Categories
Mental Illness

Caregiving: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I’ve laughed, cried, felt my heart soar and ache, and wondered how it is that fiction can be so deeply touching. I keep coming back to something Emily Gilmore says; I wonder how this character, this fiction, has struck me so thoroughly in the heart. She […]

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Books

Book Review: Devotion: A Memoir by Dani Shapiro

When I was ten years old, I decided I would no longer eat pork. Partly brought on by the appreciation for the animal itself, I realized that I’d never much liked pork to begin with. Rather than say to people something like, “Well, I hate pork chops, but sometimes I end up eating sausage when […]

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Books

Both a Part of the World and Outside of It: An Interview with Author Myfanwy Collins

Myfanwy Collins’ latest novel, The Book of Laney, tells the story of fifteen-year-old Laney surviving after her brother is involved in a terrible act of violence against her schoolmates and mother. Sent to live with her grandmother in the rural Adirondacks, she tries to make sense of both her family history and her new existence. […]

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Crossposts

Grief and Motherhood in The Babadook

Snap Synopsis: A widowed mom tries to hold it together when she realizes her son’s night terrors might be real. Trigger Warning: The dog dies.

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Perspectives

To My Mom, for the Holidays

[Original publication date: Dec. 20, 2013] Dear Mom, I know it’s been too long since we talked.

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Perspectives

Unimportant Years

I spent April 7 as I always do: with animals. Since 2002, I’ve always tried to find a way to spend that day at the zoo or aquarium, and I have only missed a few. My father loved zoos, and I have many happy memories of visiting monkey houses and polar bear pools with him. […]

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Perspectives

To My Mom, for the Holidays

Dear Mom, I know it’s been too long since we talked.

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Perspectives

When Disappointment Comes for the Holidays

I walked out to my garage, eagerly trailed by my ever curious dogs. What’s happening? Are we going to miss something important? As I opened my car to put my belongings inside, the dogs looked at me expectantly. Apparently, to a dog, an open car door can mean only one thing. The dogs looked at […]

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Perspectives

Shuffle: The Soundtrack of Grief

“Think of Me” I remember coming home from school when I was seven. My mother would be at work by then. She would leave the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack playing on repeat and it would always be playing when I came home and walked into the living room. It felt as if she was […]

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Mental Illness

Accepting the Unacceptable

When I was first told that I might have bipolar disorder, the best way I can describe the resulting events is the Kübler-Ross model, more commonly referred to as the “Five Stages of Grief,” denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

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Life

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Gracie

“¦her heart was learning to lie down forever”¦ from Dog’s Death by John Updike, 1958 “¦She made her stiff legs trot and let her bent tail wag”¦ from Another Dog’s Death by John Updike, 1985

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Life

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: May Is the Cruelest Month

It turns out that “¦ danger and noise ““ the perception of danger ““ causes these animals’ heart rates to plummet ““ particularly the juveniles ““ and that really super-slow heart rate keeps them still, and that’s probably protective. It’s an anti-predation response. “¦ It turns out that animals and humans are equipped not with […]

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Perspectives

Knowledge: A Poem For Father’s Day

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and I am left with the memory of all the cards I sent late, or the phone calls made when I forgot a card entirely. I am left with the knowledge that I never knew which holiday would be the last.

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Ladyguides

Etiquette: Grieving for an Audience

Grief is a complicated issue. I work in the death industry, and I view the tangible representations of grief every day. (In other words, I look at caskets. A lot.)

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Perspectives

Entering Widowhood: The In-Betweens

It’s been a couple months since my last post here on my new status as a “widow.” The horrid “W” word that no one in love or marriage actually wants to think about.