JOANNE'S BLOG

Hi Everyone,

37 years ago today, I walked down the aisle wearing my mother's Priscilla of Boston wedding dress and my mother-in-law's beautiful, hand-beaded crown, and stood under the Chuppah (Wedding Canopy) with my beloved, Andy Trattner, as we joined hands and united our hearts in marriage.



Andy and I wrote our own wedding vows-- "I promise to share with you in times of joy as in times of sorrow; to talk and to listen; to honor

Hi friends. My name is Lynda Cheldelin Fell, and I’m blessed to call Joanne Fink my dear friend. Joanne is recovering from spinal fusion surgery and I ask that you join me in praying for a successful outcome. Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be posting here and there so Joanne can focus on regaining mobility and rejoining life. Like many, I love Joanne deeply and will do whatever I can to ease some


Hi Everyone,
First of all, I want to thank you for being part of Niki's Village. She will need each of us in the days, weeks, months and years (yes, I said years!) ahead. In case you've never supported someone who's grieving before, I wanted to share some thoughts on how you can be there for her-- and for her children-- in a meaningful, truly helpful way.
Since this is a big village, and I don't know everyone,

Hi Everyone,
It's hard to believe that it's 2019-- and even harder for me to believe that in August it will be 8 years since Andy died. It's been a long journey-- what I call 'My Journey from Grief to Gratitude'. If you are newly bereaved you may feel that you'll never have anything to be grateful for again-- but I encourage you to keep your heart open to possibility.

Not long after Andy died I started

Hi Everyone,

June 27th is my wedding anniversary. Andy died just a few weeks after we celebrated our 29th anniversary, and I remember being a total wreck on what would have been our 30th anniversary. What made the day even harder for me was that nobody said anything to me that day; not my parents, not my in-laws, not my children, not my friends. When I stopped crying a few days later, I realized that no

Hi Everyone,

On my journey from grief to gratitude, I've had days that-- even in the midst of my sorrow-- have been filled with joy; days when my soul is at peace and I am able to appreciate the beauty and love which surround me. I've had other days when I am so overwhelmed by the turbulent sea of emotions churning inside me that I struggle to breathe. Days I feel as though I'm slogging through

Hi Everyone,

When you are grieving, holidays often trigger waves of sadness, loneliness and longing. Mother's Day, which Americans celebrate in May, is especially difficult for those who have lost a child, or who long for one of their own... as well as for those who have lost a parent or, like me, a spouse. I remember Mother's Days before my husband died-- he would help the kids make scrambled eggs & cheese, and all three

Hi Everyone,

No matter where you are on your grief journey, I encourage you to do something each day that you find healing and connective. It might be making yourself a nourishing bowl of soup… calling an old friend… or letting the tears flow… Being kind to yourself helps you find the path towards wholeness.

Those of you who follow the Zenspirations® blog are familiar with my ‘morning journaling practice’, where I begin each day with a

Hi Everyone,

The past six years, since I became a widow, have been the most challenging period of my life– and yet they have also been the most rewarding. I have grown creatively, practically and spiritually, and have come to realize that we grow the most during the most difficult times in our lives.

Whenever I feel a little less than whole, I try to get ‘Back to Basics’, which for me means trying to stay grounded

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