I must be at that age where my mortality becomes a consideration of great import. That or I’m looking for a good time and tired of those who are dragging me down – not sure which. I look around and see people in my life I never would’ve imagined would be there, but they are, and they’re great, and I love them! I also see people in my life I’d rather not have,,,, in my life – too much drama, selfishness, baggage. (Bye, see you)

I am 62 years old and have to face the cold hard reality that I am in the ‘autumn’ of my life, maybe even the ‘winter’. You see, my mother is 92 and in long term care in advanced stages of dementia; a hideous brain sucking illness that drains not only the life of its’ victim, but also that of their loved ones. When we reflect back on her life we see signs,,,, signs we missed. By our calculation she was starting to lose her brain cells at 75 or 76, and by 80 she was visibly disabled mentally (couldn’t tell time, couldn’t count, put cat food in the washing machine, etc) and within just a few short years she progressed/declined into what is now a vegetative state.

Her mother suffered the same fate, as did her mothers’ sister. Now my mothers’ sister is displaying signs of dementia (big time) so my sister and I are understandably concerned. This genetic make-up doesn’t bode well for our future, a future I thought was further away. But at 62 I realize it’s closer than I imagined and I’m not confident there’s anything we can do to deflect this gruesome outcome so I’ve decided to make a few changes in my life.

I’m going to spend my time with people who make me laugh. People who are smart (but not arrogantly so – nobody likes a know-it-all) People who like music and children, yes, definitely children, people who dance, play games, eat great food, drink responsibly but appreciate a good buzz, people who never gossip or lie, people who respect life in all forms, and people who enjoy a good Bugs Bunny cartoon.

In return I will promise to get down on the floor and play with children, eat whatever you cook without criticism, not flinch when someone spills on the rug or leaves a ring on my table, let the dust accumulate on my furniture (I really hate dusting) nag you less…..ok, that’s not happening (I was born to nag,,,,why give up a good trait?) and live today like it was the biggest, bestest day of my life! (ok, ok, I know that’s grammatically incorrect but I’m focused on emphasis here so work with me)

The way I see it if I fall victim to my mothers fate I have 10 to 14 years of lucid life left and I plan to use it wisely i.e. I’m going to be very selective about who I spend it with and what I do. There are those in my life who make me want to laugh and dance and sing. I want to be with you. And there are those who weigh me down with sadness, neglect, and worry. I don’t want to be with you. These are the souls I’m cutting loose because life is really too short, shorter than I thought. So if I don’t reach out to you in the next 6 months to get together, it’s probably you. Learn from it.


I suppose disappointment is a fact of life but it doesn’t make it any easier to take and some, it seems, are more prone to its’ frequency. Do we invite disappointment? (unconsciously, of course) Do we set ourselves up for it? Maybe, and if so, is it that we are setting unrealistic expectations about people and outcomes? Probably.

I had a friend in high school (and that’s going waaaaaay back!) who argued that the only person we can count on in life is ourselves. Not your parent, sibling, partner, friend, just you. Disappointment, she said, was our naiveté in trusting others not to hurt, betray, or disappoint us. I always fought her on this because I felt it was such an uncharitable view of humanity. In my innocence I truly believed the people in whom we placed our trust would never hurt us. Forty five years later I sadly acknowledge that she was right because like everyone else, I’ve had my share of disappointments in life.

People don’t mean to hurt others but there is no escape for any of us; there simply is no life without disappointment. It comes down to different ideals, different priorities, different  desires, and a complete lack of effective communication. Talking openly about our feelings and expectations leaves us vulnerable, open to ridicule and criticism, even rejection if the other party doesn’t feel the same way, so we are reluctant to bear our souls. And even if we do, the other party may not see the disappointment inflicted the same way as you.

So. Is this a grin and bear it situation? How we deal with our disappointment varies depending on the priority of the situation, the priority that is, to the one being disappointed. The other party (the inflictor of the disappointment) likely doesn’t see it as a priority at all. But our character  dictates how we will deal with it. Will we lay defeated and broken, or will we rise above it before the disappointment takes root, leading to bitterness and anger. Either way the road is yours to follow alone and you can’t lay the blame on the ‘inflictor’, rather you should lay the blame on yourself for expecting too much. (so I guess the lesson here is to expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed?)

