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June 5, 2011

Themes for the Blog through July 2011

Greetings, all.

The blog will cover the following themes in June and July:

June 2011

Tributes to Our Fathers

Poetry and prose that remembers, honors, and/or explores our fathers' lives, what we learned from them, what they gave to us. The above photo is my father at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new church building. It makes me think of the many ways that he "broke ground" for his family, his congregation and his students when later he became a university professor.


You may think this photo of a leaf was taken in autumn. It was not. It was taken in April here in my neighborhood. I did not move it even a fraction of an inch for this photo. I walked up to it on an evening walk, and there it was, perfectly still and centered on the sidewalk. Out of place and out of season, which is how our family felt after the loss of our sister.

Death involves more than a singular loss. When someone close to us dies, many other changes come our way, as well.  You may scroll through cell phone contacts and realize that you cannot call a person any more--yet there is their number, outliving your loved one in a strange way.

Your relationship with others may shift or change. You may gain weight, lose weight, get sick, or take up a new hobby or sport. Your relationship to your own spritural practice may may strengthen, or it may feel of little help.

We are often knocked back and surprised by the domino effect of change after a loved one dies.  What changed for you?  And what helped you through?

All entries that arrive on or before June 30 will be considered for posting.

July 2011

Tributes to Loved Ones in the Military

If your loved one fought in a World War, a 20th Century or 21st Century conflict, or served in ANY WAY in the military in your country, this month is dedicated to the men and women among your family and friends who walked this path.

This month, tributes are not limited to those who have died, but also include those who have suffered while serving through injury or other losses. These, too, are a source of grief, and present situations through which we struggle to find our way. So, in July, send prose or poetry that honors, remembers, describes or explores some facet of the life of your service man or woman.

The Anniversaries We Don't Want to Celebrate

Just as birth does, death also brings anniversaries in its wake. But unlike birthdays and wedding anniversaries, these are times to bear up under when celebration seems like a distant memory.  Still, there are ways to acknowledge these anniversaries and  create a consciousness about them that a) helps us live through them meaningfully and with support, and b) helps us remember that if we never grieved, what that would mean is that we also never loved.  And that's no way to live--or die.

Did an anniversary sneak up on you? What was it like? Did something amazing happen? It often has for me, and it usually entails something in nature or something I could not have possibly imagined or planned. A flower blooms in mid-winter. An unexpected gift arrives in the mail. A poem or a message opens inside my heart.  What were the blessings that you were able to find, inside of, and in spite of, the pain?

All contributions that arrive on or before July 31 will be considered for posting.

Please feel free to share this post with others.

Military photo,
All other photos, copyright Ysabel de la Rosa

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