Well, after a long battle with dementia, my mother passed peacefully at home with hospice care last month. To those who know what this disease is like, what it robs you of, and the trail of devastation that families are left to deal with, both during and afterward, you have my utmost respect, empathy and understanding. It is a long, hard road. On the heels of losing my Dad last October (who also had dementia his last several years) and my brother at the end of 2019 (to colorectal cancer), I am the last surviving member of our original family unit within a very short period of time. It is a very surreal feeling, but it is what it is, and we all must play the hands we are dealt. Needless to say, aside from handling the financial, medical and general business affairs that come with all of this, there has definitely been quite a bit of grief to carry for the last three and a half years. In that vein, and because I know that so many people in this same timeframe have had so much loss, as well, due to COVID and its after effects, etc., I thought I would print this very lovely piece, written by Jessica Watson, for all to enjoy and receive a bit of peace from:

Grief is Like Carrying a Stone in Your Pocket

The best way I can describe what grief is like as the years go by is to say that it’s similar to carrying a stone in your pocket. When you walk, the stone brushes against your skin. You feel it. You always feel it. But, depending on the way you stand or the way your body moves, the smooth edges might barely graze your body.

What Happens With the Stone

Sometimes you lean the wrong way or you turn too quickly and a sharp edge pokes you. Your eyes water and you rub your wound, but you have to keep going because not everyone knows about your stone, or if they do, they don’t realize it can still bring this much pain. There are days you are simply happy now. Smiling comes easy and you laugh without thinking. You slap your leg during that laughter and you feel your stone and aren’t sure whether you should be laughing still. The stone still hurts.

Once in a while, you can’t take your hand off that stone. You run it over your fingers and roll it in your palm and are so preoccupied by its weight, you forget things like your car keys and home address. And you try to leave it alone but you just can’t. You want to take a nap but it’s been so many years since you’ve called in “sad,” you’re not sure anyone would understand anymore, or if they ever did. But most days, you can take your hand in and out of your pocket, feel your stone, and even smile at its unwavering presence.


You’ve accepted this stone as your own, crossing your hands over it, saying “mine” as children do.

You rest more peacefully than you once did. You’ve learned to move forward the best you can. Some days, you want to show the world what a beautiful memory you’re holding. But most days, you twirl it through your fingers, smile and look to the sky. You squeeze your hands together and hope you are living in a way that honors the missing piece you carry, until your arms are full again.