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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.

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Let Go of Trying to be Better Than Your Parents

This post was originally published on my Inquiring Parent blog on Sep 10, 2013, and was updated on April 26, 2018.  In the weeks before my father died, we had many conversations. Sometimes, he expressed regrets. He hinted that my sister and I had done better at parenting than he did. He thought he’d done things that weren’t kind; he …

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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, …