Category: grief and loss

Dear Jean: When Suicide Becomes A Legacy

Dear Jean, Julian of Norwich, in her Showings, wrote “But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’.” I won’t pretend to…

Desiring Death

Her skin is cool and feels like dry paper. Her muscle tone is gone, and her hair has been cut short. The woman I knew who could power walk for miles is now lying in a palliative care bed waiting to die. We spoke quiet words with one another today. She had been a remarkable encouragement to me, even without…

Damien’s Light: On Sharing Secret Grief

Saturday morning I woke up, padded around in my pajamas, made a light breakfast, and checked my newsfeed. It was as normal a Saturday morning as ever one was. I scrolled down through the various posts and articles, until I saw I picture of a tiny baby’s legs. It caught my attention because these were very tiny legs, and very…

Dear Jean, Week 1:Heavy Wounds, Heavy Hearts

“To be lonely is to feel unwanted and unloved, and therefore unlovable. Loneliness is a taste of death. No wonder some people who are desperately lonely lose themselves in mental illness or violence to forget the inner pain.” -Jean Vanier, Becoming Human Dear Jean, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Jean. Perhaps you prefer Monsieur Vanier? Mr. Vanier? Father…

“Don’t Weep.” – Jesus

It’s always humbling to be able to preach at Lord of Glory. I was hesitant to share the message that I did, knowing it could touch some raw nerves (mine included). But as we moved through it all, it was clear we all needed a balm… to be reminded: “It is well with our souls”. (oh yeah, the recorder kept…

It’s Your Loss

“Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.” (Brene Brown) Many of us have seen this short from Brene Brown. Many of us practically screamed at our monitors “YES! This has happened to me!” Long, slow exhale… we are not alone. And yet often we still persist in sympathetic responses rather than empathic responses. Choosing empathy is a difficult road, and sympathy…

What Mental Illness Looks Like to Me: One of These Things…

You know the little Sesame Street diddy: “One of these things is not like the other One of these things just doesn’t belong Can you tell me which things is not like the other By the time I’m finished my song?” Life is both blurry and vivid. Sometimes it’s too vivid: colours scream at you, feel too hot or cold,…

A Forcible Lent

What did you give up for Lent? Sometimes it’s hard to walk the real or virtual halls of seminary without hearing this question forty times per day (see what I did there?) during this season of the year. Everyone’s curious about what we’re all sacrificing in preparation for Easter. Often it’s with good intention, but let’s face it: we’re all…

Confession

Finally. I’m on my last day of medical leave. After this weekend I’ll back at work, slowly re-establishing a routine, and continuing whatever healing process God seems to have me on. God. Now there’s a thought. God and I still are having words about the necessity of the WWF Smackdown that’s happened over the past few weeks. If God had just…

Unraveling

I’ve taken almost a month off from writing blog posts. To be honest, I’m not sure I’m ready to be back in the game. But I have to find productive ways to pass my time or else things tend to fall apart pretty fast. Where do I start? This is one of those posts where I need to chew on…