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Conversations With My Father

Recently I wrote about a birth that came too early, that shook me up, left me scattered – and that somehow brought me understanding of things I’d never grasped before. This post is about a death that did the same. It’s a year today since my father died. He’d been in hospital just over two weeks and that day he …

A Celebrity Dies of an Overdose – Should We Care?

When a young mother dies, leaving behind two tiny children, it is sad. When that mother is a celebrity who dies of a heroin overdose, public reaction varies from sadness to condemnation. I don’t normally write about celebrities, but something about the death of Peaches Geldof and the information that has come out during the recent inquest, strikes me as …

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I need them to respect me – is it true?

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about a difficult meeting she’d attended, in which she hadn’t felt respected by one man. She considered making a formal complaint about this man, but she felt so angry she couldn’t find the words. As we talked, she began to see that maybe all wasn’t quite as she’d thought.

Let Go of Trying to be Better Than Your Parents

In the days and weeks just before my father died, we had many conversations. In some of those conversations he expressed regrets. He hinted that my sister and I have made a better job of parenting than he did. He thought perhaps he’d done things that weren’t kind; he said he hoped he could be forgiven. I told him that anything he had …

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Children as Mirrors

One night when my elder daughter was about eighteen months old, she and I were upstairs getting ready for her bath. She wandered out onto the landing and stood on tiptoe peeping over the stair gate. In a sing-song voice she called out, “Jeh-eee!” (My husband’s name is Jerry.) She stood quietly for a few moments, and then she said, …