People will disappoint you and the more you have invested in the relationship the deeper the disappointment is felt, but with maturity comes the wisdom; the wisdom to know how to stop whining and when to move on because disappointment is inevitable. And sometimes moving on means cutting these people loose.

The Gift of Gab

Some are blessed with ‘the gift of gab’, others are not. I am one of the ‘others’. I can certainly talk a lot but I have to know the people I’m with. There’s a comfort in knowing your audience; it’s easy and familiar. I admire those who can approach a group of strangers and engage them in conversation, interesting conversation. (‘Interesting’…there’s the catch)

My husband is such a person. He can strike up a conversation with anyone. He asks a lot of questions to draw the person out. He uses humour to break the ice and make the person relax, and within minutes he has struck up an easy conversation that flows, naturally. At the end of the conversation he knows a fair bit about the individual, and they walk away uplifted because they’ve been made to feel like they are interesting. The gift of gab, it seems, really is a gift.

I’ve tried this technique, and failed. I ask questions that are invariably met with one word answers shutting down my attempt at getting that ‘flow’. I switch gears asking open ended questions that typically don’t allow for one word answers but then I find I’m not at all interested in what they have to say. Am I asking the wrong questions, or are others just not interesting enough to me?

Now I’ve met people who offer up conversation without asking; you know, the ones who tell you their life story right after you’ve asked their name. They spill forth with every detail of their life without taking a breath, leaving you little opportunity to escape. Or there’s the ones who go on and on with excruciating detail about their children, or grandchildren, or worse, their pet. And the minute you interject with information about your children or grandchildren, or pet, they get this annoyed look over their face like they took a wrong turn in a bad neighbourhood. (I guess the gift of gab isn’t always subjective?) Blathering on about the mundane minutiae of their boring existence seems to fuel their fire while it rapidly puts you to sleep.

I think part of having the ‘gift of gab’ is knowing what questions to ask, phrasing them in such a way that invites an enthusiastic response, and acting as though you’re really interested in their answer. The people who truly have the gift of gab, I believe, are naturally curious. They really are interested in finding out about others and, by contrast, like to share information about themselves. Maybe that’s where I miss the mark. I feel no such need to reveal anything about myself. In fact, I am rather private, so if the ‘gift of gab’ requires this two-way exchange, I’m not a candidate.

That said, I am grateful for those who do possess this wonderful skill because if it wasn’t for them gatherings would be pretty quiet. I will continue to hover in the shadow of those with the gift of gab, absorbing the information they extract from strangers, and comfortable knowing I can anonymously slip away when I get bored.

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting….

Seems like we’re always waiting for something, or someone. Waiting for doctors, hair dressers, buses, waiting in line, waiting on hold; even waiting for our ship to come in. (What do you want to bet the day my ship comes in I’ll be waiting at a bus stop?)

At the moment I am waiting for the arrival of my 6th grandchild, a girl. A tardy girl at that! I am on call to look after her 2 year old sister and their dog when labour starts so I can’t commit to any long projects for fear I’ll have to run on a moments notice. Her due date now past she has seriously disrupted my pickling schedule. I make dill pickles in August, without fail, so for this new one to mess with my schedule is, I think, unreasonable. Doesn’t she know, cucumbers wait for no one? They can overgrow on the vine in a matter of hours, and once picked, need to be pickled within 24 hours lest they get soggy. (If I end up with soggy pickles,,,,,,it’ll be on your head, little one!)

We wait for mail. We wait for meals. We wait for friends. Enough already! Why do we have to wait for anything? (I’m all for instant gratification)  Waiting requires patience, and patience requires us to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset: That’s unreasonable. If patience really is a virtue, I am most unvirtuous.

For some the waiting is pleasant (although I can’t imagine how)  for others not so much. Those waiting to die, for example. The elderly, the ill; those clinging to life unaware of the world around them. I suppose one day we’ll all be in Gods’ waiting room, and I guess I should be grateful that, at the moment, my waiting is in anticipation of a lovely new life.

That said, I have jars, spices and 40 pounds of pickles waiting for me, so get the lead out kiddo and stop holding my pickles hostage!

The cost of a pair of shoes

My husband and I rented a family cottage last month, about an hour away from home. It was a lovely spot and our children and grandchildren took turns coming up to enjoy the water and tranquility.

