Remembering loved ones: Judaism offers ideas, so do individuals

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My eyes welled with tears. I did not know this woman mentioned in our community newspaper, but her effort to remember her late brother moved me. Victoria Arthur, a pediatrician in Lexington, Mass., will run the Boston Marathon this month in memory of her brother, Peter, who died of a heart attack at age 32.

We can run a marathon, we can say a prayer, we can write. There is so much we can do to keep the spirit of a loved one alive. Today and tomorrow, many Jews will … Continue reading

Tracking the milestones in life, and in death

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Summary: The gift-wrapped 12-by-12-inch package was never a surprise. My brother and I had a system for our birthdays. I’d pick out a record I liked, and he’d point to his favorite in the music store. This is the lead of a personal essay about tracking our milestones in life through those of older siblings.

To read the complete essay, published on Nov. 3, 2002, go to The Dallas Morning News archive.

Forgotten Mourners: After the death of a brother or sister, friends and family members might not realize the siblings’ grief, say four who know

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Summary: Some days, Hannah Wilford sobbed uncontrollably. Other days, the teenager seethed with anger. She was angry at the driver of the car that struck and killed Aaron, her 15-year-old brother. She was mad at her parents.
For nearly two years, she ignored her mother’s pleas to talk, and secluded herself in her bedroom after school. Some days, she gossiped with friends on her phone, pretending that nothing was awry in her Carrollton home. Hannah’s is one of four stories of bereaved siblings in my 1999 piece in The Dallas Morning … Continue reading

How do I say I lost my brother and my best friend?

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Summary: In 1999, I wrote a two-piece package about sibling loss for The Dallas Morning News called Forgotten Mourners. This piece was a personal essay about how I dealt with the question, “How many siblings do you have?” over the years.

To read this article, published on July 25, 1999, please visit The Dallas Morning News archives.

Reaction: This essay was picked up by newspapers around the country and many readers contacted me to say how it touched them and how they saw themselves in the essay because of their own … Continue reading