Category Grief

In Memory of Minerva

I thought Minerva was the Eternal Chicken. Older than my eight-year-old son, she strutted proudly through yard and garden year after year, her black, bronze, and gold feathers glistening in the sun. She could outwit predators and escape any enclosure, no matter how much my husband tried to heighten the fence and (literally) clip her […]

Good Grief

A couple of months ago, Ellen Stimson’s publicist contacted me about reviewing an advance copy of her upcoming book, Good Grief. (Apparently, she’d seen my review of Stimson’s first book, Mud Season, on Goodreads back when I was motivated enough to actually write reviews instead of just rating books with stars.) It took me quite […]

Choosing my story

As my grief for my dog Chaussette has calmed, I’ve had time to reflect on her role in my life. I’ve concluded that whether it’s attributable to God, Buddha, Allah, the Force, or just a desperate human attempt to find meaning in the random, there really WAS a reason for her brief sojourn with me. […]

A Formal Feeling

I’ve finally moved from Emily Dickinson’s “Sweeping up the heart” phase of grief for my dog Chaussette to her “After a great pain/A formal feeling comes” phase. (Emily Dickinson makes a perceptive guide when navigating the waters of sorrow.) My initial reaction to Chaussette’s premature death—she was barely a year old—was not just sadness, but […]

Sweeping up the heart

Last night was my first night without Chaussette. It should have been wonderful and luxurious, my first opportunity in weeks for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. (Chaussette could tell when seizures were coming, and she’d figured out quickly that the best way to get some human attention when that happened was to jump up on […]

Remembering Chaussette

I started this blog in order to help me deal with my grief over my dog Peri’s death, and now I’ve come full circle: it’s Chaussette I have to grieve today. I’ve known this was coming since November, when the vet gave her a grim prognosis after a severe seizure episode. And yet I couldn’t […]

November flowers and vegetable love

As I write this, I’m sadly coming full circle to the beginning of my blog, which I’d started to help me grieve when Peri, the dog I’d had for thirteen years, became paralyzed and had to be put to sleep. I’d fallen into a dark place, feeling empty and lacerated, until I got my puppy […]