Dry January

I had to laugh at the blog prompt WordPress left for me today: What could you do differently? Sheesh, that’s not much of a focused topic. Anyone could do anything differently. I think a more important question is: do you want to do anything differently? Or perhaps: how could you do something differently? Or even: if you want to do something differently, would it change anything?

At the moment, I am doing something differently, at least differently than I did last year. I’m doing a “Dry January.” A relative does this — she enjoys drinking, especially wine, and so she uses January as a time to reset her body. I hardly ever drink — in fact, I’ve gone decades without a single sip of alcohol — so my Dry January is about getting me off the sugar kick. I don’t know why it’s been so hard the past several months — I’ve gone for years without indulging in sugary treats. I have a hunch it’s more that I don’t care, at least not all the time. I go from wanting to do the best for my health to indulging my every whim no matter how unhealthy. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who can take a few bites of something — a cake for example — and stick the rest in the freezer for a later time. Nope. If it’s in the house, it’s fair game. (I know for a fact that frozen cake is almost as good as unfrozen cake!)

Surprisingly, so far, I haven’t had a problem with my Dry January. It helps that I stopped beating myself up over my lapses, being kind to myself and accepting of whatever I do. It’s not as if I commit crimes (alas, not even fictional ones lately), so the things I do that I don’t like are minor infractions of health parameters more than anything else. I mean, there’s not a whole lot of trouble a person can get into while reading, and I read most of the time.

Not giving in to sugar cravings does change things. For one thing, it gets rid of the cravings. For another, I have a little more energy. Since this has been a dry January weatherwise so far, the streets are finally clear, so yesterday I went for a walk. Admittedly, a mile-and-a-half walk is rather paltry compared to what I used to do, but it’s a heck of lot more than I have been doing lately. What surprised me more than anything is that I actually walked. Not trudged. Not plodded. Not dragged. Walked! Upright, moderately fast, with not a twinge in my knees. That sure felt good!

There are many other things I could do differently. Although I tend to be a person of habit, habits come and go. I ended up with a Magic Bullet my sister wanted to get rid of, and I might actually use it. I do have a blender that I never use, but this small blender might be fun. And it would be good to be able to add a few new flavors to my life. I’ve never been interested in things like smoothies, but they might be nice for a change. Also, I’m considering trying different things that can be made quickly with the Bullet, like carrot ginger soup or broccoli soup.

Or not. It might be too big a difference. Still, you never know. As I said at the beginning of this blog, anyone can do anything differently, even me.


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.

Walking to Walk

For the past few days, I’ve been taking walks, and it’s felt strange. I haven’t walked simply to walk in months. Ever since the advent of gardening season, I’ve spent the cooler hours in my yard — digging, planting, weeding, watering, mowing, sometimes for several hours at a time. Supposedly gardening is exercise, and if sweat is a meter to go by, then for certain I was exercising. By the time I finished my gardening chores, it was too hot to walk, so I stopped walking. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve been walking all along, but any walking I did had a purpose — going to the grocery store, stopping by the dollar store, visiting the library, heading to work.

With gardening upkeep at a minimum right now (nothing to plant, whatever grass there was is dead, and the big weeds haven’t grown back) I’ve suddenly had the time and energy and inclination to walk. So I did.

That’s what feels so strange — walking for no other reason than to walk. To be honest, I’m pleased I still have the ability to walk. I think a person ages rapidly once the ability to walk diminishes. Right now, I’m walking less than two miles, which at one time felt like no more than a walk around the block, but now . . . well, come to think of it, it still feels like a walk around the block, but I’m not ready to ramp up my walking to a more challenging distance. I need to ease into it to make sure I don’t overtax my knees.

It’s a shame there’s no open space with trails right around here — the closest place, from what I can gather, is about fifteen miles away, and although it’s a nice place to walk, driving to walk feels even weirder to me than walking to walk.

Once the garden season comes to an end and my flowers start dying, I’ll probably have to do a lot more digging and hoeing to get rid of the old plants and to try to tame the grass and knotweed that creep into my flower beds, but perhaps I can work just a bit at a time so I can keep up with my walking.

But that’s getting too far ahead of myself. I’m just glad to be able to roam around town even if there is no real reason for the walk — other than to walk, that is.


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


I need to drive my car approximately once a week to keep it running and to prevent the cheap modern gas from destroying the hoses, which works out well since I use the weekly drive to get groceries that are too heavy to carry on foot.

