I refolded my mascara smeared and soaked handkerchief. The melodic poetry. The organ music. The stories of love. The funeral of my friend was beautiful. From weddings to funerals, sacred rituals bind us to our past. They remind us of our connectedness, of our shared joys and the shared heartbreak that no human escapes. Weddings…

Things end. Some endings bring relief. Some leave us lost. I feel relief at endings like time in the dentist’s chair, a successful surgery for my sister, or a flight taking me home to Omaha. I feel lost when relationships with those I love end because so much of who I am is connected to…

I kept looking at their faces. Their beautiful smiles. Two handsome men near my age. Something tugged at me, made me want to draw closer to them. Then it hit me. They reminded me of my brother, Tim, who would have been about their age had he not died 20 years ago this week. It…

Knowing his death was just months away, John began to get rid of things. He tossed tattered manila folders from his file cabinet. He gave away books. He added clothes to the Goodwill box. I could struggle with letting go of a calendar from 1987, but if John held on to anything it was because…