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

My Final Blog Post

I have a friend and colleague who lives with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). She does not hide that fact, but most people who work with her may not realize it. She has incredible energy and an upbeat approach to life. When she is not roller skating down our college president’s driveway you might find her playing … Continue reading My Final Blog Post

Eight Years

My strongest memory is of carrying my dead son to the hearse. It is the last time I pick him up and I immediately think of the pieta artworks, but I’m not Mary and Oliver is not Christ. His death does not save the world. He is just a little boy. Six years old. Plus, … Continue reading Eight Years

The Bereavement Multiplier

I recently read an opinion piece in the New York Times that talked about the coming “grief crisis.” The basis for the piece makes sense — if we are losing more people due to COVID-19 then there will be more grieving people than normal. In fact, one sociologist has created a “COVID-19 Bereavement Multiplier” that … Continue reading The Bereavement Multiplier

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

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