Oliver Zane Emerson


Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

— W. S. Merwin

Treading Water

Grief has become a more accepted topic in the U.S. and if you are active on social media, there is no shortage of accounts addressing grief. In fact, you can take courses in addressing grief through photography, writing, painting, or with individual online counseling sessions. Writers are producing a range of books and many authors … Continue reading Treading Water

Too Numb To Care?

As the events of the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 unfolded, I found myself unable to find words to express my frustration, anguish, and uncertainty. I found it hard to believe that the death of 4,000 people a day in the U.S. was overshadowed by a man who simply ignores reality. I’m … Continue reading Too Numb To Care?

Advent and Godot

We are now in the second week of Advent, a time of waiting for the coming of Christ. As we wait, we prepare through our reading and prayers. As any child waiting for Christmas will tell you, waiting is hard. Fortunately, this is not an empty waiting, but a waiting that is full of hope … Continue reading Advent and Godot

The Missing Piece

It is just a piece of orange and blue silicone rubber. It used to be about a 1/8 inch thick, but is now at least half that thickness. The word “Happy” can be made out if you look closely. While it used to create a closed circle, it is now just a flat piece that … Continue reading The Missing Piece

What Does Life Owe Me?

Grieving people often think “why did this happen to me” which, considering they are the ones alive, might be a phrase better left for the one that died. Of course, what happens to the living is they are left with the absence of someone they loved. But this question of “why me” is one heard … Continue reading What Does Life Owe Me?

Prayers for the Dead

Give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Many faiths include prayers for the dead as part of their teaching and the Christian faith is no exception. I’ll pass on much commentary … Continue reading Prayers for the Dead

Throwing stones at our house

“It’s hard to grieve in a town where everything that happens is God’s will.” A Complicated Kindness Writing good fiction about grief is difficult. Not only do you need a good understanding of grief, you have to know how to connect it with different characters. If a family is experiencing grief, they will face it … Continue reading Throwing stones at our house

Responding to Angry Grief

While grief manifests itself in many ways, one of the most challenging ways to respond to the grieving is when people are angry in their grief. Anger in grief is understandable — people may be angry at the injustice of the death, at the people who caused an accident that killed their loved one, and … Continue reading Responding to Angry Grief

Unquestioning Faith

My wife and I were watching an Audie Murphy western the other night. Murphy trains a group of women to be ready for an attack by Native Americans (indigenous people). (Note: In case you think this sounds like most westerns, I’ve been impressed by how many westerns actually support Native American claims and treaties — … Continue reading Unquestioning Faith

“I’ll Keep My Cancer”

This past week we passed the 10th anniversary of when Oliver was diagnosed with cancer. It started with a trip to DeVos Children’s Hospital to check low-blood levels and ended up being a four-night stay. We can home in time for the Labor Day Weekend with a four-year-old boy who had cancer. (The picture above … Continue reading “I’ll Keep My Cancer”

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