Finding God in the Depths

Earlier this year I submitted an essay I had written about my brother’s suicide to Today’s Christian Woman. The essay was originally published on May 14, 2014–the day I turned 40–in their issue on depression. It was the first time I’ve been published in a Christian outlet.

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Beating Breast Cancer, Step by Step

Earlier this month I finished my second Avon Walk in Chicago, pounding 39.3 miles of pavement against breast cancer. We were a largely female troop of 2,200, including 276 breast-cancer survivors. Men weren’t absent, though: 329 of them joined our ranks. Together we raised $4.7 million to

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What 40 Feels Like

I recently celebrated Mother’s Day with my son’s preschool class. One of Noah’s gifts to me was a sketch called “All About My Mom,” where he listed fun glimpses of me and our relationship. My favorite: “My Mom is 91 years old.” Though I must seem old

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Identity Theft

Life after a suicide is confusing. The truth gets distorted, partly by the imprecise power of our memories. It can also be twisted by people looking to make themselves feel better. Suicide is a big, messy subject. It doesn’t fit well into our comfortably westernized lives. We

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Sorrow, Strangely Sweet

Life’s most tragic stories aren’t without beauty. That’s true of postpartum depression, suicide, and all forms of heartache and loss. Redemption lurks in the mire. I started this blog because of my battle with postpartum depression, when I was 34. At 15 I lost my mom to

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Why Suicide Isn’t a Selfish Act

In the three months since my brother took his life, I’ve heard a phrase repeated: “Suicide is cowardly. It’s a selfish act.” The words have come from my closest loved ones, others at church, and those who didn’t even know Jim. They argued that only a selfish

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Gifts My Brother Gave Me

When I graduated from college, my brother flew in early to help me move. From early evening to very early morning, we trekked between Evanston, Ill. and Chicago, zipping up and down Lake Shore Drive, his rental car loaded with my furniture, clothes and books. Jim rented

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