Lucinda Cummings

meet lucinda

I am a writer and clinical psychologist based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where I live with my pediatrician husband and rescue dog. My work has appeared in numerous literary journals and an anthology. I write creative nonfiction, including essays and a book length memoir.

Although I'm a lifelong writer, I did not publish my work until after age 50. My writing centers around home, feminism, family, parenting, and grief. I am the mother of two sons.

judaism:

My Bible Belt childhood in the 1950's was unusual because I grew up without any religion; converting to Judaism became a major turning point in the course of my life. I studied Judaism with various rabbis for several years as an adult, and completed the conversion process at age 39, along with my 4-year-old son.

At the time of my conversion, I could not have predicted how central Judaism and the Jewish community would become in my finding home and coping with loss.

loss & grief:

On New Year's Day of 2012, my beloved older son, Benjamin, died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 23. For an entire year, I could not write at all. Writing came back to me in 2013, and I've been writing about grief (among other topics) ever since.

Writing about grief has become a way of understanding the journey I've been given, honoring my son, connecting with other bereaved parents, and educating our death-denying culture about grief.

mindfulness:

I turned to mindfulness meditation as one path for grieving my son. Upon losing my mother, brother, father, and dog within 5 years after Benjamin's death, I happened upon Stephen Levine's book, Unattended Sorrow, which gave me a roadmap to living through compounding grief, and led me to the study of Mindful Self Compassion meditation.

I've been studying and practicing this approach for 3 years now, and it informs so much about how I live and write. Learn more...

citrus trees:

When Benjamin was 13, he came home from visiting his grandparents in Florida with three citrus tree seedlings: lemon, lime, & orange. He tended them lovingly until they were 8 feet tall and bearing fruit -- in Minnesota, often dreaming of taking them back to Florida, where he felt they "belonged."

A year after his death, we drove the trees to Florida, planting them in the front yard of Benjamin's grandpa's home. The trees are thriving there, and we celebrate the fulfillment of just one of our son's wishes. Descendants of the original trees now grow in the room where I write in Minnesota.

Finding Home

work in progress...

I have completed the manuscript of a book length memoir. Its working title is: The Still Center of Being: A Memoir of Finding Home.