Nana with Sunflowers

Posing with my Nana in her backyard in the mid-90’s. 

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Some days it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since I held my Nana’s hand for the last time.

Other days it feels like a lifetime and I think,

Has it really only been a year since I last heard her joyful belly laugh?

In the past year, I have had moments of beautiful, lucid connection with her, where I feel as though we are conversing in a sweet new love language.

(I’ve written about this previously: seeing songbirds // is it a sign?)

Nana and Linda

Nana snuggling with my Auntie Linda in 2015.

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Other times, the pain of grief literally takes my breath away.

Like the time last fall when I was leaving a meeting in my grandparents’ town.

It was a bright sunny day, my windows were open and my radio was on. I was stopped at a red light about to cross the street to get on the highway towards home when my brain innocently said:

Wait! It’s only 2 o’clock. You don’t have to pick up the kids today. This is a perfect time to visit Nana.

I reached down and clicked on my left blinker with the most peaceful feeling in my heart.

And then, as I sat there with a smile on my face, waiting for the light to change, reality punched me in the gut.

Oh my God. How could you forget? She’s not there, Erin. She’s gone.

And tears that required me to pull over, knowing it wasn’t safe to drive, poured out.

Nana - bw

My Nana in 1944.

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There was another time, not too long ago, when a customer named Thelma marched into the cafe where I work and I could barely keep myself composed.

Thelma was full of joy and life and chatted enthusiastically with everyone in line and then with me when she arrived at my register.

As I took her order and listened to her stories, my eyes welled up with tears.

Oh my goodness, what a spitfire, I thought.

Which immediately took me back to the long days and nights in multiple hospitals and nursing homes as my vibrant, spunky, beloved Nana — who fell and hit her head while getting her newspaper one morning — went from living independently, driving, and doing her own grocery shopping to being on Hospice Care in a matter of months.

Even towards the end when my Nana’s body had started to shut down, the doctors and nurses were amazed by her positive attitude, quick wit and ability to deliver a perfectly timed joke.

Rev. Erin Goodman - Rhode Island - Nana

Reading prayers and singing church hymns to my Nana, April, 2016.

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My grandmother wore many hats in her lifetime. She was a slight woman, barely 100 pounds soaking wet, we often said, but always — right up until the end — she was a spitfire.

And she is deeply missed by all on this earth who were blessed to be loved by her.

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Rev. Erin Goodman - Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Skylinix Photography

Happy Spring and (almost) Wedding Season!

I am very grateful to be featured on Elise Dolen of About Time Photography‘s beautiful blog with a Q & A about one of my favorite subjects in the world:

Helping engaged couples to plan for what happens after the big day. 

I hope you enjoy it.

And as always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Blessings,

Rev. Erin

 

 

 

 


 

Rev. Erin Goodman | Photo by Carlos De La Rosa

Photo: Carlos De La Rosa

ATP: Hi Erin! Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do? 

EG: Hi Elise. My name is Erin Goodman or Reverend Erin. I am an ordained Interfaith Minister who works with individuals, couples, and families of all faiths, no faith, multiple faiths, and those who identify as “spiritual but not religious” during times of transition, celebration, sorrow and reflection. 

I have been officiating weddings here in Southern New England since 2010 and I absolutely love my work. My specialty is creating warm, personalized, custom wedding ceremonies and supporting engaged couples emotionally and spiritually as they prepare for their wedding day and create a healthy, loving marriage together. 

ATP: I’m so delighted to chat with you! So far I’ve interviewed wedding professionals to help couples in their wedding day plans. But more important than that one special day is planning for a strong marriage. This is so often overlooked in our extravagant-wedding-obsessed society. How do you work with couples before the wedding to set them on the path to a strong marriage? 

EG: This is a great question, Elise, and it really gets to the heart of my work with couples. 

Right from the first meeting I have with my engaged couples, I try to help them to view their wedding day and their engagement leading up to their wedding day from a larger perspective. If we allow it to, the wedding day can easily become a be-all-end-all event, which can create a tremendous amount of stress for the engaged couple and their families. But really, what a wedding is — or what it can be — is the joyful, ceremonial celebration of the beginning of a long, healthy, loving marriage. 

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Read More >

 

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inspiration soup :: march 24, 2017

by eringoodman on March 24, 2017

in inspiration soup

Morning Beauty

My family and I recently moved this vase, which reads: “There is beauty all around when there is love at home,” and many other household items from my Nana’s kitchen to my new kitchen. It’s been almost a year since my Nana passed, and although we all miss her dearly and still have hard, sad days of grief, it feels so good to have so much of her essence and many of her handmade and special treasured items in our home. The rocks that surround the vase were placed there by my Mama, as part of a Lenten practice she participates in every year through her church. The words written on the stones are: Peace, Purity, Goodness, Trust and Love.

