Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief



Did you know there is more than one kind of dash? One is actually longer than the other and there are different rules for each. My editor is a stickler for rules. My point is, is there really anyone reading my personal story who is going to think for even a second “Oh, I think that is the wrong kind of dash!” ?? I’m pretty detail oriented and I never noticed in all these years that some dashes/hyphens were slightly longer than others.

BUT… if you don’t pay attention to the details, the implication is that you are lazy or don’t want the best for your book. So you literally spend hours checking every dash and hyphen to make sure you have the correct one inserted. Hours. And I learned something about myself in this process- I use an awful lot of dashes when I write! By the way, that last one is NOT proper.

And there are just as many rules for zillions of other things- paranthesis, quotation marks, smiley faces, numbers, and on and on and on. So I cooperate but I whine about it.

Then your ten year old comes home from school and says he heard a rumor that his friend’s stepfather died over the weekend. I check it out. Yep, its true. Died at just 34 years old. His friend just spent the night at our house the day before his dad died. Crazy. We went to the funeral home briefly. I know how important it is to have people show up. Dave says “Now I have a lot more in common with my friend, don’t I?”

I’ve got to stop whining about dashes.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Dashes

  1. On the bright side, it sounds like you have a great editor! Best of luck with the rest of the process, and condolences to your son and his friend on their new common denominator.

  2. I have really liked reading your blog. We have a common denominator too 🙂
    By the way, my editor will LOVE your comment!

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