After 3 weeks of rest and relaxation we began the process of packing up. My husband was responsible for packing up his clothes, books and personal items. I did everything else. I packed up all the food from fridge, freezer and pantry, all the childrens water toys, organized the garbage and recycling, changed all the beds, washed the linens, cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, and helped load up the car. Despite the fact that all he had to concern himself with was his own personal things, he still managed to forget his shoes. (men are quite incapable of multitasking it seems)

The town near this cottage is quite lovely so I (stupidly) told him I’d go pick them up, and recruited a friend to accompany me. I thought we’d get the shoes, browse the shops, have lunch, and make a day of it, and she eagerly signed on.

It dawned a lovely sunny day and we enthusiastically hit the road just after 10:30 in the morning. About half an hour in we stopped on route at a frequent haunt of ours for some retail therapy, and after 30 minutes or so we resumed our road trip, packages in tow, unaware that our day was about to be severely interrupted.

No sooner did we get back on the highway when we came to a stand still and from this point on we moved at a crawl. It was painfully hot and humid so the air conditioning was going full blast guzzling gas by the second. Traffic for the next 90 minutes was backed up in front and behind. There was no option to turn around or pull over, making me seriously regret chugging that litre bottle of water earlier, and we were starting to get hungry.

By the time we finally approached our destination almost 31/2 hours had passed. We’d run out of conversation, our bladders were ready to burst, and we were starving. My friend made a point of saying “Boy, he must really like those shoes”  We decided to get the shoes first since we were late already, then relax somewhere for lunch, so we drove through the town pinpointing a lovely little restaurant right on the water we could return to later to eat. (Who knew this would be a mistake?)

On the road to the cottage we encountered city maintenance crews trimming the branches that hovered over the power lines. Now anywhere else this would be an efficient exercise, but in Nova Scotia road maintenance is painfully inept. After crawling along (again) for another 30 minutes we came upon 3 city vehicles that had blocked one of two lanes. Three workers stood along the roadside guiding a young girl, who was in a bucket high in the trees, clipping branches with what looked like regular garden shears. (At this rate they should be done by next February) We eventually got through this delay regretting now that we hadn’t stopped for lunch first because we knew the only way back to the little town was through the same route. We arrived at the cottage just after 2:30, 21/2 hours later than planned.

I got the shoes, thanked the owners, (silently cursed my husband) and got back in the car for the 35 minute drive it would take to go the 10 km back to town, passing the road crew (who’d made little progress) and eventually the charming little restaurant on the water, was in sight. Buoyed by the thought our ordeal was finally over we both perked up at the thought of a leisurely lunch on the ocean. We parked and walked up to the patio only to see a hand written note on the door that read “Closed due to the intense heat”. (Only in Nova Scotia)

Deflated we returned to the car still hungry and still in need of a bathroom. We drove through the little town until we spotted a lovely little patio restaurant, delighted to see they were open and had a table for us. I didn’t even really care what they served. My first goal was to find a bathroom, of which they had only one. I ran over and pulled the door shut only to hear a loud crash on the other side and found the doorknob in my hand. Recognizing opening the door without a doorknob would be a problem, I weighed the priorities and quickly determined it was more important that I relieve myself of the litre of water I’d been carrying for the past 3 hours, then deal with my confinement.

Fortunately a kitchen helper heard the crash and came to my aide eventually freeing me from the washroom. (Who could’ve foreseen that after 4 hours in a hot car I’d end up locked in a public bathroom)

By the time we sat down at our table to order it was 3:18pm. (We left at 10:30 am for what should have been a 1 hour drive) I can’t remember what we ate but I do know we had a large alcoholic beverage first and by the time our food came we were feeling more relaxed.

No longer interested in browsing the town shops we decided to call it a day and head home. Traffic was still seriously backed up but travelling in the opposite direction our trip home, while slow, was tolerable. At this point neither of us cared, we just wanted to get this day over with.

After dropping my friend off at her house (I think I saw her drop to the ground and kiss her driveway) I made my way home, arriving at 5:45pm.  Later in the evening I would reflect on this day and I came to a few conclusions.

  1. I’m pretty sure this friend will never sign on to a casual road trip with me again.
  2. The next time I assign my husband a simple task I need to follow up (or the next days headlines will read “Man beaten to death with his own shoes”)
  3. It cost $70 for gas, $45 for lunch (which my friend paid for cause I think she felt sorry for me) and I lost an entire day of my life…..for a pair of shoes that were old and cost less than $40 when I bought them 3 years ago. Boy, I sure know how to shop a bargain!