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I have shared “inspiration soup” posts off and on in different forms over the years, most recently being in my monthly-ish newsletter and throughout the week on my Facebook page.

And although I haven’t really shared this with you, I’ve often spent a lot of time (far too much time) worrying about annoying people by being repetitive on the different “channels” through which I share updates and inspiration.

That is, until recently when I finally came to the conclusion that all of us who are alive and active in this digital age need to learn how to manage news, social media, email, text updates etc. in a way that works for each of us.

So instead of spending my energy trying to guess how people want to follow along with me and my ministry, I’m going to just share online in a way that works for me and my family, and trust that you all will take good care of yourselves in how you choose to receive (or not receive) what I share. And that you will give me constructive feedback if there is something I can do that would be more helpful / manageable for you.

Sound good?

Alrighty then, let’s get on with it . . .

Here are some links to articles and other resources that I find inspiring, thought-provoking, and I believe are worthy of your (and my) precious time. I hope you enjoy and are enriched by them!.

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:: Video Inspiration ::

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How to Fight Better: Kitchen-Sinking – a video by Ester Perel

Click the video below (or right HERE) to watch.

And while you are at it, if you have not watched Ester Perel’s amazing Ted Talk, The Secret to Desire in Long Term Relationships,  based on her incredible book “Mating in Captivity” do yourself a favor and watch that video this weekend too.


 

:: Written Inspiration ::

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Honest Wedding Vows for Real Marriages by Pastor John Pavlovitz

(Quick, thought-provoking read. Great conversation starter for singles, engaged and married couples alike.)

My Prayer for all Couples: 5 ways to be a Conscious Partner by Jennifer Byrd Rubacky 

(As I noted when I shared this on my FB page, some of these mindfulness practices may feel a little hokey and awkward if they are new to you, but I really believe if you keep an open mind and give them a try, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.)

This 75-Year Harvard Study Found the #1 Secret to Living a Fulfilling Life by Melanie Curtin

(Spoiler alert: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”)

Please read this before posting another RIP on social media by Taya Dunn Johnson

(Johnson says: “While I can in no way speak for the entire planet, I certainly feel qualified to propose some suggestions — or, dare I say, rules — for social media grieving.”)

 


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Wishing you a wonderful weekend, friends. Please feel free to share your thoughts and responses to these links in the comments . . . and / or tell us what is inspiring you this week.

xo

Rev. Erin

 

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moments and milestones

by eringoodman on February 9, 2017

in grief and loss, recovery, self-care

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Today was a challenging day, in a challenging week, in a challenging month, in what has been a very challenging stretch of years in my personal life.

And, without going into details, I want to pause to witness and honor myself for showing up every single day as the very best version of myself that I can be, for keeping my chin up and my heart open, for doing the work, for loving fiercely and tenderly, for cussing and crying (and working out hard) when I need to, for taking my meds each morning religiously, and for actively, consciously, mindfully, whole-heartedly choosing to stay on the path of Recovery.

Three years, 5 months and counting…

Amen. Blessed Be. And so it is.

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Today is the Winter Solstice in my corner of the world.

We are wrapping things up in my Slow Holidays program and in our “online retreat space” (aka our email inboxes) my beautiful friend and colleague Rev. Hannah Grace of Grace Ceremonies is sharing with us about being fully present in each day’s “moment of glory,” a practice she learned from her beloved father.

Rev. Hannah describes moments of glory as those – often fleeting – moments where we are awake and present to the beauty and perfection around us.

Today, I wanted to share some of Hannah’s beautiful photography with you, some of her moments of glory, with my heartfelt wishes that you are able to be present in the coming days and experience your own moments of glory.

Many Blessings,

Rev. Erin

 

 

 

 


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My moments of glory, each a pause to marvel at the beauty of this precious life.

~Rev. Hannah Grace // Grace Ceremonies

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1 – much needed rain…savoring yellow, orange, ocher and brown…concentric circles rippling out

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2 – gifts from my daughter, proudly presented at the end of our hike

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3 –color, texture, shape…symmetry

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4 –on my favorite trail with a few of my favorite things…moss, ferns, afternoon sunlight

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5 – perfect color palette…fall in new england…returning to the earth

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6 – little traveler…spiral…shadow

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7 –husband and daughter…wonder…perspective…mirror.
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Thank you, Rev. Hannah.
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We’re winding down in Slow Holidays, my annual online holiday retreat, but I have all the emails archived and ready to be enjoyed in your own time and in your own way, if you’d like.

The suggested offering is “pay-what-you-can” and you can register to give yourself the gift of Slow Holidays 2016 right HERE. Happy Solstice, friends. xoxo ~Rev. Erin

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