Tag: loss

It’s Hard to Get Old


We sat around the oaken table following the singing performance. My friend was sitting next to me; Eloise was sitting on my other side; and Joe sat quietly next to her. He seemed especially restrained after enjoying the music. I listened in to his conversation with Eloise:

Joe: I think it’s time for us to head home.

On the Passing of Pets


I just deleted the draft of a think piece on the abuse of climate change girl and using kids as political props because something way more important, to me, anyway, has happened. Our 13 1/2 year old dog died. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming a few months ago as he was experiencing some changes in behavior. I looked him straight in the eyes the morning of September 11 during my usual bout of tears every year on that morning and told him, “Don’t do this today.” He didn’t listen, and did what he pleased, as was his usual way.

Our daughter wanted to adopt a puppy from a local shelter with her $40 in birthday money she had received when she turned 8. She picked out the runt of a litter of 13 pups someone had abandoned at the shelter. We never knew his breed, just that he was like a shepherd, collie, husky, something. It didn’t matter. He was perfect to her. She spent her $40 and we spent the rest, which as anyone with dogs knows, isn’t chump change over 13+ years. We’d totally do it all again. Anyway, she named him Lucky, and that he was. He probably wouldn’t have lived past 5 years old with anyone that couldn’t have taken care of him the way he needed. Everyone would say we saved him, but in reality, he saved us. As dogs do.

To Herb Meyer’s Memory


Over the years, Ricochet has inspired lasting friendships, not least of which is many members’ friendship with @tommeyer, who’s not only a great guy, but someone who rendered Ricochet great service before he moved on to other things. When Herb Meyer, Tom’s father, died, the outpouring of thanksgiving for Herb’s life was tremendous. At the time, I dedicated a motet I was working on to Herb’s memory, but life having gotten in the way, I haven’t had a chance to share it with the Ricoverse until now:

Book Review: I Want To Live


“The absolute raw truth of the matter is this: I have no idea what I am doing now, much less what I will be doing a year from now. Years of living my life for another person has left me without a clue as to how to live for myself.” from the book,

“I Want to Live – Confessions of a Grieving Caretaker by Susan D. McDaniel.

Quote of the Day: Nothing Lasts


“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.” — Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

 At a rational level, we all know that we will eventually die. But it seems like a far off ending to our lives. The fact is, though, that everything dies. We can’t hold on to anything forever: relationships end, flowers die, cars end up in junkyards, no matter how often we try to save them.

In Memory of the Greatest Dog Ever


Koda was a runner, an escape artist. That’s how we became the owner of this beautiful Chocolate Lab a little over 11 years ago. I’m a dog lover, but I had always wanted a Lab. They are, in my opinion, the perfect dog. Great with kids, eager to please, gentle, loyal, loving … the list goes on.

Our friends had bought a purebred Chocolate Lab as a puppy with the hopes of turning him into a hunting dog. But his schedule as the mascot of a local sports team and the unexpected arrival of child #4 didn’t leave much time for training. Add to that Koda’s propensity to explore, and after getting picked up by animal control a few too many times, they realized they needed to let him go to someone who had time to train him.

On a Friday afternoon in June of 2007, we adopted him. Saturday morning we had him fixed, hoping this would curb some of his running tendencies. (Hint: it didn’t.) Our boys, then 5 and 8, fell head over heels in love with Koda. In fact, everyone who met him fell in love with Koda, and if they didn’t, he’d work them over until they did. He had the sweetest disposition. He always wanted to be with his people, whatever we were doing.

Member Post


It’s been a tough week for me and for people in my life. On a general human level, the massacre in Orlando would have been tough enough. Then I found out my husband’s cousin (who is like a sister to me) has been given two months to two years to live; her body has been […]

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Finding the ‘Fun’ in Funeral


Hello, Ricochet! It’s been a while, but I have a good excuse. A year ago this month, my oldest brother, Dave, took his life after decades struggling with alcohol abuse. We always knew this was a possibility, but we never really believed it would happen.

Dave kept his thoughts of suicide well hidden. He never showed the classic signs of someone who was going to kill himself. I still hurt to this day over his death. It’s a wound that will heal, but will always leave a scar. That’s not where the story ends , however, because in the midst of all the pain, and there was a lot, something hilarious happened: the Patterson family got to plan a funeral.