Let’s Talk About … Honoring the dead

Obon season is upon us. It is when our Japanese American communities gather to share an ancient Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of our ancestors. In Japan, it is a time when families return to their ancestral family homes to visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is thought to be the time when […]

Let’s Talk … About remembering

The ability to remember is something we may take for granted on a daily basis. We rely on our ability to remember in order to learn new things, avoid repeating mistakes, and to re-live experiences from our past. When it comes to painful memories of difficult times, particularly traumatic experiences that overwhelmed us, we may […]

Let’s Talk: About unfinished business

A young man once told me about the time his father was facing a terminal illness. He had gathered his sons together before his last days to apologize for having been neglectful and abusive. At the time, the adult son felt relieved to finally hear his father take responsibility for the way he had treated […]

Let’s talk: About … Self care and caregiving

Sometime in our lives, most of us will be caregivers. For the most part, taking care of babies and children who are dependent on us, is a different experience from taking care of aging parents or ill spouses who are dependent on us. Having children and timing the responsibility for a certain stage of your […]

Let’s Talk: About creating a vibrant longevity

It’s been almost one year since I officially retired from my psychotherapy private practice, and like most newly retired, I’ve been busier than ever … just not getting paid! There’s lots to do out in the world to make it a better place, but it’s important to sort through priorities so that these precious years […]

LET’S TALK: About bayonets and blankets

Memories are tricky things. It’s always been important for me to ask people about their earliest recollections, especially about family. Some respond with certainty, others respond with doubts about the accuracy of their story. I’ve talked to adult siblings who recount the same event from childhood, each with a different spin on what “really” happened. […]

Let’s Talk: About ‘Stigma’

It’s a strange word, “stigma.” In preparing to write this column for the Day of Remembrance issue, this word came up on several occasions. On further research, I learned that the archaic meaning of “stigma” was “a mark made by a branding iron on the skin of a criminal or slave.” It’s a term that […]

LET’S TALK: About grief and the holidays 2014

Although it is commonly believed that grieving for a loved one who has passed away may take a year or more to resolve, in reality the grief could well go on for years. The sharpness of the pain of loss may soften with time, but depending on when and how the person died, the grieving […]

LET’S TALK: About the healing power of pilgrimage

A “pilgrimage” is any long journey, especially undertaken as a quest or act of devotion, according to Webster’s Dictionary. Three hundred and sixty of us traveled from all four directions this July 4th weekend to gather at the former Tule Lake Segregation Center in Northern California near the Oregon border. I made my first pilgrimage […]

Let’s Talk: About cancer (Part II)

In the last column, I wrote about “Coping with cancer” and invited readers to share with me ways they have found to cope with cancer. Although I received a few ideas on the topic, I was struck by a question that seemed important to address. “What if I’m not coping at all?” This person went […]

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