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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

The other day during a therapy session, I said suddenly, “Healing is hard.”

“It is,” my therapist, J, replied. “It can be scary to leave what we know.”

J asked me if I could elaborate on the parts of the healing journey I was finding more difficult. I wanted to…

A Memorial Meadow

Yellow poppy unfolding in early morning light
Eschscholzia californica

Last October, I stood in my seacoast yard, listening to the waves and grieving the death of my wonderful Aunt Kathy from pancreatic cancer. My landscaper pressed me for a decision about mulching a ledge-filled patch of earth with a tiny view of the water. …


The Quarantine Diaries, Part Six

A slightly filtered image of a small neighborhood street in Japan.
Photo courtesy of the author

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus got especially bad, the city was completely locked down. People stopped leaving their houses, the shops closed, and the trains stopped running. Businesses were paused indefinitely, people worked from home, and in…

This Is Us

Joy comes when we let go of the idea that we deserve it

The author with her son.
Sam, age 5

Nearly five years ago, I knelt before my five-year-old son Sam in the basement of our friend’s home. The room was filled with a mishmash of furniture from upstairs and outside to accommodate all the people who had come to say goodbye. Sarah, Sam’s hospice nurse, was giving us directions…

This Is Us

A lifetime of memories in and about the place where we rest our heads

The author at 5 years old, modeling a waterbed.

In bed we laugh, in bed we cry;
And, born in bed, in bed we die.
The near approach a bed may show
Of human bliss to human woe.
—Isaac de Benserade

When I was little, I was so afraid of the dark that I begged my sister to let…

This Is Us

Ocean ripples and sand underwater.
Photo: Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images

All the lost things we ever had
are somewhere still,
present, existing,
even if we can’t see them;
a comforting thought,
like believing in God,
or that people never really die.

All the lost things we ever had
are somewhere still,
under beds, between train seats,
in gardens, beneath paving stones,
in cushion stuffing,

Photo: owngarden/Getty Images

Anniversaries serve an important psychological purpose: They’re like checkpoints in time, reminders to pull over and remember the people we used to be. Nineteen years ago, some of us were in high school, watching the world burn on one of those bulky TVs the teacher would wheel in for movie…

This Is Us

This is what I know

Person in a leather jacket standing in the street with colorful red smoke bomb obscuring face.
Photo: Georgi Fadejev/Getty Images

Today marks 17 years since I entered the grief world, which is really just the world, but another side of it, one that we come to find has been there all along yet is only revealed to us in the wake of a deep loss.

This is what I know.

On struggling to make sense of a loved one’s death

Photo: byronv2/Flickr

“What is to give light must endure burning.” —Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Five stages of grief that flow from source to ocean or lake: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

I pondered which stage I was in. I wondered if it was either a circle of grief or…

Her ghostly presence on social media helps me mourn

Photo: Patricia Boyce/EyeEm/Getty Images

Do you have LinkedIn? I do. I don’t know why I have it. Does anyone use it? Has anyone been like, “Thank God I have LinkedIn! It 100% impacted my life in a positive way!” I seriously doubt that has ever been uttered, but I have it and it sends…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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