grief – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 That malt shop in the sky http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/09/13/that-malt-shop-in-the-sky/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/09/13/that-malt-shop-in-the-sky/#comments Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:36:10 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4692 Of all the reasons to cry, the “Beauty School Dropout” number from Grease probably shouldn’t make my list. Yet here I sit, surreptitiously mashing tears from the corners of my eyes just like Danny Zuko would have done, in his leather-jacket days, before Sandy convinced him real men cry. It’s not that I’m unused to …

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A Word for Those Who Would Draw Near to Grief http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/02/17/a-word-for-those-who-would-draw-near-to-grief/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/02/17/a-word-for-those-who-would-draw-near-to-grief/#comments Wed, 17 Feb 2016 23:15:20 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4662 An electric wire runs through her, scalp to sole, and this grief has stripped it bare. His despair inhabits him, and inside he is falling down a dark shaft, falling into himself, into the shadows there. And here you stand, and you would offer words. Why? Because this is what decent people do. Because I …

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Eulogy for Mama http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/10/11/eulogy-for-mama/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/10/11/eulogy-for-mama/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 12:21:12 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3720 My mother was born on April Fool’s Day, and I know there were times when she felt like the world was playing a joke on her. A more selfish woman might have considered me such a joke. My mother was drawn to performance art—dancing, theater, music. As you can see from the front of your …

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Hell and Christmas http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/12/16/hell-and-christmas/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/12/16/hell-and-christmas/#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2012 13:35:46 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3593 There is nothing to be done but weep. Cry out for the children with bodies shattered, for the ones covered in blood not their own, for the ones who didn’t die instantly. Cry out for those who fell protecting them. Cry out for the parents in their waiting. Cry out for sisters and brothers. Cry …

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On the passing of Sheriff Andy http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/07/04/on-the-passing-of-sheriff-andy/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/07/04/on-the-passing-of-sheriff-andy/#comments Wed, 04 Jul 2012 13:09:03 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3420 My first miserable year in graduate school I got a used television and paid for cable so I could watch four episodes of The Andy Griffith Show a day. My apartment mate, a math whiz with perfect board scores from Harvard, would come through the door and ask how Aunt Bee and Opie and everyone back …

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A boy grows http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/12/a-boy-grows/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/12/a-boy-grows/#comments Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:01:21 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3365 Yesterday was Stephen Caleb’s birthday. He’s twelve, and there are now only 364 days between him and the onset of teenagerism, which I associate — at least among American kids — with sloth and self-indulgence, ignorance and idiocy and all-around brain malfunction, the latter now being scientifically proven at last. We are all of us …

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More than bread http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/02/more-than-bread/ Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:14:06 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3355 When we don’t think we can control some things we take charge of what we can. This is why the functionary fastidiously maintains a constant distance between his stapler and his tape dispenser, and why the abused child has a ritual for pajamas and tooth-brushing and curling up tight that he enacts like the body’s …

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Valley’s Light http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/10/19/valleys-light/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/10/19/valleys-light/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:56:08 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3314 This morning I drove past the house where she died. The light today is the way it was then, a light that doesn’t warn you how peace comes at a cost this day, how once she’s sleeping she won’t wake again, no matter that she is stronger than little girls are supposed to be, no …

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The girl who is gone http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/03/07/the-girl-who-is-gone/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/03/07/the-girl-who-is-gone/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 19:05:16 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3252 I don’t know the first thing about how to be a father to a fifteen year-old girl. Today is her birthday and if she had lived I would be puzzling this out, what I think about clothes and boys and music and especially boys, because all my babies are beautiful and perhaps Caroline most of …

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On suffering http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/01/10/on-suffering/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/01/10/on-suffering/#comments Mon, 10 Jan 2011 21:54:13 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3206 If you believe God loves His children, and then you suffer something terrible and tragic, you have to face head-on the question: Is there God? Close on its heels comes the second query, just as hard: Why does He sit quiet as we suffer? Now, you can avoid these questions for a time. You can …

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