Today, however, I didn’t need anything so, out of curiosity, I drove the route I usually walk to find out my mileage, and I was shocked to see that I’d been walking less than two miles. (It felt much longer.) I drove around for a while, trying to find a way to extend the walk without having to retrace my steps, but somehow the new way turned to be not much longer — exactly two miles. Which is fine, if that’s all I wanted to walk.

Three miles should be easy and doable except in the winter and summer, and in this area, it seems as if it’s almost always winter or summer. Still, regardless of weather, three miles is not a hard walk. At least, it wasn’t. I sure hope I’m not already declining to such an extent that three miles is beyond me.

The easiest thing, of course, would be to do the mile and a half course twice. That course takes me by the high school, so I suppose I could do laps, but that would be even more boring than retracing my steps.

I like the walk I’ve been doing, despite the short distance. It skirts the town, so I have houses on one side of me and fields on the other, and it’s relatively quiet and dog free. It’s amazing how many people in this town have vicious dogs, and how many fences seem too low to keep the dogs inside. Some people don’t even have fences and merely put the dogs out on long leashes, and I fear even the chain link leashes won’t hold up to the strain those pit bulls put on them. The dogs have, in fact, broken the chains, just not when I was around. (Whew!) The problem is, the chains are very long, allowing the dogs to get fierce running starts, so I try to avoid those houses, as well as many others.

There is another walk I can take that goes out into the country, and I think it’s relatively dog free, so maybe next time I drive, I’ll check to see where my turnaround would be.

All this talk of walking reminds me of my hikes in the desert.

I do miss living within walking distance of a wilderness area, even a tame one like my desert. I miss the freedom of the open spaces and following trails wherever they lead, but I suppose it’s not a bad thing, now that I’m growing older, not to have to navigate rocky paths and to stick to paved roads.

Mostly I miss the dream of an epic hike. Miss preparing to live on the trail for weeks or months. Miss the thought of going and going and going. The dream turned out to be truly impossible, and It seems as if when that dream dried, it took the joy of walking with it.

Someday, maybe, the love will come back and walking won’t be just a way of exercising or a means of getting from one place to another.




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.

Wordlessly Hibernating

Almost every day, it seems, I get on the computer to write a blog and end up playing an hour or two of various solitaire games before shutting down without ever having written a word to post. Haven’t even written a word to add my work in progress, either. I seem to be in a sort of wordless hibernating mode. I can’t even say I’m waiting for anything, except for maybe something worth waiting for.

During all those long years of grief, I expected something astonishingly wonderful to happen because only something stupendous could balance out the horror and impossible pain of Jeff’s dying. I no longer expect that awesome thing to happen, though I suppose it’s still possible for something miraculously good to happen. I’ve had many great experiences during the past seven years, but the only things that “happened” all on their own were the not-so-wonderful things such as my father’s death, my having to leave another home, and destroying my elbow/wrist/fingers. The good things didn’t just happen; I had to push for them, such as learning to dance, taking a cross-country trip, finishing two of my WIPs. And now I seem to have run out of pushability.

I still do push myself, of course, but I don’t seem to be able to push myself beyond a few simple tasks. I manage to get to my dance classes. I exercise my hands to try to get them to work better. (The hands work for most important things, such as driving and typing and gripping a ballet barre, but the fingers tend to act more like claws than human fingers.) Because of the intense heat, I hadn’t been walking, but now it cools off a bit after the sun sets so I can walk a couple of miles before dark. That’s a long way from the hours I used to be able to ramble, but I’m hoping to build up my strength again. I still have intermittent dreams of an epic hike, but that epic hike has shrunk from something like walking across the country or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to maybe a week or so of back-packing. (Still an impossible dream at the moment because I can barely carry myself along, let alone a thirty-pound pack. And anyway, thoughts of an epic hike seem to surface when I want to run away from life, and I seem to be doing that just fine in my current hibernating state.)

It feels good to be out walking again, so I’m glad I can push at least that much — somehow I feel most myself when I am walking — and there is always something lovely to see, such as the owl tree I often stop to touch to connect in a hands-on way with the wonders of the world.

Hope you are doing well and surviving this intense summer.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Is Researching a Type of Planning?

People keep telling me I need to plan, that a person can’t go blithely into the future with no idea of what she is going to do, especially if she expects to undertake an epic adventure. Seems to me that not making plans guarantees adventure, but maybe I’m being too blithe.

Does research constitute planning? If so, then I am constantly planning.

