She Was His North Star

His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …

Losing a Partner – and Finding It Hard to Let Go

By Joan Marans Dim My husband, Stuart, died last June after a decade-long struggle with cancer. He was 77 years old, a former journalist and public relations executive, a marathon runner, and a man beloved and respected by family and friends. In going through his belongings, I often find things that I have forgotten about, small things that taken together are not small. In the back of a drawer, I discover a poem that he wrote when we were students …

Where’s Alan? I’m in the Picture With JFK

by Alan Moll Nov. 22, 1963 I was in a hospital bed in Bridgeport, Conn., recovering from morning surgery. Still in a stupor from the effects of the anesthesia, I heard my mother crying and then opened my eyes to see her crying, then my father with his hand gripping mine and crying as well. There was my sister with teary eyes too. My baby brother was too young to be in a hospital. A nurse who was inconsolable and shrieking aloud stood at …

The Words I Wrote the Day After JFK’s Assassination

by Lloyd Stableford Note: I was a senior at the College of William and Mary, pursuing a political science major. The words that follow are the actual words I wrote on my Royal typewriter in my dorm room during the fateful hours. It is now thirty hours since the fatal shooting of the President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Here, at the College of William and Mary, all is relatively quiet. The sky is still overcast, after a …

Joy and Sorrow: A Precious Photo of My Mom and Me

It’s strange, the things that go through our minds when we are suffering a life-altering, heartbreaking loss. When my Mom passed just three weeks ago, one of the first things I thought of was the coming issue of the AARP Bulletin with our photo on the cover and an excerpt of my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving. I knew it was to be a visual depiction of the love I feel for my mom and the care I was …

Losing Mom: The Void That Can’t Be Filled

It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife … to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years. Mom was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Indiana, salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She …