest musical moment for the Your Audio Selfie project.