Category: story


August 4, 2023

It’s just that way for some parents. When some of us lose a child it hits so hard we just can’t seem to go on living. If the heart breaks completely the body can die.


June 16, 2023

I got to hug my son on his last day as a high school Freshman this morning. Tomorrow Truly graduates from fourth grade. I feel…

Stop Counting

April 21, 2023

Grief is different now. I see it’s always been there, invisible to people until we happen to stumble over it. Once you’ve seen it, not just a small dose, but the giant-soaking-you-where-you-stand dose, you’ll always see it.

Warmth Crushing

December 30, 2022

That is why, on Christmas eve, hours before I was going to perform my full Santa gig, I was driving to pet stores with Truly and our new eight week old German Shepherd puppy, “Dandelion”, looking for the right food, right collar, right treats, right everything.

Papa Swan

April 7, 2022

I’ve been working on a bigger writing project, a book about the first four years since Terry’s death. It’s what I had to write just so I could write about something else, anything else. Saying what needs to be said seems to be a requirement for storytellers. I now have a manuscript titled “Wilder Grief”.

Uncles, Brothers

February 14, 2022

That’s how we’re all connected, only we can’t remember it. We’re all in the sun together, enjoying the light.

The Story of Us

July 25, 2021

Fathers Day. OK, this one feels different. I think a lot of us widows and widowers track how anniversaries and holidays feel from year to…

Comfort Food

June 4, 2021

True’s bed is now a tent in the living room. It’s been there for about a month. I drag her out of her sanctuary at…

Tenderness and Time

May 17, 2021

On my way into town the same stump always catches my eye. The winter snows pulled back a month ago, revealing its dark stature against…

Holy Silence

May 9, 2020

Has loneliness made our seeking stronger, made us each hungry again? I think that makes each of us a little holy. That is surely a good thing.


December 12, 2019

Its more exciting to say it began with hamster entrails on the living room floor, but it didn’t. That was a few days after the…


November 8, 2019

“Daddy what happened to Momma’s skin?”
“What do you mean, when she was sick?”
“No, when she died.”
“So you mean when we put her in the Earth?”

Deer Family

October 8, 2019

Its so fulfilling to turn around and see another citizen of the house nesting there, breathing love in, breathing love out.

Just Me & Us

July 21, 2019

My invisible wings are vast,
not angel wings,
or Eagle or Hawk.
They are rare though,
soaring gifts from another world …

Animals Sleep Together

May 24, 2019

here are times when I come up to wake them for school and they’ve found each other and are so entangled I can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. If I go away for a few days I know so long as they’re sleeping next to each other our littlest one will be fine. They comfort each other in ways a phone call from me can’t.

Mothering Grief

February 12, 2019

I don’t know how to process all of that – how to be delightfully pregnant with possibilities and holding grief at the same time? Can I feel all of that without curling up in a ball with a case of cookies, a bottle of wine and every episode of the X-files?


January 13, 2019

It turns out I’ve been carrying around a floating divorce of sorts. Terry and I did not say “’til death do us part” in our wedding vows. Now I understand why people include that clause. If the spirits are real to you, tangible in your life, does your marriage really end after death?


October 15, 2018

Routine is supposed to be especially important when you’ve suffered the loss of a parent. The ritual of our days, centering mostly around school, hold…


August 1, 2018

This gorgeous young man painted from head to toe with every moment of his Mothers love is sleeping without fear. You know his rest is unblemished, it is still the sleep of young, wild things.


July 2, 2018

I saw her encompasing all of us with love. It is not a romantic love, its a Mothers love. A radiant, transcendant, utterly pure of heart, Mothers love.


June 12, 2018

We’re not ready to move on,
we’re ready to move in,
deeper, together.
The cauldron of our family
will remake us again,
not seperate from Momma,
but with her on the other side.


May 25, 2018

Widower. Thats the new job title. Objectively of course it fits. We were married almost 15 years. The kids and I celebrated our anniversary by…

One things for sure, you are not anywhere to be found in all the paperwork I’m dealing with. I’m struck by how little all that stuff has to do with you. The important crap of life turns out to be total crap after all.

Hard Road

April 22, 2018

Our girl is now bigger than popcorn ever was. It used to be her feet found the world, now its her eyes, her fingers, her…

Michael Harner 1929-2018

February 19, 2018

What can you give someone at their passing, who, seemingly effortlessly, held open a door for you that led everywhere? If I had every day, for the rest of my life, to walk down the many paths that open door made available to me, I wouldn’t even begin to explore the potential that is there.

