Anything Mentionable, about my friend Fred, about writing and life

Stories from Tim.

He was a person of profound faith. But Dick was never content with the pat answers of dogma. In book after book after book, in conversation after conversation after conversation, he insisted on exploring the mysteries of life, insisted on asking the great questions, knowing there wouldn’t be answers for most of them in this life.

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Finally, Scott couldn’t talk at all because of his weeping. I thought, “There are no theories or diagnoses needed here. Scott is doing exactly what he needs to do.”

Telling his story was his therapy.

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"But what happens. You come here (to the competition.) And whether you advance or not, the pianists have brought people to a place in the world where we’d all like to be. And that, to me, is the importance of music in today’s society. It’s why we all need to advocate more for the culture. Culture is going to be one of the things that is going to help ease the tensions in the world."

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"I was a grieving person myself, and understood too well what Mary was going through. In the previous decade, I had traveled a dark road similar to hers: I had mourned the tragic loss of my own baby son. I had been a young therapist who had tried desperately to get my grief right.' I had felt stuck in my mourning and had asked myself many of the same questions that Mary asked herself. I could relate to the confusion and the nagging sense of inadequacy when my suffering did not conform to the orthodoxy. I knew the exhaustion of pretending. I knew the loneliness and isolation when the support of others began to fade while my pain did not." Patrick O'Malley in Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss.

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What sort of person could inspire such a transformation? A deeply humble one, it turns out. I sat down with John in his office one day last year for our first meeting, and within five minutes, it was like we had removed our skins and it was just two hearts talking. He was loath to accept any credit for White’s Chapel. Fred would have been in awe.

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"With sensitivity and support, readers will explore grief not as an illness, but as the continuing story of our connection to the one we’ve lost, to be fully felt and woven into our lives."

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As I hauled my dry clothes back to my car, it occurred to me that joining the ritual at the laundromat on a beautiful Sunday morning was, in fact, a privilege.

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."Don’t diminish the difficulty. Step into it! What you will find, I believe, is that God is there, too."

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"When I look into the eyes of a saint or Fred Rogers, he’s seeing me and seeing me all the way through to the best of me. After ‘I see you,’ it’s ‘I see I.’ I see myself as I really am because they see me as I really am. From ‘I see you’ to ‘I see I.’”

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"I think our lives make a little more sense when we better understand the shadows we all carry within. We’re less likely to be blindsided by them, for one thing. And understanding the universal shadow might inspire deeper compassion for others in our seething world."

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You came up to me after. I’m sure you knew that every moment I was on the ice I was playing scared. You said it was okay. You told me the other team was older and bigger…And I did fine.

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What I do remember, however, is how she made me feel—safe, cared for, loved, which are doubly important when you’re the new kid.

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