The On Being Project

Mary Esselman
Mary Esselman

is an editor for the University of Virginia’s Women’s Center and mother to a teenage son. She's the fourth of seven kids raised Catholic in Cincinnati and Louisville, Jesuit-influenced thanks to Georgetown University, and loves Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek for its spiritual direction.

The Fish: A Story of Love and Letting Go

by Mary Esselman

A woman’s evolving understanding of mortality, identity, and letting go — through a poem that has accompanied her through life and loss.

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The Fish: A Story of Love and Letting Go