Banana Guy

I walk every day, weather permitting, and I love it. It’s my therapy. I clear my brain, relieve my stress, pound out my frustration, and reach (some times desperately) for peace. Whatever the purpose when I set out, I always feel better when I get home.

Now one thing I’ve noticed over the last 21 years of walking through my neighbourhood, is the banana peel. Every day I walk the same route (ok, I’m a creature of habit) and invariably I see a banana peel. Sometimes fresh, sometimes not, more often than not several peels in various stages of decomposition, spaced apart (???) but there it is, every day. And I’ve come to surmise that it’s the same individual who walks this route each day to work, a car pool, the bus stop, something, eating a banana….and tossing the peel.

Today was the first time I came upon a relatively fresh one…….so he/she was only recently ahead of me. I envision a labourer of some kind, heading to the bus stop, lunchbox and thermos in one hand, banana (breakfast?) in the other. Whoever it is, they’re up early, and have a reasonably good diet (they’re eating a banana instead of a Tim’s donut) but I wonder about their life, their thoughts, as they walk along in the early morning hours munching on a banana.

Are they evaluating their purpose in this world? Are they lamenting their lot in life?  Are they pondering lifes’ mysteries?  Or are they simply wandering along thinking about the work day ahead? And of all the fruits, why a banana? Why not an orange? (maybe they have a potassium deficiency) Course a banana is easy to peel, hence my conclusion that this is a male (whatever is easy…..)

It’s become something of a project to me to find this ‘banana guy’. I just need to see who he is, what he looks like, how he conducts himself as he strides along, munching on his daily banana. And if I find him, I’d like to ask, why a banana? Where’s he going? What’s he thinking as he walks along?

Most importantly, I’d like to ask him why he can’t just hold on the damn banana peel until he gets to a garbage can? 

Empty Spaces

Maybe I’m just sentimental. Or maybe I’m getting old. It seems like I see more gaps in life, empty spaces, that I don’t recall seeing before. Could it be I just wasn’t looking?

My father passed this year and it’s a void I feel keenly every day. But aside from that, I see these vacant spaces  in my days; not people, rather a feeling of emptiness that wasn’t there before. Or was it? It’s not necessarily a sad thing. I just feel like I’m missing….. something.

Now I can’t say I’m hard done by. Life has been kind to me. I have an abundance of friends (ok, not an ‘abundance’ really but I don’t like a lot of people so I’m good with rationing the friends list) I have a lovely and loving family – and I like them, so life is good. (ok, I’d like a little more material wealth but who wouldn’t?) I guess what I struggle with is why do I feel like I’m missing something? And no, it’s not the material things I miss. It’s deeper.

Spring is now here and I wake to the sounds of birds chirping; calling at daybreak, and the fact that they wake me from a good sleep doesn’t bother me. In fact, it makes me smile.  I go for a walk and revel in the sounds of silence,,,,,,until the traffic picks up and breaks the trance. I get lost in a beautiful song on the radio….or in my head. I’m seeing and feeling things that were always there but never before had such an impact.

Ok, I get it now. I think what I’m missing is the ‘peace’. The tranquility, the solitude, the escape from a busy, noisy, angry world, is a relief; a gift really. One so rare to find and even more rare to be appreciated.  That’s what I’m missing. How do we recapture this ‘peace’?

The world is not a pretty place right now. Jobs are scarce, food and fuel costs are through the roof, violence is on the rise, people are stressed, world leaders are idiots, and society is scared. What isn’t wrong?

Well, actually, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, music is still there to soothe a tired heart, and most importantly, we all have people in our lives that matter to us…people to whom we matter. (Man, I am getting soft) Or maybe I’m just seeing things clearly for the first time in a long time, maybe forever.

The birds chirping are a reminder that there is always new life. The stormy days invariably lead to sunnier times. And there’s nothing a good song can’t fix! The idiots running our nations,,,,well, that is a sorry state, sadly one that can’t be changed. (Maybe that’s why someone invented liquor….or weapons)  And those we took for granted for a life time are now just beautiful memories in our hearts and empty places at our table.

