Dear Girls: On Half a Lifetime Without My Mother

Dear Girls, This week marks 18 years since my mother died. Exactly half my life ago. Every day after January 24th, 2014 will mean that I have been alive longer without her, than with her ....more

Dear Vera & Jules: Think of Me as Every Place

Dear Vera & Jules, It’s Christmas afternoon in Los Angeles, warm and sunny, and there is still sand between my toes from our walk on the beach today. You both woke up promptly at 6AM, excited to see what Santa brought for you, and if he liked the cookies you made for him, and Vera you swore up and down all day that you heard Rudolph noisily eating the carrots we left out for him in the middle of the night. Under the tree was a new bicycle, and a toy kitchen I spent several painful hours building this week, as well as dozen of little toys ....more

On Grief and Healing

I began working in the world of grief in 2007, officially becoming a bereavement counselor for a hospice in Chicago a few months after I graduated from my masters program. I did so almost with curiosity, which is strange to look back on now that this path I’ve been on seems so strong and so clear. From where I stand now it seems as though this is always what I was headed for — helping others through their grief process, but I still remember the day I decided to look up hospices in Chicago....more

Thinking About Thinking

I was always a weird kid. When I was in sixth grade I memorized the entirety of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, simply because I loved it. This is a poem that is not only bleak and dark, but one that contains 18 stanzas ....more

Objects of Loss

In the months and weeks following my mother’s death, my father and I carefully pulled apart the pieces of her material life. We sorted through her closet, threw away her cosmetics, gave away her cookbooks, her shoes, tossed away the little scraps of paper that ran rampant on her desk, her looping handwriting cascading across them in messy lines. We threw away the mail that came for her, and stored away other things like her wedding dress and her jewelry ....more

Upcoming Reading!

I’m doing a reading and signing next month in the NYC area, to benefit the incredible Bereavement Center of Westchester. I think it’s going to be a really special evening. Would love to see you there! ...more

Dear Girls: On Being Brave

Dear Girls, Last week I took you for a check up at the doctor’s office and you both got a few shots. Picture me sitting on the exam table one of you in each of my arms, clinging to me, hot and sweaty with tears and quaking sobs. My heart both breaks and swells into a million pieces in those moments, so strong is the love I have for you ....more

On Ten Years Without My Father

The last thing my father ever taught me was how to install a showerhead. I was twenty-five years old and taking care of him at the end of his life in a small condominium in Southern California. The cancer had gone to his bones by this point and he was unable to get out of bed on most days, let alone install bathroom hardware ....more

Happier Hours = Happier Lives

I met Aidan Donnelley Rowley, as I’ve met a lot of amazing people in my life, online. A friend told me about Aidan’s blog, and after reading it for months, and then reading her first novel, I reached out to her, sensing that she was a kindred woman I wanted to know beyond her words on my screen. We traded emails, books, and then finally met in person for the first time when I was in New York on book ...more

Rules of Inheritance: The Movie

I couldn’t be more thrilled, or more humbled, to announce that my book is being turned into a film starring Jennifer Lawrence. You can read about it in several places online, and I’m going to paste the official press release below ....more