Message in a Box!

On one of our visits to the small German town my mother fled as an unaccompanied minor in 1938, a woman my mother hardly remembered asked that we visit her in her nursing home. My mother wasn’t interested, but the woman insisted, saying she had something she absolutely had to give to my mother. Finally, we stopped by her home, and she presented Mom with this box. “Before your mother ...

Anniversary of the Kindertransport and the lesser-known American program

The World Jewish Congress marked the 84th anniversary of the Kindertransport with this post: "After the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938, Jewish groups organized a secret rescue operation to get Jewish children of out of Nazi-occupied Europe. Because of immigration laws, their parents were unable to join them. "The first group of children arrived in the UK in December 1938. It is estimated that up to 10,000 children were saved ...

Families often gaslight to project “perfect” holiday gathering

An ongoing family dynamic of toxic positivity and avoidance leads to superficial relationships that may devolve into distance and estrangement. Photo credit: Askar Abayev/Pexels

Public Radio stations feature interview with my formerly estranged brother and me

After decades of estrangement, my brother and I did an interview about our reconciliation with a North Carolina pubic radio station. Other public radio stations around the country are running the story during the holidays.

Men and Women Handle Sibling Estrangement Differently

Men often avoid discussing their pain, but that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.

A mother of twins asks, “How do I get my son to open up to his sister?”

i totally agree with you. Men have been socialized to be "strong and silent", no emotion, etc. [This is a reference to the post, "Men and Women Handle Sibling Estrangement Differently." ] My twins, boy and girl, age 40, had a falling out. I don't know why cause they won't say. My daughter will talk about issues, her brother doesn't almost never. When he does, he'll do it in ...

A German friend remembers my family for Totensonntag

Every year for Totensonntag, a German friend takes her son to the stolpersteine that memorialize my family in Stockstadt am Rhein -- my mother's town. Totensonntag is a Protestant religious holiday in Germany and Switzerland that commemorates those who have departed. My friend sent me this photo this morning of the candle she placed at my family's stumbling stones. Recently, I read this fascinating article, "Monuments to the Unthinkable" by ...

New Workbook Helps Estranged Siblings Cope with Their Grief

The Sibling Estrangement Journal offers a kind of therapy to process losses.  A survey for my first book on sibling estrangement produced many stories and statistics about this under-studied phenomenon. But I was most struck, over and over, by how respondents described the pain of the experience and the relief they found in completing the survey.

How a Chaotic, Abusive Childhood Can Lead to Estrangement

  Free girl bullied in school image, public domain childhood CC0 photo. Children raised in chaotic, abusive, or neglectful families run the greatest risk of estrangement in adulthood.