Intrusion

For someone who lives such a simple life, I still manage to find excitement. Or rather, excitement manages to find me.

This particular adventure started with the snowstorm last night.

I went out in the dark to brush off the four-inch accumulation from my ramp. The snow doesn’t melt as quickly from the wooden ramp as it does from the sidewalks, and I wanted to make sure no ice formed under the additional two inches that would pile up in the next few hours. It was a lovely night: luminous and oh, so quiet. I stood there, broom in hand, and enjoyed the experience of being inside my own personal snow globe.

This morning, when I went out to finish sweeping the ramp, I discovered that someone (my next door neighbor, I learned later) had shoveled the sidewalk in front of my house. Such a nice thing to have done!

By the time I finished sweeping the ramp and brushing the snow off my covered car, the clouds had cleared away and the sun was shining warmly. So I went inside, opened the curtains to the back yard to get the benefit of the warmth, and . . .

What the heck?

Footsteps led from the back gate, across the newly dug garage foundation, around the carport almost to the house, then back around and into the carport, and finally out the gate. I told myself I must be misinterpreting what I was seeing. This neighborhood is crawling with feral cats, and I thought that perhaps they had sunk into the snow as they made their rounds.

But no. When I went out to look, I could see that the tracks had been made by shoes, so a person had definitely come in the yard, though it didn’t look as if anything had been taken. (The snow that had blown onto the things stored under the carport had been undisturbed.)

I checked with the contractor to make sure neither he nor one of his workers had come for a ladder or some such they had left here, but he said they hadn’t stopped by and he was sure the building inspector hadn’t either since the inspector wouldn’t have needed to enter the yard. The contractor suggested I call the sheriff, but I hesitated, since nothing had been taken.

Instead, I checked with my next door neighbors who have a camera pointed at the alley to see if they could see anything, and there it was — a video of a hooded fellow very deliberately striding up to my gate, crossing the foundation for the garage, leaving camera range, then a minute or so later, retracing his steps. My neighbor husband, being a tracker, followed the footsteps into a well-trafficked street a couple of blocks away where they disappeared.

My neighbor wife came over to stay with me and said I really should call the sheriff to report an intrusion, so I gave in and did. (Is this a small-town thing? In bigger cities, we don’t generally report something so minor, mostly because we know the cops are too busy to care.) While we waited for someone from the sheriff’s department to come, we sipped flower tea and talked about the theft/homeless/street people problem, which is fairly new in this area. There is a homeless coalition housed nearby, and they bus in people from the big cities, many of whom wash out of the program and end up on the streets here. It’s a good thing for those who stay to finish the program, but overall, it’s not a very good thing for the town.

The sergeant from the sheriff’s department came after about an hour, though he did say (when I asked) that if it had been an emergency, he would have been here immediately. Apparently, a couple of ambulance calls took precedence over my non-emergency. He took my name and birthdate, and I offered him a cup of tea. (I have to laugh at myself in light of my post yesterday about channeling my inner elder since offering tea seems such an . . . ahem, old lady . . . thing to do.)

The sergeant said that the guy in the video didn’t look like any of their “frequent flyers.” We told him we thought it might have been our troublemaking neighbor, but that the tracks hadn’t led to his house. The deputy said that the guy doesn’t live there any more, and if we see him to call because there is a warrant for his arrest — fraud and embezzlement. (Apparently, he is a full-service thug — drug dealer, thief, breaker of the peace, and now defrauder and embezzler.) Before he left, the sergeant said that he would make sure the alley behind my house is patrolled.

By the time I had a chance to take a photo after everything quieted down, most of the 6” of snow had melted, but the tracks were still visible. By sundown tonight, the snow will be gone and all but the memory of the weird event will have disappeared. Well, the memory and the locks I immediately went out to buy to secure the gates.

It really had surprised me that a potential thief would be brazen enough to come through the gate even at that time of night (2:35 a.m. according to the video). A lot of things go missing in this neighborhood, but generally, things are not taken from fenced yards. I have a hunch the absence of my car from under the carport (it’s temporarily parked out front since I can’t get around the garage foundation to park it under the carport) made him think the house was empty.

Adding to the weirdness, when I went to get the locks, it turned out they were kept behind the counter as if they were a controlled substance. Apparently, locks are one of that store’s most stolen items, second only to duct tape.

Weirdest of all, none of this scared me. It probably should, but I had the fence put up, am now using my new locks, and once the garage is up and everything stored out of sight, I will have done everything I can to protect myself.

