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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Comfort in a Time of Grieving

(A version of this was first published by Refuge in Grief.)

There is no true comfort when we’re deep in grief. When we’re done actively grieving, it’s different. But not completely.

It will never be all right with me that Evelyn suffered for years with physical aches and pains, worked hard to recover and was almost back to full health when she died of an unknown heart problem. She was only in her forties. I was bitter about that then, and I’m bitter about that now.

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


  1. I feel the same about my wife's death when you talk about your bitterness about your wife's undeserved early death. Sometimes, what I can't accept is not my wife's death but the fact that she suffered and died when she was a much better person than I was. She always cared about people, especially children, who were in difficult situation. I accept that death happens all the time. I can't accept that the craziness of this world where the bad people seemingly prosper and the good people suffer and die in a horrible way. My mind tells me that under a higher and greater scheme of universe, everything, even my wife's death, can be viewed as something normal and acceptable. My heart tells me that nothing justifies pain of good people. I read lots of books about afterlife, NDE, OBE, reincarnation and so on. I found no single book that eased away what my heart feels.

    1. I think this is something that we both have to live with. But this fire that burns in us makes us aware of others who are experiencing the same sorrow, and allows us to go to them and care for them with compassion.