Steering Through Change

Almost every summer for the past 18 years, my husband and I have driven north to Oregon to spend time with his parents at their summer cabin. The cabin is remote, situated 4 miles down a dirt road, deep in a pine forest not far from the Deschutes River. It is so quiet you can […]

Creating Community

August — time to connect with friends and family! This summer I took some time off and went on retreat to a Sufi center in New Mexico. I’ve been doing this on and off for over 30 years, but two years had slipped by since I last went. It felt good to renew friendships. Sadly, […]

Love Begins with You

Love begins with loving oneself. When we love ourselves, loving others comes easy. Celebrate this Valentine’s Day by pampering yourself. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it is smart. When we are rested, relaxed, and satisfied, we fill our hearts with contentment. Our cells sing. In this state there are no expectations, no need […]

Transforming Death Denial into Curiosity, Self-Discovery and Wonderment

I made a lot of mistakes when my parents were dying. Obvious signs of their aging were overlooked, communication broke down, I often failed to show up and when I did, I quickly ran away. I felt confused, indecisive and overwhelmed and when they were gone, full of remorse and regret. The experience was intense […]

Can Sherlock Holmes Keep Your Aging Parents Safe?

We all die. It’s part of life. But few of us want think about it unless we have to. The aging of our parents is a powerful reminder, which offers special opportunities for healing, personal growth and connection. One of the hardest things about helping aging parents is making the shift from “child” to “caregiver” […]

When to Say No to Medical Treatment

Over the last few decades, advances in medical technology have dramatically changed the way we die. In the good ole days (not always so good), families waited patiently at the bedside of dying loved ones while nature took its course. With the wide array of medical drugs, procedures and devices that are now available, it […]

Caring for Dying/Caring for Self

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few days after his eightieth birthday. His dementia was fairly advanced. We ignored the signs as long as we could. After his diagnosis my father deteriorated rapidly. It seemed that now that we knew the truth, he could stop pretending and let nature take its course. His participation […]

On Dying Well

As my parents moved into their “golden years” and closer to that ultimate life passage we call death, my mother often said that if she and my father lost their wits and assumed a vegetable like state they would drive off a cliff. It was a bit of a joke but also the only clear […]