I might be heading toward elderliness (young elderliness, that is), but I don’t intend to live in fear.

And anyway, at least in the writing, it seems that all this excitement wasn’t so exciting after all.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Snowdrop!

At least, I think it’s a snowdrop. When I planted bulbs in the fall, I took a scattershot approach, so they are all mixed up without any indication of what is planted where.

The snowdrop was supposed to be the first to bloom, and considering that this little gem (no bigger than my thumbnail) is not just the first but the only flower so far, I figure it has to be a snowdrop. And if not, well, a snowy drop by any other name is still a lovely little blossom.

I realize it’s not much, this bloom, but every flower garden, no matter how lush, had to start with a single flower, and this is mine — the first step to what I hope will be a pretty yard.

At the moment, of course, the yard is not at all pretty. The brown grass is gouged with troughs where the garage and the carport used to be. The carport was moved close to the house and is filled with a lot of the stuff that should be (and will be) in the garage when it is built, but a few cold, snowy days put garage on hold. There are supposed to be a couple of more cold, snowy days next week, but then after that . . . well, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I realize everything is a slow process, whether growing a single bloom, planting a garden, landscaping a yard, or building a garage, and it’s still early days since I haven’t been here quite a year.

In fact, exactly three weeks from today will be my first anniversary as a homeowner.

So far, so good!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

This, That, and the Other

This

Snow this morning! Although a storm had been forecast, I didn’t expect it to materialize since so far this winter, few of the storms we were supposed to get managed to find their way here. It was rather a tepid storm, maybe an inch or so that was easily swept away, but there is a possibility for a bit more snow. For now, though, it’s just spitting a few flakes at me

More snow is supposed to come this way on Friday, and I hope it does. I’ve been concerned about all the bulbs I planted. Not being much of a gardener, I had no idea what to do, considering the dry conditions, a few unseasonable days, and weather spikes. (The high on Sunday was rumored to have been 84, the low tonight will be 4. Yikes!)

I didn’t want to water, thinking that if the bulbs were still alive, the water coupled with the high temperatures might make them think it was time to start growing, and it’s way too early. At this point, I’m just hoping that a flower or two comes up this spring.

That

Yesterday I got “that” bill — the one everyone seems to get upset about. But not me! It was the first property tax bill I’d ever received, and it seemed like some sort of rite of passage. I’ve always paid property taxes in roundabout sort of way since landlords include such expenses in the rent, but yesterday’s bill came directly to me. It was fun to look at that bill, to see where my money goes. Among other things, the bill includes $.02 for abatements, whatever those are, $5.00 for the library (doesn’t seem like enough), and $11.80 for dikes. Yep, I’m all for dikes and dike maintenance — the Arkansas River is close enough to be a problem in flood years.

I’m sure by next year I’ll be complaining like everyone else, but for now, getting that bill made me feel as if I were a homeowner for real.

And the Other

I’d never heard of Shakira until all the talk on Facebook about the half-time entertainment during the Super Bowl. I found the show on YouTube and tried to watch it. I can see why some people thought the show inappropriate, and I can sort of see why others thought it empowering, but either way, it didn’t matter to me. What made me feel out of place was that I couldn’t understand more than a word or two of the songs. So I got bored and turned off my computer.

It did remind me, though, that in my search for belly dance instruction videos, I’d came across one called, “Shakira-style belly dance.” I’d passed on it at the time because I had no idea what that style of dancing was. So today, I found the video and did the routine. Well, sort of. What I managed to do didn’t look at all like what the instructor was doing, so I’m sure it bore even less resemblance to how Shakira had danced in that particular song. (And it bore no resemblance at all to what she’d done in the half-time show.)

But, for what it’s worth, today I learned a Shakira-style dance.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Small Challenges of Homeownership

There have been a few small challenges I’ve faced lately in my new adventure of homeownership. For most people, especially if they are coupled, none of these things would even be considered challenges. The person who knows how to do things simply does them. But when you are alone, you have to hunker down and deal with the situation yourself.

For example, the other night the water went off. If the electricity goes out at night, a quick look out the window lets me know if it is an area outage or if the outage is mine alone. But with water, there’s no way to tell. I did look out the window to see if my neighbor’s lights were on — if so, I could have texted her to see if she was having the same problem. But she seemed to be down for the night. Since I couldn’t call her, couldn’t call the water company, I started to panic. There is nothing that makes a person feel so alone as when there is a problem and there’s no one around you can ask “What do I do now?”

