loss

What The Mother Of A School Shooting Victim Taught Me About Parenthood

Jennifer Herbstritt (sister) and Jeremy Herbstritt on their aunt's front porch. (Courtesy of the Herbstritt family)

While planning to have a child of my own, I often asked myself: What would it feel like to parent a child who later died unexpectedly in a school shooting?

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Lessons On Losing My Family And Finding My Home

Photo by James Garcia on Unsplash

I did it. I finally did it. And it only took my whole family dying to get me here.

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Letters To The Dead: Shadow Writing For Grief & Release

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Some grief is inert. Some grief is an engine. Sometimes actively participating in grief, I’ve learned, is one small way we can learn to escape its riptide.

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Why I’ll Never, Ever Get Over My Girlfriend’s Murder

You can learn to live with the pain, you can move on as I have after over a decade of self-reflection and hard work, but you never, ever get over it.

You can learn to live with the pain, you can move on as I have after over a decade of self-reflection and hard work, but you never, ever get over it.

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Interior Designs: How Home Shapes Us

Photo by Valentina Locatelli on Unsplash

I wasn’t expecting to have a visceral response to observing someone I hardly knew do home renovations.

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My Mother Is Alive And I Mourn Her Every Day

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

The truth is, I have no idea where she is. I don’t even know if my mother is alive. I haven’t spoken to my mother for eight years.

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Finding My Unsolvable Mother In Her Left-Behind Crossword Puzzles​

I had retrieved at least one constant in my mother’s life: her love of puzzles and word games.

Looking at her left-behind crossword puzzles, I had retrieved at least one constant in my mother’s life: her love of puzzles and word games.

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Getting Through My First Year Without A Dad

Photo by Steve Shreve on Unsplash

Last April, my dad died two days before his 58 birthday after struggling with Huntington's Disease for over a decade. This is my first year without a dad.

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Navigating The Delusions Of A Loved One

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

After my mother’s suicide in 2009, I was left with a gnawing sense of guilt. My mother had suffered from an undiagnosed delusional disorder.

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The Quiet Violence At The Heart Of Motherhood 

Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

From the beginning, mothering and being mothered are both brutal. One day you’ll hurt your mom, I thought. And she’ll hurt you, somehow, without knowing it.

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