Life today is so very challenging. We have to keep reminding ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – don’t lose hope.  From something bad can come something very good – find it. You get what you give, and if that’s not a slap in the face to all of us we are brain dead. Life is a cycle we need to work through. It isn’t easy but it is so worth it. Now go, find that peace we all need.

Sweet Revenge

I do not consider myself to be a vengeful person. I disagree wholly with the whole ‘an eye for an eye’ premise, and I think ‘getting even’ is a waste of energy because you never really feel quite satisfied that the end result is indeed ‘even’. That said, I occasionally find it hard to turn the other cheek.

Between Covid and looming war in Europe too many in society have lost sight of simple kindness. I get that we’re all tired; fed up with restrictions, and scared to death that the lunatics running some of the worlds’ nations will employ chemical weapons, annihilating masses of innocent people (Because having to flee their homeland isn’t bad enough….Have we learned nothing from past wars?) We all want justice, equality, freedom of choice, and the right to live a peaceful existence, and when these rights are threatened, as they have been of late, we cave, giving way to road rage, bully tactics, and downright ugly behaviour.  And rather than blame our own weak character, we blame Covid, or world events, or the economy, because we’ve reached the end of our rope, and God forbid we should look at our own coping skills.

Covid has been blamed for bad service, bad manners, bad attitudes and bad behaviour, and rather than work to correct these behaviours, we instead look to deflect the blame, or worse, we lash out to ‘even the score’.

I read recently, a story about a grandmother who’d been wheeled out of a hospital to await the arrival of her grandson, who’d been summoned. It was a bitterly cold winter day and she was left outdoors in nothing but a hospital gown. Now one might ask, ‘what kind of nurse/orderly in their right mind could do such a thing?’  Where is the respect for our fellow man? Where is their conscience? Doesn’t that breach any number of hippocratic oaths taken when they joined the healing profession?

This particular story resonated with me because just days before, my elderly father was victim to a similar inhumane treatment. He’d been taken to hospital by ambulance the night of a winter storm. Despite instructions to call a family member when he was to be discharged so they could arrange transportation, he was unceremoniously dumped into a taxi at 5am and sent on his way with no contact to the family. He is visibly unable to walk without assistance, i.e. he needs a walker, which he didn’t have. And because he’d been taken by ambulance he had no boots on, no gloves, nothing to protect him from the bitter temperatures. In addition the snow plows had not yet managed the sidewalks near his building so the taxi left him a block from his home to navigate the icy streets in the dark, without his walker or boots or gloves. Isn’t that a lovely way to treat our elderly? So I ask again, where is the conscience of these people, the nurse and the taxi driver? Are they to blame, or is it Covid? Talk to any client facing professional now and they’ll blame these very behaviours on the pandemic.

I have a problem with that. Exhaustion and fatigue  can be responsible for many things but unconscionable behaviour is the responsibility of the individual, and there is no justification for it. It all comes down to character, and as difficult as it is to maintain our composure under challenging circumstances, how we ultimately choose to behave is just that, choice.

That these individuals made the poor choices they did speaks to their character…or rather lack of it. And as much as it might satisfy our frustration to ‘make them pay’ or ‘even the score’, it wouldn’t change the outcome. In fact, it would just render the rest of us as inhuman as them, and we don’t need more of that in society. Pity them. Pray for them. Do what you need to do to help them see the error of their ways but don’t look to revenge because that’ll just prolong the ugliness. The best revenge is just about doing it better.

That said, I wouldn’t mind watching these individuals slide bare-assed down a razor blade and land in a pool of iodine…….but I’m not vengeful……

My Father’s House – One Last Time

Original publication date June 16, 2019 

On this Father’s Day, I wanted to acknowledge my own father for giving me that which he never had as a child. Safety, security, a home; my fathers’ house was all these things to us, and more,,,, it wasn’t that way for him.

His youth was spent running with his family from the horrors of the 2nd World War. His ‘house’ was a series of bomb shelters, barns, train stations and temporary camps. He had few articles of clothing, one pair of shoes, and food was limited, but unlike many he had his family, and it is that which made him feel rich. From the time he was 9 years old war ravaged his homeland and he would be almost 30 before he felt the security of his own home again, on another continent.