Well, I took a deep breath and realized there was nothing I could do. It wasn’t as if I were in any danger, and I had plenty of water to drink, to brush my teeth and get cleaned up for the night. I even had enough to pour into the toilet tank in case I had a flush emergency. If there was a problem with my plumbing, such as a broken pipe, there wasn’t anything I could do in the middle of the night anyway.

So I went to bed. End of problem. Literally the end. When I got up, the water was back on.

Today, I dealt with another small situation — changing the furnace filter. I suppose I should have done it a couple of months ago, but I am not fond of going down to the basement, though it does seem a bit less dungeon-y than when I first moved here. When the walls and floor are painted, I hope that will be the end of the dungeon feeling, but there will always be those steep stairs to give me pause.

Still, I did what I needed to do. Luckily, I’d already been tutored on how to change the filter, so that wasn’t a problem. It did make me wonder though, what to do if the furnace goes out. Is there a gas shut off valve? Or does the furnace automatically shut off? I’ll have to ask next time the contractor comes (next week, maybe!)

I know what to do when the electricity goes out — mostly just wait until it comes on. (I have flashlights within easy reach, head lamps to make reading easy, and plenty of batteries.) I now know what to do when the water goes off. I know what to do when the smoke alarms start chirping. I even know what to do when they start shrieking for no reason (pull the crazy-making thing out of its socket!) I figured out how to change the battery on the thermostat when it needed changing.

So gradually I am meeting all these small challenges of homeownership, and once met, they are no longer a challenge.

There is always something new to contend with, however, and as long it’s not something dangerous, like the house filling up with gas fumes, I’ll be fine. If something dangerous does happen, well, I’ll do the best I can. Meantime, I am careful. Dryers have been known to start fires, so I never leave the house when the washer or dryer are being used. I am careful about turning off the stove and making sure there is nothing on the surface that can catch fire or melt. Even though it’s electric, it can still cause problems. (I once unthinkingly wiped a drip from the ceramic top, and melted a so-called cotton cloth. Since cotton doesn’t melt, it had obviously been mislabeled.)

I figure such good habits will serve me well in my old age when/if I get more forgetful and less vigilant. But that’s not problem for today, and hopefully, not ever. Supposedly, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” And the challenges of homeownership are certainly sufficient unto each day without having to worry about things that may never happen.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Suits Me To a Tea

My next-door neighbor came over for afternoon tea yesterday. It was lovely and seemed such a small-town thing to do — heartwarming and congenial and a bit old fashioned. It was especially nice because I was able to show off my tea bag collection and use my author mugs. I still had a few mugs left from years ago, but when I recently broke a mug and needed to get new mugs of some sort, I unexpectedly discovered that my original mug order was still posted on the website, so all I had to do was reorder.

The mugs added to the general feeling of a small-town visit, probably because they don’t seem like blatant self-promoting, but a rather pleasant and personal touch.

I’m now sitting here at the computer with a cup tea, having just returned from a visit to the library a few blocks away. Another seemingly old-fashioned touch, this walk to the library, and a large part of my small-town experience.

Although some people around here make me leery (drug dealers, people who hang out in the alley behind my house, and a smattering of small time thieves), life in a small town suits me to a tea.

Admittedly, that’s not the way to write “to a T,” buy my spelling seems more in tune with the cozy “teatime” way I felt yesterday.

“To a T” does not, in fact, have anything to do with tea or golf tees or T-shirts or T-squares, but is a very old term, first used in 1693. To the best anyone can figure, the phrase came from a much older phrase, “to a tittle.” A tittle now means a speck, a tiny amount, or a small part of something but originally a tittle was a small part of a letter, like a dot or a stroke or a diacritical mark. So if something suits you to a T, it suits you to the smallest detail.

So technically, small town living does not suit me to a T since there’s the leery factor I mentioned above.

But it comes close — it’s only off by a tittle.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Garage Installation

I wasn’t going to write more about my garage until it was actually being built, but I couldn’t pass on using the title of this piece, which is a perfect title because work on the garage is temporarily stalled. (In – stall – ation. Cute, huh?)

The contractor has a few obligations — contract deadlines he needs to take care of now, so that when he starts building the garage, he can do the whole thing without delays. (Oh, wait!! Contracts. Contractor. Now I get it! Sheesh. I sure am firing on all cylinders today.)

Meantime, he and his workers took time from their weekends to finish the part of the side fence that was hidden behind the old garage. (Though they made sure they were done by noon. Something about the Kansas City Chiefs.)

