Barbara Felton

Making My Way with Grief

I make my way with grief. Our son Max died by suicide eight years ago. Quickly deciding against suicide for myself, I’ve found ways to cope.

I do twenty push-ups each morning, dedicating them to Max and using the physical pain to exorcise the emotional pain. I began this ritual soon after Max died, when I would start in on my day oblivious to the pain lying in wait beneath my sleep-refreshed, early-morning optimism. Then, at some moment, maybe hours later, I’d remember that Max was dead and double over in grief.

Dose of Truth

“Neurodegenerative,” the neurologist repeated slowly, studying Nancy’s face as she spoke. Dr. Wang had placed her small figure on a chair near Nancy’s and leaned toward her as she explained the nature of the undifferentiated dementia that she’d produced as a diagnosis.

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