Connection and continuity are key components of resilience. Feeling like we belong and are wanted nurtures our soul, lifts our spirits, and gives us confidence to face the world. Families—biological and chosen, both living and departed members—can give us the confidence of knowing where we come from and who we are. This is more important than ever in a world that often feels chaotic and scary. A deeply meaningful part of my own experience of resilience involves private rituals to connect with memories of my departed family members. I find strength in recalling examples of how they lived up to their own challenges, and I feel great comfort in knowing how they welcomed me into the world when I was born more than six decades ago. On the last day of 2019, I took a paper shopping bag full of faux poinsettias and visited two cemeteries where “my people” are buried. In St. Patrick’s Cemetery, I made sure the poinsettia stems were stuck securely in the gravel I placed a few years ago inside the two urns on either side of my grandparents’, and great-grandmother’s, shared headstone. My grandfather, John, died when I wasn’t quite eight years old. I still remember… Read full this story
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