As an adult he had a new life, a new wife, and three children. He had no education, thanks to the war, yet he managed to learn several new languages just to get by. He acquired skills (self taught) that would secure him a job and provide for his family. We had food, clothes, a car, all the basic necessities of life, but it didn’t stop there. He gave us so much more.

My father loved tradition, still does. Holidays were fun and festive. He made special foods. He loved to sing. He loved to dance and music was a staple in his house. He loved to read; had an astute mind and could carry on an educated debate, intelligently, and at the same time he could laugh deliriously at the antics of the Three Stooges or Bugs Bunny. He loved chocolate and red wine, and he taught us how to make traditional Pickled Herring for Christmas.

When we were children he would take his vacation from the factory he worked in to take a job as camp counsellor, so that we could go to summer camp. He couldn’t afford to pay for us and traded off his own labour so that we could attend.

He taught us how to skate and how to polka, and no one can tango like my dad.

He enjoyed our school friends and welcomed them to our home, always.

He played Santa on Christmas Eve much to the delight of his nine grandchildren and on every birthday, he sang the loudest (a little off key, but still, the loudest)

He had a green thumb, plants thrived under his care. He loved animals, all of them. In fact he had a tremendous respect for all living things.

He gave us many things, among them a safe and loving home in which to thrive, and for a man who had so little himself, he gave so much.

That my siblings and I are all established, independent and raising families of our own speaks to the value of his life lessons. He taught us to be honest, fair, and kind. He taught us to love, and to forgive. He taught us the importance of family and friendships. He taught us to work hard and play harder. He taught us to respect each other and most importantly to respect ourselves.

Finally, after 89 years he can relax and reap the benefits of his efforts. His was a long hard road and his life of tireless labour made our road so much easier. How do you acknowledge a lifetime of sacrifice in just one day a year? You can’t. We can only live our lives by his example. So we pass on his recipes to our children. We sing with them, we dance, and we make a point to get to know their friends. We even put on a DVD of Bugs Bunny every now and again, just to hear him laugh. We now do what he did, because he did it so well. My fathers’ house was a wonderful place, and he a wonderful man, deserving of so much more than one day a year.

Fast forward to February 2022

My Dad passed today, just 2 months shy of his 92nd birthday. His children and grandchildren, all of us, are so very grateful he was given a long and healthy life in this world. That said, it doesn’t lessen the devastation we feel at the loss. This is a man who truly made a difference in this world and our lives will never be quite the same. He lived a life of honesty, integrity, faith, and joy and his time here was a gift to many. We love you dad, always and forever and now finally after 80 years you can once again run freely through those Poppy filled fields in Lithuania, back into your mothers loving arms.

I think I can actually feel my heart breaking.



Grief. Never has a five letter word born such broad definition, because no two people define or express grief in the same way. At some point in life we all have to bear grief, some more than others. And we all deal with grief very personally. I have several acquaintances who’ve lost partners and I marvel at the disparity with which each copes.

One woman lost her husband of many years to a lingering illness. When he finally passed she expressed little outward grief. Perhaps she mourned over the length of his illness and was prepared for the end. Or maybe she grieves deeply, privately. She may also just be a very pragmatic person who simply dealt with an inevitable life event in a rational way.

Among my friends several have lost someone close to them over the past few years and I feel compelled to reach out. Sometimes I wonder if that’s my calling because quite inadvertently I happen to be the one nearby for them to lean on. (Surely that’s not coincidence) Some need only words of support, others, an emotional shoulder, and the duration of need varies. Fortunately most survive; they regain their strength, and while life will never be quite the same, they go on, because they have to, if not for themselves, than for others.

Grief takes its’ toll not just on the immediate loved ones, but also on those who provide support, so how quickly they recover from their loss has a ripple effect. Some people never recover from the loss of a loved one despite the efforts of their support system. Professional help is necessary but not always effective because there are those who simply cannot go on and it’s in these situations that supporters have to step back. You simply cannot heal someone who doesn’t want to be healed. A big part of helping another find their way is learning when to let them go it alone, and it’s only then that you realize just how much of yourself you invested in their healing.

I’d like to think I’d be the pragmatic type because death is a part of life, but of course we never know how we’ll react until faced with the reality. I do know that grief is a process, and the process may be different for each of us, but it is still very necessary. No one escapes grief. It is a natural part of human life and understanding that it is a cycle of life helps with the healing. Grief can consume you or heal you, and the outcome you select is very much choice.