Breaks in a fence seem to attract the very people I don’t want to attract, so it’s good to have the fence finished. I do feel bad, though — the back fence will have to be redone after the garage is built, and it seems a shame that their hard work is going to waste.

But they don’t seem to mind. At least that’s what they tell me. Who knows what they say amongst themselves.

Meantime, I am completely fenced in. I always liked that song “Don’t Fence Me In,” but now that I’m alone in an ever-scarier world, I like fences. I still don’t like other people fencing me in, except, of course, for the workers who actually did fence me in.

The thing about fences is that they have gates, so I’m not truly fenced in, either psychologically or physically. I can always open the gate and leave. Doors are the same way. After Jeff died, people told me, “God never closes a door without opening a window,” which completely ignores the nature of a door — it closes and it opens.

But I’m getting off track.

In the photo above, you can see the recently installed fence on the right, the fence in the back that will have to be redone, and the place where the new garage will go — left of the trench where the sidewalk used to be, but close to the back fence. (You can see where the garage used to be to the right of the trench. The concrete slab used to be in front of the garage.) The lilac bushes along the back fence will have to be moved, but it should be easy for the men to do so using the excavator they will get to dig the foundation for the garage. (Any extra dirt will go to fill in area where the garage used to be.)

Well, now you know more than you ever wanted to know about both the installation and the in-stall-ation of my garage.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Living on the Wild Side

In National Velvet, Edwina Brown, played by Anne Revere (who quietly stole the movie), told her daughter, “I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life.” I was taken by that line when I heard it, and have often thought about it during the past years. Such a wonderful thing — to have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly.

Though not breathtaking by any means — certainly not like winning the Grand National or swimming the English channel or even thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (as I had once hoped to do) — building a garage (or rather, having it built) is truly a folly when you consider that I’m depleting my savings to house an ancient car with a dubious lifespan.

That VW Beetle has already lasted forty-eight years, and though it runs well, there are parts that show its venerable age, such as a cracked dashboard that would cost a fortune in labor to replace, a horn that is taped in place, and a heater that doesn’t work well. (Of course, the heater never worked well, so that’s not exactly a big surprise.)

I suppose it’s possible that the garage will add to the value of this property, even considering the depressed property values here, but since that I plan to live out my days in this house, whatever extra money the garage would bring to the sale of the property would not accrue to me. So yes, definitely a folly.

And yet . . .

Why not? Why not indulge in this bit of foolishness? I’ve always been frugal, so it worries me that in later years I might pay for my folly by being forced into a punishingly strict budget, but for now, why not live on the wild side?

Oddly, I never even knew I wanted a “dream garage.” Though perhaps I should have been forewarned. My parents bought a house that was too big for them in a place they didn’t particularly like because my father fell in love with the immense garage attached to the house. Even though the cavernous space could easily house six or seven VW bugs with room left over, they kept nothing in that garage but a single car. No storage. Nothing. (Well, maybe off in the corner were a few replacement tiles, and the water heater was there, but other than that, nothing.)

After he totaled his car (he passed out because of an undiagnosed heart condition) that garage was completely empty until I brought my stuff to store when I moved in to take care of him. Despite all that, he still found joy in the immense space.

My garage will not be anywhere near as big as his was — because of sewer pipes and gas lines, the widest it can be is fourteen feet — but it will certainly be large enough for my car, storage, the tools I am accumulating, and perhaps a workbench.

In an age where “decluttering” is the thing to do, and at an age where so many others are downsizing even to the point of getting rid of their house (and mortgage), I am upsizing. Cluttering my life with a house and furniture — things I never before had any desire to own.

And now a garage. A garage of my own! Makes me smile to think of it.

That joy alone is worth the price.

So maybe . . . not such a folly after all?

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Shedding Light on Old Fears

Last night I again suffered a bout of fear over growing old alone. I haven’t had such feelings for a long time, partly because I have been living alone and am getting used to it, but mostly because I’ve been keeping my mind away from the inevitable decrepitude of old age, and away from thoughts of being that old lady whose house is falling down around her because she doesn’t have the funds to shore the thing up.

For now, the decrepitude is advancing very slowly, just a matter of knees that don’t bend as well as they did, not being able to walk as far as I once did, and not being able to easily climb up steep stairs without dragging myself along. But bodies do tend to break down, and one day . . .

Yeah, better not think of that day.

It’s odd, though, that the fear last night was of growing old alone rather than the fear of being broke because of all the extra expenses I didn’t expect when I bought this place, such as having to build a new garage. The old one might have lasted for years, maybe even the rest of my life (or the rest of my car’s life) but even though it seemed solid and well built, the shed-like garage had been built on shaky ground. (Probably above an old septic system, which, combined with a high-water table, made the area rather damp.)

