What's New?

Tom would like to use this page to provide information about changes on the web site and his current projects.

Swan by rippling water

Recently Completed

Grief and Sorrow-Friendly Practices

Tom has completed work on another (as yet unpublished) book entitled Grief and Sorrow-Friendly Practices. Even shorter than Catching Your Breath in Grief (at about 35 pages) it is a heart-to-heart invitation to reflect on essential realities of life, deep human needs in soul and spirit, agonies of loss, and the hope and meaning possible in dark times. It explains and invites readers to engage in ways of turning toward and attending patiently to the sorrow that comes over us when loved ones die rather than "getting over it" as quickly as possible. Not in order to enjoy the pain, punish our selves, or change sorrow. But rather to give sorrow its due by making the workings, needs, and strivings of our soul and spirit reflected in sorrow more transparent and allowing them to come to life, and in to help our ego live within its limits.

Mindfully opening to and befriending sorrow is a way of respecting it: Accepting it as it comes. Affirming its depth and value. Believing it can guide and heal us. Drawing close to it in trust, not fleeing from it. Welcoming its flow, not resisting it. Finding times and places to give it undivided attention. Being silent with and witnessing it. Entering into dialogue with it, listening and probing in turn. Being receptive to insights about being, living, and meaning that may arise. Wondering how to use sorrow's lessons to become whole in new ways.

Table of Contents

  • Sorrow-Friendly Practices Are Soulful and Spiritual
  • Reaching out to Others
  • Using Ritual and Ceremony
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Meditating on emotions
  • Body-Work
  • Catching Dreams
  • Engaging with Unconscious Images
  • Seeking meaning in Unusual Experiences
  • Using the Arts
  • Surrendering to Silence in Mystery
  • Breathing into the Deep Rhythms of Life
  • Leaning into Faith
  • Opening the Heart in Prayer

Publication Plans

Tom again joined forces with his friend and photographer Bill Rathje in designing the book and including photos in it. And they are once again seeking ways of publishing the book for the widest possible audience. When plans are finalized, you will learn about it here.

"Remembering the Dead: A Phenomenology"

Tom has completed an essay on the phenomenology of remembering the dead. We too little appreciate the vital role that remembering the dead plays in the process of relearning the world. Our physical surroundings, social surroundings, even aspects of our selves, are filled with painful reminders of separation from those we mourn. As they are with less difficult reminders of the stories of their lives, their characters, and how the dead touched and shaped us, our families, and our communities. At times, without being reminded by anything in particular, memories flood our consciousness. At other times, we deliberately strive to recall something in particular, to remember with others, or to reflect on the significance of what we remember. Through remembering we find and attribute meanings in and to our losses, the lives of those we mourn, our ties with them, and our own individual and collective lives that continue in the shadows of loss and in separation from those we grieve.

The essay is, in part, a corrective to those who too carelessly think of remembering as linking us with "inner representations" of those we love. When we remember, we do not look inward, scanning our own minds. Instead, remembering consciously links us directly with the dead as we reach across time, bring them to mind, and engage with them in present experience. And remembering consciously links us indirectly with the dead as we recognize and appreciate the other lifelines of legacy and identification that together with memory comprise loving them in separation.

The essay is also, in part, an invitation to explore the rich varieties and meanings of personal experiences of remembering the dead and of sharing and exploring memories with others in families and communities. He has written it in the hope that it will support mutual understanding that can serve as a basis for helping response to individuals, families, and communities as they remember the ones they love.

Web Site Renovation

Well, yes, the web page is undergoing another transformation.

Highlights -

  • Details on Tom's new book, now published and available worldwide
  • Webpage design and layout modifications
  • Updates on Tom's latest activities, writings, and teaching
  • New videos from Canadian Virtual Hospice

Travel Plans

TBA. I look forward to continued opportunities to meet face to face with people across the globe.