Thoughts On Grief

May 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

When my husband passed away almost two years ago, I kept trying to find meaning in the loss.  How could so much pain be for nothing?

I have since learned that is a very common reaction.  We lose so much that we want something in return; wisdom, insight, super powers, or even just a special seat in heaven.

I remember saying over and over that I was still the same person I had been before Chris got sick and the same person after he died.  But I was wrong.  I would soon learn that loss and grief have a way to bring us face to face with whom we are and life itself.  Many things change after great loses especially how we want to live our lives and what’s important.

In the article by Roshi Joan Halifax, posted on this site ( she writes:  “To deny grief is to rob ourselves of the heavy stones that will eventually be the ballast for the two great accumulations of wisdom and compassion.”

Grief is not something to be desired but if it knocks on your door, let it in, offer it a seat and make friends with it.  It is a strange friendship the one we form with grief; while it rips us apart it also builds us up in a different way.  If we let the friendship flourish from the destruction a deep sense of self will rise.

I can now tell the Deborah of years past that much does change and while I don’t know about a special seat in heaven I do know of a different seat on earth build on solid ballasts.

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare


Another Woman Dies In Afghanistan

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

An 18-year old Afghan woman was shot on Tuesday outside her job at an US based development company.  She was killed because she was a woman.  She was killed because she was working.  The Taliban is stepping up its intimidation against women sending bands of thugs to harass women who want jobs, education and their own style of clothing.

Last March 8th, I participated – as one of the organizers – in a night of readings of blogs and essays by Afghan women.  For two hours actresses read on a stage the words of women who struggle to have basic rights and we heard of their pain to be considered replaceable by their own fathers and husbands.

While most of us may feel unable to actively do something about their plight, keeping their words alive make their existence not be forgotten.  No one should have the need to write the poem below.

But Not An Afghan Woman

I would love to be anything in this world
but not a woman
I could be a parrot
I could be a female sheep
I could be a deer or
a sparrow living in a tree
But not an Afghan woman…Continued



KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) – A gunman lying in wait shot and killed an 18-year-old woman as she left her job at a U.S.-based development company Tuesday, casting a spotlight on a stepped-up campaign of Taliban intimidation against women in this southern city where U.S. troops plan a major operation in the coming weeks.

Although there was no claim of responsibility and police said the motive for the attack was unclear, Taliban militants have been particularly harsh with women who work for foreign organizations or attend school. Bands of thugs are increasingly harassing women who want jobs, education and their own style of clothing, women and aid workers say…Continued