Eileen felt that she should deliver the news of her brother’s death in person. She knew she would provide no solace when the time came, that her presence would only heighten the reality of Brandon’s absence; yet her mother was nearing seventy.Read More
I was so undone—not by Lola’s death but by the prospect of flying halfway around the world again only to turn around to fly halfway around the world again again—that I had to Skype my therapist in New Jersey for guidance. Meantime, Sam was jabbering away in idiomatically perfect Hebrew on his cell phone and telling me to chill out. “Mom, it’s not like we’re being put on the next transport to Poland.”Read More
Memories—so many people say, “You’ll always have your memories.” But even though my son died almost three years ago, memories of him are almost entirely painful. They are not Wordsworthian “recollections in tranquility,” but sharp stabbing pains that arise out of nowhere.Read More
My first sense of the sea was that briny scent, the waves teal and tinged with white froth, and they hurled themselves into this pristine white sand. As far as a child can have a transcendent experience, this was it.Read More
I must take shoes and clothes off and leave them on the bank for nakedness is water’s first language.Read More
I hear these words in your voice no matter who says them, in the well-water smell of the basement, by the artificial tree you and she would one day put a sheet over, so you never had to take it down or put it up again.Read More
Why pray for the dead if not for this,
for God’s speed on their journey, home,
beneath the burden of the proof they bear.
The shooter was a loner—they always are—
but to the bullied and confused, he just
might be the one who understands . . .
Suffering, I once believed, was a human privilege,
but in that moment I watched as God
died, as God witnessed.