Joyful Mourning! Seriously?

Joyful Mourning Cover   “I feel that Ron’s life and death turned my life around. His daily way of being really alive and the shock of his death woke me up to life, and myself. I often thank him for having given me those gifts, and feel grateful he was in my life. He taught me how to treasure life.” -SR-

Sharing personal stories allows us to learn from others’ experiences. Telling our story to people who listen and care is profoundly healing. As the above excerpt shows, we may even come to see that grief can change us in good ways. To find out about the book Joyful Mourning, please go to to see the different options available for contributing a story. A big THANKS to the lovely folk who have already shared their stories, either in writing or by interview. Making a contribution is now easier and quicker (especially if you prefer talking over writing). I invite you to take a moment, and ask, “Who might like to know this opportunity exists?” Please send this message on to him or her. At the very least, they know you’re thinking about them (always a lovely thing). At best, you may open a door they’re ready to open. Thanks for your support, Becky Please send questions or comments to or use the Contact form on the Home page.

joyful mourning imagePlease visit my Facebook page, Joyful Mourning, launched in the summer of 2012.


Becky On Bucket Lists

I recall watching ‘The Bucket List’ during a 5-hour ferry ride from Nova Scotia to Maine back in 2008. I remember it because I was attempting to knit my first ever pair of socks while on board. It seemed like a pretty entertaining movie, at least what I saw of it, but maneuvering four double-pointed needles is hardly a smart choice – ever.

Since that time, stuff has happened that cast a whole new light on the Bucket List thing. I’ll spare you the details. I’ve been reminded that ‘now’ is the only time we have. No postponing. No contingencies. No Bucket List for me.


“What will you cross off your Bucket List in 2013?” was the question Dana Sitar asked those of us who signed up to ‘A Writer’s Bucket List’ Launch Team. It’s the title of the book she released earlier this week to much deserved fanfare. If you want to get back into writing and feel stuck for ideas, you’d do well to get hold of a copy. Dana could rightfully place a giant tick beside her list, and it’s only February!

If you follow my blog you know I advocate for a ‘One Day At A Time’ approach to life, the kind I figure Eckhart would approve of. So it left me in a strange position. Constructing a thoughtful piece on a Bucket List…an array of things one hopes to do but often neglects until the end is fast approaching…seemed incongruous.

But then I realized Dana epitomizes the ‘One Day At A Time’ lifestyle so I’d start there. Last Spring, with her internet connection down, she got to work on this book, ‘The Writer’s Bucket List’. For the past six months she’s traveled all over the U.S. and now divides her time between four of its cities. Her second great obsession is stand-up comedy. She writes about it, performs it, and even lives with a comic, all of which likely accounts for her upbeat, can-do attitude. She even looks like fun.dana-sitar-head-shot


So for Dana, I’m making an exception. Here’s what I shall cross off my Bucket List in 2013. I’m doing it one day at a time.


Complete, and launch the book Joyful Mourning. Get it into the hands of EVERYONE who wants to know that grief can change you in good ways; that you can live with joy despite loss; that it’s the best way to honour your own life and the memory of a loved one. 

JoyfulMourning-TeaserCover-blueP.S. If you want to contribute a story, article or poem to the book please visit for more information.

P.P.S. I never made another pair of socks

Living the Life of Riley?

Sometimes our past is done before our future seems quite ready.

~ Julia Cameron

Four months have passed since my return to Canada and a decidedly wonderful way of living, without routine or constraints, continues to be my daily blessing.

Some say I’m living the dream. I call it the second dream (the first was swept away in a tsunami of sorts). Be it a perma-vacation or ‘living the life of Riley’ I’m not sure. All I am sure about is that I am not sure of anything.

Over the years, having grown accustomed to a life regulated by school bells, it’s proven a challenge to shape-a-day in their absence. I choose the time I wake, the way I spend my days, and ponder the demise of my old work ethic. There’s not a night that passes without a deep gratitude for living this way.

It’s a good fit me. At least for now. Some are curious, some envious, some judgmental, some inspired, others clearly puzzled by my choice. Surely I must want something more certain, more permanent? Call me jaded but ‘been there, done that’. I like to call it a time of redefinition, to reimagine a different future, one with more autonomy and no school bells.

Allowing the Universe to work its strange and wondrous magic takes an ease and quiet afforded to retirees and those like me. The flip side being with too little stress and few deadlines, the mental acuity slips and the brain power, along with the belly, grows a little plump around the edges. With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing these days…

Vast amounts of time are spent figuring out how to best convey and share my life experiences. Typically however, the floods of inspiration that claim my nights are annihilated by daybreak. Besides, procrastination is way more fun. The wealth of information available at my fingertips encourages hours absorbed in reading, responding, thinking.

Here are a few other things I’ve been up to:

* launched a Facebook Page (Joyful Mourning) about the joy and gratitude of having lost a loved one. Photos and thought-provoking questions posted daily.



* co-facilitated a four-day retreat on Bowen Island for Inner Landscapes

* corresponded with experts in publishing, writing, editing, legal matters, social media, blogging, and life coaching. Huge learning curve.

* was interviewed by Australian documentary maker Toni Powell for her upcoming film on Gratitude

* participated in a week-long summer intensive at UBC: Pathways to Career Success

* house sat for six homeowners, searched for, applied to, accepted and rejected offers from many others. Packed, unpacked, repacked 24 times.


* wrote, edited and published a Beginner’s Guide to House Sitting 



* volunteered at Vancouver’s Feast of Fields (great food to offset the garbage pick- up)

* researched training courses for Life Coaching, Peer Counseling, TOEFL, and Expressive Arts Therapy. No decisions made as yet.

* bought a one-way ticket to New York, from where I presently write 🙂

Any ideas or suggestions to fire my neurons? See something I’m missing? Help? Questions?


My present favourites

Daily Good (

Greater Good Science Centre (Greater Good – University of CaliforniaBerkeley)

TED talks (TED: Ideas worth spreading) Check out Will Richardson and Sherry Turkle

Thought-provoking blogs (e.g. Seth Godin Seth’s Blog, Joanna Penn The Creative PennChris Kennedy Culture of Yes)

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (Robert Sapolsky)

The Brain That Changes Itself (Norman Doidge)

Transitions (Julia Cameron)