We recently lost my wife’s mother to cancer.

Her contribution to family birthday parties was to make the cake. Each time, with a twinkle in her eye, she would ask me how dry the cake was (hint: they were really, really moist). I would respond that hopefully she would get it right next time. That described our relationship: loving, sarcastic joking.

She enjoyed when I burned brats on the grill for her. “Just a little carcinogenic, please.” I’d always make two: one for her to eat and one for her to take home. Many times the second brat never made it home.

Her garden was a thing of beauty. Never done. Always peaceful. “Gardening is my therapy,” she would tell me.

Her love of history and of Argentina permeated many conversations. She was intelligent, well-read and well-traveled.

The other day, while we were working in our yard, we took out a small, blue-handled shovel from her collection of garden tools. It was in great condition other than the tip which had been used so much that it had been worn down. She always took amazing care of her things.

Losing her is difficult. What an amazing understatement! I like finding the perfect words but at this moment my feeling of loss is so intense that words aren’t adequate. They are flat, two-dimensional, gray and lacking. I miss her.

My wife talks about how grief is an intensely personal and lonely experience even when you are surrounded by people that love you.


Today, the world is grieving over the loss of Steve Jobs. I never met the man but he influenced and inspired me. For that, I am grateful. I find myself asking God to place His hand on Steve’s family and friends. To draw them close. I feel for them.


Walking through grief is difficult but in order to continue living, it is essential. The intensity of the grief is very different but I mourn the loss of these two people who have impacted my life.

Posted on October 6, 2011, in Life. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Loss.

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