Who I am.

I write about the landscape of grief, nature, and the wisdom of fools. The author of four books, my essays, poems, and reviews have been published in over 50 journals, including in the Huffington Post and Colorado Review. I’ve won the River Teeth Nonfiction Book Award, the Chautauqua and Literal Latte’s essay prizes, and my work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and named a notable by Best American Essays. My account of hiking in Yosemite to deal with my wife’s death, Mountains of Light, was published by the University of Nebraska Press. http://www.markliebenow.com.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Grief Cafe

When a loved one dies, survivors join the Club. There are no dues and only one initiation rite, which we’ve already gone through. A glance in the eyes is enough to tell who is a member. But to participate in the Grief Café, you have to open the door.

It doesn’t matter who died or under what circumstances, whether it was our spouse, parent, sibling, child, or stillborn infant. We loved them and our hearts are broken.

* If you would like to read the rest of this post, let me know and I’ll send it to you. *


  1. Card-carrying member since 2009. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  2. Yes, thank you, Mark. It's a powerful image and you've worked with it so well. Beautiful writing. I'm sharing it on my FB author page.

  3. Mark, nice to make your acquaintance, even under these grief circumstances. The motto I use for the work I do on healing is "We are neighbors in grief and allies in healing." Thanks for setting a place at the table for those who want to connect, share, grow, and heal...

    Yours in hope, healing, and happiness...

    ~Annah Elizabeth