Breaking Spells

January 21, 2018

When you’re under a spell your life can feel like that: this is not real, this is not how things are supposed to be, yet you’re trapped. This insanity has become the new real. It feels like you’re farther away from whats real than you ever have been before, but really the opposite is true. This middle place is closer to the new real than you realize, you just have more to pass through.

Tracing Worry

October 18, 2017

But for those of us who know that magic must disguise itself in our world, it was clearly the head and spine of a recently fallen majestic being.


September 7, 2017

These moments pass between us, each one different, like tiny speckled quail eggs we’re sharing with each other. Trust becomes a tangible thing when you’re on a journey like this. Its become part of my daily mantra: trust & patience, trust & patience, trust & patience…

The Way of Dad

June 24, 2017

The Forest stole my hiding place and made it into a celebration of connection. Everyone (including our dog Bella) spent this Fathers Day in the…

The Village

April 21, 2017

Relax – that’s what I know my job is now, that’s the message I get when I check in. This is not an easy task…

Green Offerings

May 4, 2016

When I was making my rounds that fateful day, I was being shown that my work with the Sidhe is always happening. Its really about a quality of presence and relationship to life that never ends. Everything has to fit within that connection.

True Prayer

March 7, 2016

…I journeyed to the spirit of the Slough, finding an ancient woman twisting her yarn at a spinning wheel, weaving out the eons singing to the tap of her wheel. Listening to her spinning song slowly turned me to gunpowder-black dust. She sang, wove and spun until I became a small bird perched on her wheel transformed by her radiance.


February 8, 2016

I’ve been feeling lately, like so many of my friends, that I’m sitting at an important crossroad. I understand that I need to move forward, but have not really been given the direction yet. So I sit with potential, and that can feel oddly frightening, like you’re pausing at a threshold while something ominous and unknown draws closer.

Good Grief

November 10, 2015

When it first arrives, you think there’s been some kind of a mistake, surely it meant to sit down next to someone else. You distract yourself, move on, until you finally realize its not going anywhere. So you spend time together, without really acknowledging it exists because, lets face it – you know grief, you’ve been there before. You don’t need any kind of re-introduction. Sure you can tag along if you want to, but don’t get too comfortable.

We’re like forest rangers for a forest nobody around us believes exists. We setoff into that world, sometimes stumble into it ourselves waking or dreaming, to work with the spirits there, to heal to bring balance, to remember soul in life. I suppose in a way, thats special. But sometimes I think it shouldn’t be.

License to Fish

May 4, 2015

When we were out on a lake, Dad thought of me less as a son he’d taken fishing and more like a somewhat lame first-mate. He needed me to get the boat on and off the trailer, so I would do, but just barely so. He was kind to me, but within the understanding that, as far as fishing went I was a bit limited.

Leaving Utah

January 28, 2015

Its funny how water connects us and pulls us apart. He was the one who dragged me out of that lake when I nearly drowned all those years ago, now I’m driving his ashes, my Mom, son, and artifacts that story 45 years of their life in Utah out to the coast.


November 25, 2014

The crucible of the alchemist, the container for his life opus, is symbolized by the egg. It is out of this crucible the true self, radiant self, finally emerges after the struggle of transformation. Tonight I’m stricken by the transformation of my daughter, considering the last two years and nine months – the world that made the crucible that fosters her emergence.

Dangerous Forests

October 20, 2014

When I find myself in a forest I feel that I am the one being understood, not the other way around. Its as if my spirit is finally free to expand to its biggest size and once there, it finds itself wholly encompassed by something much larger and more mysterious than I can ever fully understand.

Dreaming of the Sidhe

October 10, 2014

It was in just such a dream-place a few nights ago I was taken aside by some people I’d never met. They talked to me about a topic I must keep private, after a while we ended by sharing some food of the Sidhe (the Faerie folk).

Secret Daughter Mine

June 19, 2014

My family has a lot of good stories I may never share. Some because they belong to all of us and are still unfolding, some because they don’t belong to me at all. They belong to my wife, my son, and now my daughter.

This Boy Blossoming

June 3, 2014

The heartache I feel when my son is just away for the day at school still takes me by surprise. I want to hold his fierceness tightly, bury him in my heart until his hysterical laughter blows everything wide open.

Echoes Life Gives Up

May 10, 2014

Holding her takes on greater power every day, not for her but for me. I can feel her relaxing into me, I can feel that she knows everything is going to be OK because she’s in Papas arms.


March 21, 2014

I was wide awake at the wheel when the Elk danced into my headlights. He was big, just under 300 lbs from the sheriffs report. I moved to the right to avoid, he dance to the right, I moved back, he jumped back.