My Stepfather’s Tree

The day my stepfather flew away, I was left with a sheared-off tree. The torn tree stands like a sculpture in my backyard, reminding me of my woodworking father, a carpenter, and our struggle between this life and the next.

What (not) to Say to a Dying Guy

My dear friend’s husband is dying. He’s also my husband’s closest friend, and a bit of a difficult guy, but affable and generous, fun and flattering by turns. A few years ago, after I cut my hair short and dyed