I research the Pacific Crest Trail in case I want to through-hike the most challenging of all the USA national trails. (Well, second most challenging. The Continental Divide Trail is supposed to be even more daunting.) And I research other national trails, such as the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Arizona National Scenic Trail, or even the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail in Hawaii in case I want to go where I’ve never gone before. I research types of backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, food, water purifiers to find the best and lightest for my needs. There is no way I can or would ever want to carry 30 pounds for long distances. And yet, and yet . . . despite the drawbacks and physical challenges, the idea of a through-hike still lingers.

angelI research the state coastal trails of California, Oregon, Washington in case I want to walk along the edge of the world. I even have a friend who will help me dip my toe into such an adventure by taking me a ways up the coast from her house so I can walk back. She has even offered to keep me supplied so I won’t starve or dehydrate. My own personal trail angel!

I research walking across the USA in case I want to follow the roads. (This would have the advantage of maybe not needing to carry a lot of water. It seems to me that carrying a sign AUTHOR WALKING ACROSS USA. NEEDS WATER would be a heck of a lot easier to carry than gallons of water, and maybe as effective.) People who have taken such a walk leave with nothing and trust to the journey, but I can’t see me mustering that kind of trust. Or they push/pull a cart to make sure they have the water and food they need for the long dry stretches, and I cannot see myself doing that either. Still, the lure is there. Walking across the country is not a rare occurrence, but I sure don’t know anyone who has done it.

I research rooms for rent, apartments, and extended stay motel/hotels so I can stay in this area to continue taking dance classes.

I research freighters to New Zealand. Even though they are not that expensive ($100 to $150 a night) what adds to the cost is the medical and travel insurance ($400 to $500 per trip) and a whole panoply of red tape — doctor certificate of health, passport, shots (depending on where the freighter stops). I research distances. New Zealand is 6,000 miles from the USA. Australia is 1324 miles from New Zealand. If I go to New Zealand, would it make sense to extend the journey to include Australia? If I did go to Australia, should I go walkabout? (I found a two week walkabout trip for about $3500. But is that figure Australian dollars? One Australian dollar is worth $.78 American dollars, so would the walkabout be $2954 American dollars? Still a lot of money for such a trek.)

I research cars and other vehicles for a possible extended tour of the USA, the national parks, and all my online friends. Do I want to find a small camper that fits in my budget, and so have to deal with another aged vehicle with a lot of miles? Do I want to get a small van such as a Ford Transport Connect and build my own nest inside? Do I want to get a small SUV-type, such as a Kia Soul, which has plenty of room to sleep when the back seat is folded down, or a Honda Fit, which gets about the same highway mileage as a Prius? Do I want to get a junker, and let it take me as far as it can before it breaks down?

But oh! I already have such a car. Today is my bug’s birthday. I got it new 43 years ago today. I checked with my insurance agent about insuring it if I restored it, and apparently, unless I can get it classified as an antique, which allows but 2000 miles of travel a year, then all I would get if anything happened to the car is the blue book value of nil.

See? Research.

You’d think I’d be wasting my time by researching instead of actually doing something or even planning to do something, but the odd thing is, as I research, the impossible adventure becomes . . . possible.

One of the hardest things to do to make an adventure come true is to overcome the status quo of one’s life, but luckily, my status quo is going to overcome itself without any help from me once my father’s house is sold and I am . . . wherever I will be.

So, back to researching . . .


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.


A Good Day

I woke this morning with no energy, no enthusiasm for anything, no ideas. I lay there dozing until long after the time I would ever admit to staying in bed. I finally dragged myself from the warmth to take a walk. Took more energy than it should have. In fact, when I sat to put on my shoes before I left, I just sat. And sat. Not thinking anything, not doing anything. Just sitting.

Eventually, I did make it out the door. It was a lovely day — blue skies, moderate temperatures, barely moving air currents. Due to other activities, I haven’t been out to the desert in two or three weeks, so it was nice reconnecting to that wild world. (Or as wild as land so close to a housing development ever gets.)

desert roadAs I walked, I found myself wondering what it would be like to simply continue walking, heading . . . wherever. And it dawned on me why the idea of an epic walk keeps nagging at me. I feel most myself when I am walking. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what that means except perhaps that when I am walking, I want nothing else, need nothing else. The easy movement, the ever-so-slightly changing scenery, the present moment are all enticingly hypnotic.

I am not so naïve as to believe that an epic walk would be as beguiling. There would be no shelter from the night or unpleasant weather, no home base, no ready source of water or food once I used up the small amount I carried. And yet. And yet . . . I’m sitting here smiling at the very idea.

I often express my worry about settling down — not just creating a nest for myself, but settling for less than I want. When I expressed that sentiment to a friend today, she first asked me what I wanted. I had no answer other than that I wanted to become enlightened, stronger, wiser, more courageous. She told me that I was too far on my path ever to settle even if I did settle, which is comforting. Life is a terrible thing to waste, and I want . . . I want . . . I want something I can’t even imagine.

