I’m tired. Evidently, I’m not alone because, in the last week, I’ve read several excellent essays about being tired. Our world is collectively at a point of fatigue. We’re tired of the circus in the political arena. We’re tired of the pandemic. Many of us are tired of our economic plight in this whole mess, and because our circles have gotten smaller, we’re tired of each other. The self-care required to correct this state may seem both selfish and complicated. Still, the steps are simple and in the long run, caring for ourselves allows us to care for our community.


Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Today is my grief anniversary. Of all the things we mark and memorialize, I think grief is by far the most difficult. I had a friend sincerely ask me why I chose to have a grief anniversary when I could choose to remember Jayson on his birthday instead. My immediate response was that there is no instead. Honestly, I didn’t have the right answer to give her. It set me to thinking. I’m not sure we ever really choose to have a grief anniversary. We may not call it specifically by that name, but the date will come around every…


Ah, Christmas, a time of stress, expectations, conflicting beliefs, overspending, and overeating. The world transforms into a commercialized winter wonderland filled with deflated Elsas and fake, white, baby Jesuses strewn across the lawns of suburbia. But for some of us, it is also a time of tradition, a time of music, and a time of memory. I must admit, my inner scrooge is quite happy that there will be fewer gift exchanges, fewer parties, and fewer school obligations. Though, for me, the obligation of the Elf on a Shelf (the tiny creature of felt and plastic invented by a woman…


We all have to own our stories. Sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes our stories don’t turn out the way we would have written them. Sometimes they are painful and we shy away from them. It’s easy to give other people control of our narrative and we let them tell us how it reads. We shy away from our truth because it may be uncomfortable for others to see. …


This week has been a tough one so far. My girls are with my parents for their Fall break and I’ve taken the week off to try to get some things done. The house has been quiet. Very, very quiet. I didn’t realize how much I had grown to depend on the chaos of my children and all of their activities and school to distract me. For the last few days, I’ve no longer had that luxury. I’ve cried — a lot. I’ve cried while cleaning out the garage, I’ve cried while working out, I’ve cried in the bath, I…


Goodbyes

I never thought I’d say the words, “My husband is dead.” Really, does anyone? 16 years of joy, laughter, dreams, trailblazing, children, and love — so much love, all came crashing down in the space of 13 months. The illness itself remains unnamed, but it exacerbated other conditions and created new ones. Any one on its own would have been enough, but his death was orchestrated, organized, and inevitable. We thought we had years. We didn’t know we had only months.

I took him to the ER for pain one night and a week later he died of organ failure…


Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash

As a child, I used to spend large amounts of time doing nothing. It fed my imagination, fueled my dreams, and most importantly it taught me how to be aware of myself. I grew up in a small town in a little house in the middle of 20 acres. Away from the house and in the tall grass sat a group of large, concrete culverts just waiting to be burried. In summer, I’d lay on top of these culverts and watch the clouds and imagine. I would imagine endless things about what I might want to become and how I…

Jakob Franzen

Father, storyteller, observer, and philosopher. Now learning to live with grief.

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