The other things that I have had done to the house and property, such as putting in a new foundation for the enclosed porch and replacing the old porch floor, removing diseased trees, and putting up a fence, didn’t really change things that much. It just felt as if I were cleaning up the place.

But a garage is a whole other matter. Erecting a building from scratch seems so much like growing deep roots, as if I were no longer just playing house, but living here for real.

I realize I’ve been here for almost a year, setting down tender and tentative new roots, but building a garage seems like the beginning of a massive root system. Makes settling down — and settling down alone — even more real than it had been. (Besides, all the talk of security that came with planning the garage, such as lights and locks and security cameras, as well as having to be aware of the seedy characters that walk the alley, is enough to feed anyone’s fears of being old and alone.)

Luckily, I’ve made friends, and luckily, the contractor is aware of and considerate of my need to fix things now to make my old age easier, but fears aren’t logical. Or maybe they are logical, and I do have something to fear.

But I won’t — can’t — let myself be afraid.

Today is a new day, and though the sun isn’t shining and the temperature rather cool, it’s bright enough to shed light on that old fear and make it scurry from sight.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Unbuilding a Garage

I had such an exciting day today watching the fellows unbuilding my garage. They started ripping off the roof early in the morning,

spent most of the day tearing into that old building,

And left the beautiful skeleton of the garage when they went home for the night.

All that work in a single day, as well as making a couple of trips to the dump — amazing.

Tomorrow, even the skeleton will be gone. I’m glad I have this photo of the great little building in the setting sun, though I’m sure once my more functional and very stable new garage is built, I’ll spend little time regretting the deconstruction of this old garage.

As an side — way off to the side! — I used the term “fellow,” meaning “man,” at the beginning of this post because it seems a bit friendlier than “guy” and less formal than “man.” In Britain, however, “fellow” connotes a person of little or no worth, so I’ve been trying to stay away from the word to keep from offending people in other countries. But I like the word, and it is no insult because the people working here today had great worth!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the morrow will bring.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Further Adventures of a Homeowner

Nothing has gone easy when it comes to fixing things on this property. For example, the foundation of the enclosed porch was basically nonexistent, and after the contractor and his helper put in a new foundation and installed the subflooring, we discovered that the sewer pipe under the house needed to be replaced. So out came the floor, and many more days of hard work were added to the toll.

Months ago, they’d straightened the listing garage and fixed the crack in the floor, but after a couple of weeks, that crack grew and grew and grew. One of the problems was that, like the porch, the foundation was mostly nonexistent. So more recently, they got a jackhammer, and pulled out the concrete floor. Yesterday they finally returned to dig out the foundation in preparation to putting in a new foundation and floor.

Remember what I said about nothing around here being easy? Well, every time I looked out the window, I could see the guys poking at that dirt floor and talking. Now, these are not people who stand around and chit-chat. They work. So I was not surprised when they came and told me the bad news.

Water.

The deeper they dug, the wetter the soil got. I realize this is the middle of winter when generally there is moisture, but we’ve had very little precipitation in this corner of Colorado, and the rest of the yard is dry and rock hard. We wondered if there could be a nearby water leak, but then remembered that the water pipe comes in the front of the house.

Further digging in the middle of the garage floor, where no water should ever be, showed the same thing they found around the periphery of the building. Powdery soil and damp ground. And ancient sewer pipes. Putting those clues together with the hole they’d found under the porch several months ago, we figured someone had built the garage over an old septic system of some sort. No wonder the garage, though exceptionally well built with hard woods, is slowing sliding into oblivion.

We’re going to have to help speed up the destruction and tear out the whole thing because there is no way to fix that garage or even to build a new one in the same spot. (I say “we” but I have nothing to do with construction, though I did primer that old garage. It makes me glad I didn’t waste good paint or any more of my time painting a garage that will soon be defunct. I am disappointed, though, that the fake window I created will be destroyed, too.)

They’re scheduled to be here all next week, so who knows how far they will get, especially since now they will have to deal with permits and building codes and inspectors. They wanted to know if they should start some of the inside work, like redoing the bathroom ceiling and walls where the paint is peeling from the antique plaster, and I said, “Not way, not now!” With so many projects already started and unfinished, I can’t deal with one more long-term mess. Because even though the bathroom project seems simple, I know it won’t be because . . .

Yep, you guessed it . . . because nothing is simple when it comes to working on this house.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.