Luckily for me, all I have to deal with is today. And today, I got out of bed. Went for a walk. Lived in the moment. And now I am writing.

As it turned out, despite the inauspicious beginning, this was a good day.

I hope your day was rewarding, too.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Walking and Volkswalking

No wonder I do so much alone. I don’t understand the point of many group activities that people seem to enjoy.

Someone suggested I look into volkswalking since I walk a lot, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. It seems to be organized walking in groups, and I get that with the three-nights-a-week conditioning walk with the Sierra Club and an occasional hike with one of the hiking groups in the area. Volkswalking also supposed to be non-competitive walking, but anyone who completes a walk or a certain amount of mileage gets a badge or a stamp in a book (which they pay for themselves) to show masseswhat they accomplished. To me, anytime you give people “achievement awards” for completing something, it’s competitive, even if there isn’t one so-called “winner.” Why else do you need a badge? You know you did it — a badge can’t give you that. Only you can.

The premiere purported purpose of the various volkswalking clubs is to promote regular physical fitness for overall good health. So if you’re already walking, half of what they have to offer is negated. I suppose if I were in a new area and wanted to meet people, I’d go on one of the walks, but otherwise, if I were interested in the area, I’d just . . . walk.

That’s always been the benefit of walking — if you have two working feet and legs or reasonable facsimiles, that’s all you need. You just put one foot in front of the other, and you’re walking. What can be simpler?

Still, over 400,000 people take part in American volkswalking activities every year, so the bewilderment over the phenomenon is obviously mine alone.

So, if you’re interested in walking and need more incentive than simply going outside and putting one foot in front of the other for as long as you want (or can), then perhaps volkswalking is for you.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Walking: A Miracle of Life

It was 95 degrees today when I finished my exercise class. (It was actually a ballet class, but “ballet” sounds graceful, elegant, and light-footed, none of which can be used to describe my fledging efforts. And anyway, we mostly spent the time doing stretches and other barre exercises.) Someone asked me if I were going to walk home, and she sounded surprised when I said “yes.” I suppose it is foolish to walk in the heat, but I am well protected. Wide-brimmed hat. Long sleeves. Long pants. Plenty of water. (Although skimpy clothes in the heat are the norm, it’s actually more comfortable to be covered up. You can’t feel the direct burn of the sun, and clothes trap cooler air between the cloth and your skin.)

For me, walking is much easier than driving. You put one foot in front of the other, shift your weight and put the other foot in walkingfront. You keep repeating this until you get where you want to be. What an innovation! No ignition. No keys. No gas. No oil. No tune up. No tires to fill. No oil pumps to break down. No brakes to fail. Just your feet and you.

There are drawbacks to walking, obviously. It takes more time to get anywhere, your mileage is limited, your carrying capacity is restricted. And if your body breaks down, it’s harder to fix and costs more than if your car breaks down. (Though maybe not much more since mechanics nowadays seem to empty your bank account as fast as doctors do.) Which, of course, is why I own a car, though after 42 years, the poor thing only has only 152,000 miles on it. I’ve also put more than 42,000 miles on my feet in those years. Both means of transportation — car and feet — are a bit worse for wear, but both still work.

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to move around on both feet, so I feel very fortunate that I can walk, and generally walk without pain, though sometimes after the mile to the dance studio, an hour or two of classes, and the mile back to the house, my feet do protest. Even more fortunately, after a bit of rest and perhaps a change of shoes, they are ready to go on the move once more.

Walking is truly one of life’s miracles.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Spending Too Much Time in Shuttered Rooms

After my life mate/soul mate died, it was all I could do to get through the day. I couldn’t imagine a future without him in the world. Didn’t want to imagine it. When my grief started to wane and I could again contemplate the future, I would wonder where I should go to settle down, but my mind always rebelled at the thought. Settle down? Alone? How? He was my home. Without him, there was no home, just a place, and one place seemed the same as another.

Although I am gradually coming to terms with both my loneliness and my aloneness, I still rebel at the thought of finding somewhere to settle when I leave here. (I am currently staying with and looking out for my 97-year-old father.) For a person with hermit tendencies, such as I, settling down alone sounds like stagnation. At the beginning, I would do things, of course, but then as time passed, I would become entrenched in my habits, would get tired of the same sights, the same errands, the same . . . everything. And my world would shrink and continue shrinking until I became the crazy cat lady sans cats.

