Chances are good that you know or will know a family whose lives have been turned upside-down by loss. Here are some tips for how to become one of those who “get” grief.

This post was originally published in ParentMap on May 14, 2015.

Every time there is news of someone joining the ranks of the grieving, I grieve for them. It is such a difficult road, yet it is an experience we will all have at some time in our lives. …

Lessons in Effective Parenting

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I walked in the door and my son was slumped in his seat watching a Khan Academy video. The tutor who I had hired to teach him looked exasperated and took me aside to tell me so.

Later there was a temper tantrum (not mine) where phrases like “I hate my life!” and “I’m so stupid!” were flung at me in an accusatory way.

The day before had been a similar episode with a different kid.

And so I lost it. I had my own temper tantrum. I had to walk out. I grabbed the dog and drove a few…

When a psychic finds me in a coffee shop, she has a message from my dead husband.

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The panini’s had been ordered, and I had just gotten up to grab my “Blue Velvet,” a tea latte. A woman sitting at a table next to ours, asked, “Did your boyfriend or husband die recently?”

Here we go again, I thought.

Not recently,” I said. “And it was my husband.”

She introduced herself as Lisa, and told me she didn’t usually do this sort of thing, but that she was a psychic and had a message from my husband.

“He described you perfectly, so I knew it was you right away,” she said. “I was just driving along, and…

Book ideas come from all kinds of places

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My novel, Remember the Moon began from a seed of an idea I had about a dead man’s conversation with his alive wife through a psychic.

My life, basically. Or my dead husband’s, whichever way you want to think about it.

I thought it would be funny to have the psychic talking in cryptic symbols — roses, rings, colors that are meant to contain profound messages to us living, while the dead husband is up there pulling out his (proverbial) hair because all he wants is for the psychic to speak clearly…

Adventures in dating in your 50s during a pandemic

The author in her home studio.

After I broke up with my fiancé three years ago after an almost seven-year relationship, I licked my wounds for a year or two, with no desire to date. I converted what had been his man-cave into my art studio and began to paint. At first, producing art was my Sunday activity because Sundays alone are hard. Soon, it morphed into my favorite Friday night and Saturday night activity as well.

Although I was alone, I told myself I was OK. I was still grieving the loss of my relationship and not in the right frame of mind for a…

Will ‘relationship rehab’ help me find true love?

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Among the million other things I have on my plate at the moment, I am attempting to follow a seven-week course called “Calling in ‘The One’.”

I mention this sheepishly since the cynical part of me thinks the course sounds kind of hokey. Plus, the website is all pink and rosy with lots of swirly script-type fonts, which as a web designer, annoys the heck out of me. But I digress…

The course describes itself as “The step-by-step signature process to FINALLY attract your soulmate.”

Well OK then. I read on…

You feel exhausted, confused, powerless.

Maybe even a little…

Haha! So true, although my experience of writing my memoir was that it WAS my therapist. I had a strange post-partum depression after it was published!

How to find the deeper meaning in your story

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A few years ago, I attended a memoir writing workshop with Anne Lamott — a dream come true. My friend and memoir teacher, Theo Nestor, the author of a wonderful book about Memoir Writing, Writing is My Drink, was also speaking, along with a few other notable writers, imparting their own nuggets of wisdom on the subject of memoir writing.

Here are a few of the memoir writing tips I came away with:

Ask the questions

When formulating the basis of a memoir—ie. determining the theme — it really comes down to a couple of pointed questions you need to ask yourself.


A single mom contemplates combining lives with her boyfriend

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Sitting in a warm October sun at a picnic table at an outdoor bar in Portland, my words just sort of popped out.

“You could always just move into my house,” I said.

I’m pretty sure I blushed when I said it. He’d been talking about his house and the possibility of selling it and moving on, or renting it. My boyfriend and I had been dating for four years. …

It’s not always easy dating a widowed person, but the rewards can be great.

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As my boyfriend of almost 7 years and I were breaking up, he socked me with the gut punch: “You could never fully love me because you’re still in love with your husband.”

He’s dead, I thought. All this time, you were jealous of a dead guy?

When I thought back on it, I had learned not to talk about my dead husband in the presence of my boyfriend, which made me sad, because often I was trying to feed my kids memories about their dead father. But I got it. …

Abigail Carter

Writing about widowhood, parenting, life, grief, art, writing and publishing. #singlemom #author #memoirist #writer #widow #9/11widow #artist

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