Grief is grief and loss is loss

Just as pets offer us love, companionship, and other valuable lessons while they are with us, they also offer us valuable opportunities to learn to deal with loss and grief in healthy ways. Grief is grief and loss is loss. No matter the scale it’s all consuming, and those small windows of experience help us perceive larger vistas. Perception gained from weathering the loss of a pet develops a muscle for compassion which helps us empathize with folks experiencing things we cannot yet imagine — and that compassion makes the grief more manageable for those grieving.

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Surpluses

Variegated brick wall

We are laboriously building, stone by stone, walls in our hearts and some are proposing to do so physically. We seem to be acting out as 4-year-olds would: blaming others for the problems in our lives, raging at others who we blame for damaging society.

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Dog Days

The constellationns Canis Major and Orion sketched on the night sky

Dear Friends, This past week, I was asked to officiate the service of an extended family member who had served in the Navy during World War II. The service was held at the Canton National Cemetery, a beautiful place near Lake Allatoona and close to the Appalachian Foothills. It was a blistering hot morning, and we were all breaking a […]

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Getting to Here

Sign at Dulles Airport chapel inviting all faith traditions to use it for prayer, reflection and meditation

“Are all my Jewish friends going to hell?” I asked my parish priest in Suffern, NY, where I grew up.

The answer to my question really started me on my personal religious journey. When Father Joyce said to me, “No. God is merciful to all who worship and keep faith in the way of their fathers, the way that they are taught,” it opened a whole new horizon to me. It affirmed my belief in an all merciful God, and the teachings of Jesus to love one another as he loved us and as we love ourselves. It also made me start to think about how all religions shared, but did not own, those universal truths.

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Then

Happy Diwali written in burning rope against a brick background

By Aruna Rao-McCann November 15, 2015 Namaste. This reflection is dedicated to the memory of my late parents. I was born in New Delhi, India in a Hindu household. I attended a Catholic School and College.  I had the privilege of experiencing not only the rituals and traditions of Hinduism but of all religions. India, the largest democracy in the […]

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Forks in the Road

A dirt path forking at the edge of a wood

Yogi Berra once famously said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Sound advice. But seriously, there is something profound attached to these moments where we can go right or left, and we choose, and in doing so, change the course of our lives.

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A Good Death

Fading hydrangea flower

Glenn Koller October 18, 2015 A good death. A good death. To me, that sounds a bit oxymoronic – kinda like “a terrific IRS audit,” or “a great hole in the head.” Perhaps if I parse this out, it will bring clarity to what is meant by “a good death.” I more than agree with Woody Allen who said that […]

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Prophecy

Papercut of the Mayan calendar projected on sidewalk

Though we may not be able to fulfill the all encompassing role of “prophet,” we do have a prophetic role in each other’s lives . . . it is our challenge to tune into ourselves, to connect with one another as deeply as we dare and to never settle for the fool’s gold of perfection. We have the ability to guide and bear witness to each other and lead each other into layers of life that we could never have accessed working alone.

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