From “A Gentleman in Moscow”

At the behest of my new partner, I have started to read fiction again. The second of her recommendations is a book called “A Gentleman in Moscow.” I am currently reading and enjoying it. Set in post revolutionary Russia, with lots of flashbacks to an earlier, more gilded age, the book is the story of a singular man—a count—who is placed under house arrest. He is imprisoned in a luxury hotel in Moscow and tells both tales of his youth and young adulthood as well as the customs, rules and etiquette of a man of his standing. While intrigued by...

A Rite of Passage

One of the first big milestones of life without Suzanne has come to pass. Our youngest daughter has finished college and has basically graduated (she has fulfilled all of her requirements, but because of CoVID-19 the ceremony will now not take place until December). She arrives back at my home from England today after finishing last month. Last night, I sat in the kitchen with my new partner, Kristi, and we created a couple of posters for Emily. We created one that simply said congrats and another with inspirational messages and quotes on. When searching for what to write for...

Peaceful life

Over many months, and for much more than a year, I have struggled to find true “inner peace”. What does that truly mean to me? It means finding a respite from thought, from fear, from the dull nagging ache of grief which—although it started all consuming—still holds a firm place in my heart, alongside my love for Suzanne.  Why would I seek this world of inner peace? So for a moment I can forget about the grief. For a moment I can be still and silent. And I can breathe and feel free of hurt and of pain. In the...

Potential & Change

August 18, 2018 (24-hours before Suzanne dies) Dear future Jeff, I want you to know a few things. After Suzanne dies, you will feel like there is little potential of anything ever making your life any better. Did you know that you will be scared, hurting, very much alone (even surrounded by friends and family), completely lost, and heartbroken? Please know that although you could potentially just curl up in a ball and die from that heartbreak, you won’t. Potential is an interesting word. It means, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.”...

Dreams, Love & Gratitude

I wrote about unconditional love and also about gratitude some weeks ago, so you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about these things again. Well, I’m not writing specifically about those same topics (as I shared then). Instead, I wanted to share about these three things together: dreams, love and gratitude. What do I mean? To me, these things have become inseparable. In the early days of my life, my life’s dreams included various forms of love and gratitude. Those dreams were about the true love I sought for my life and what that meant to me. My dreams also encompassed...

Gratitude

Why am I not happy? Why do I feel so stuck sometimes? Is it grief? Yes. That’s part of it. But there are times when I procrastinate. There are times when I don’t feel like doing anything. There are times when I simply want to stay in bed and not get up to face another day. Oh yeah. That’s what grief does. But sometimes, I know it’s more than just the grief. And somehow, I think we may all feel the same way sometimes. Perhaps a new perspective could prove valuable?   In recent weeks, as I have continued to...

Weeds

Sometimes, I can’t think of anything to write. This week has been one of those weeks. Today’s post is going to be short. And I am trying to find the words to write. The rules that govern my content on one of the blogs I write for (I am writing a post for three different blogs each week) say that I can’t mention politics, because it’s too divisive. Nor can I give advice or talk about my personal coaching business. So, what do I want to write about this week? Weeds. Yep. Weeds. This week, I spent a couple of...

The Lone Parent…

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, I woke up at 3:49 AM to my phone vibrating. It was a call from my middle daughter, Laura. It was every parent’s nightmare. As I answered, awakened from a deep sleep I had only fallen into three hours earlier (because as I came to bed I discovered a roof leak coming through the ceiling right outside my master bedroom), I could hear crying. It was my oldest daughter, Rachel, crying. Our family… 20-years ago. Before cancer. Before death. Before being alone. In that moment, I can’t tell you how much it hurt to be...

Anxiety

That word. “Anxiety.” It used to drive me nuts when Suzanne, or my daughters, would mention they had it. The reason was: I didn’t get it—literally and figuratively. Anxiety always seemed to provide a convenient excuse to not get involved or do something. It was never a problem when we had fun things to do… But something serious? That was another story. One or all of them was always getting anxious when something serious was taking place… In all my life (I’m inching closer to 52 years old now), I had never experienced anxiety. In fact, I never really felt...

Unalome

What is an unalome? It’s a symbol. There are many styles of unalome, but this is a post about the meaning. But one particular unalome has an even more profound meaning for me than the “definition” of the unalome. The unalome symbol represents the path to enlightenment in the Buddhist culture. The dots at the start of the symbol represent when we are conceived and then born. Essentially, this is the moment we become something from nothing. The spirals are meant to symbolize the twists and turns in life, and the straight line the moment one reaches enlightenment, or “peace and...