Most people have not been able to identify with this scenario. They see me now, embracing new ways of living, and say that it will always be so. Perhaps they are right, but still I do fear the stagnation that would come from being too long entrenched in one place alone.

The truth is, whether we are aware of it or not, some form of stagnation happens to all of us. In “It’s a Nomad, Nomad World,” Bruce Chatwin spoke of our heritage as nomads and explained the necessity for keeping on the move, especially by foot. Chatwin wrote:

Some American brain specialists took encephalogram readings of travellers. They found that changes of scenery and awareness of the passage of seasons through the year stimulated the rhythms of the brain, contributing to a sense of well being and an active purpose in life. Monotonous surroundings and tedious regular activities wove patterns which produce fatigue, nervous disorders, apathy, self disgust and violent reactions. Hardly surprising, then, than a generation cushioned from the cold by central heating, from the heat by air conditioning, carted in aseptic transports from one identical house or hotel to the another, should feel the need for journeys of mind and body, for pep pills or tranquillisers, or for the cathartic journeys of sex, music and dance. We spend far too much time in shuttered rooms. . . . 

The best thing is to walk. We should follow the chinese poet Li Po in “the hardships of travel and the many branchings of the way”. For life is a journey trough wilderness. This concept, universal to the point of banality, could not have survived unless it was biologically true. None of our revolutionary heroes is worth a thing until he has been on a good walk. Che Guevara spoke of the “nomadic phase” of the Cuban Revolution. Look what the Long March did for Mao Tse Tung, or Exodus for Moses.

I have no interest in being a revolutionary hero or even a spiritual leader who wanders in the wilderness until fate thrusts me into a new role. But somehow, I instinctively knew the truth — that settling down means mental stagnation. When you live with someone, you don’t stagnate quite as much because there is someone to help disrupt the rhythms of your life. But who disrupts the rhythms of your life when you are alone? (Cats, I suppose, which could be why so many old women alone end up tending  a houseful of cats, but that’s not for me.)

I do not know if I am physically capable of a life on foot — I’ve never been athletic. Even if my capabilities weren’t an issue, the problem of getting enough water seems insurmounatble. The sheer volume of water a person needs is staggering. Some areas in the west, you can go up to hundred miles between towns, and in the wilderness sometimes it’s almost as far between watering holes. Considering that a gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds (just the water, not the container), and considering that a someone on foot needs to drink almost that much a day, and considering that at the most I could walk 10 miles a day (and that is being optimistic),  I’d need to drag along almost 84 pounds of water. (I read about a college student who dragged that much water with him on a cross-country trip. Actually, he didn’t drag it, he pushed it. Used some sort of cart.)

I don’t know what the answer to my conundrum is, but I have a hunch it will take care of itself. I’d probably start out in my ancient vehicle, and if it broke down or fell apart . . . well, then I’d have to finish the trip on foot.

It’s also possible that I end up doing what everyone does in the end — spend my life in shuttered rooms.

As a matter of fact, right at this moment, I am in a shuttered room. It’s not so bad.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Life After the Death of a Soul Mate

What I love most about blogging is that sometimes when I start writing a post, new or buried thoughts percolate to the surface, ending up on the page and surprising me with insights. Yesterday, when I wrote Living Offline, I had no idea I was starting to look forward to the rest of my life. I’ve kept my head down, plodding along, trying new things, meeting new people, visiting new places, and apparently, somewhere along the line, I went through a renewal of sorts.

Many people who had gone through a grievous loss have told me that it takes three to five years to find a renewed interest in life, and so it is with me. In just a few days, it will be three years and seven months since the death of my life mate/soul mate, and I find myself involved deeply in life, not just with such difficult matters as looking out for my 96-year-old father and dealing with problematic family members, but also with taking care of myself and my well-being.

Sierra Club conditioning walkI’m physically active, eat right, and have accidentally become part of an intelligent and talented coterie. I say “accidentally” because when I joined a group of walkers, I didn’t expect to end up going to art shows that feature members’ work, hearing one member in a choir of madrigal singers, and seeing others dance. Because of these people, I’ve also learned not to fear old age. Although people of all ages walk with us, some of the most active members could be considered elderly, but I can barely keep up with those in their seventies. I have no idea what life has is in store for me, of course, but I do know that getting older doesn’t necessarily mean getting feeble. It just takes a bit of luck and a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation.

Grief goes in cycles, so chances are I will still be experiencing occasional grief surges (especially on the weekends when I can’t feast on the endorphins and friendship of the group walk), but now I know the truth: there is life after the death of the person who connected you to the world. There is even laughter. Maybe even joy.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.