Archive for the Suicide Category

All Things New: Katie’s Story

About a year after my brother, Jim, ended his life, one of his friends asked me to speak to the mother of a young woman who had attempted suicide. Jim’s friend volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, which offers families housing at little or no

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Suicide Isn’t Selfish

This morning I’m sipping tea from my wedding china: the sleek-and-elegant Noel Alabaster, designed by the late Kate Spade. News outlets were quick to tell us she ended her life. It’s easy, in the wake of suicide, to look for explanations and labels, to tie things up

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Suicide: Let’s Talk About It

Suicide is one of the most uncomfortable topics around. If we say we lost someone to suicide, it might be perceived as a weakness, a selfish act, a stain on their character. Not so if they died from cancer or heart disease. But like other ailments, suicide is uninvited. Suicide and

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Three Years Gone, and Yet You’re With Us

Dear Jim, Three years ago this summer, you warred with the cruelest of enemies–depression. He was a sinister thief of your thoughts. He tried to make you unrecognizable even to those of us who knew you best. He made it difficult for you to eat, sleep, and

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Staying Healthy After Losing Someone to Suicide

In the days after my brother’s suicide, my cousin asked me how often I found myself sighing. She said, “When I’m too tired to cry, I sigh. I sigh a lot.” After the exchange I noticed my own frequent sighs. According to one study, sighing serves as

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Suicide and Its Unrelenting Stigma

Suicide is an earthquake. Sudden, jolting and catastrophic, it ruptures the lives of those it leaves behind. The aftershocks ripple into subsequent generations. We spend years navigating our emotional landscapes, seismically realigned by chasms of guilt, confusion and regret. We build bridges when we share our grief,

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“You Are, I Am”

Six weeks before my brother died, I had a dream. The ultra-realistic sort, where you stir swearing it happened. I’d gone to visit my sister, Lisa, in Texas. Her house had morphed into what looked like my grandmother’s old home in Ohio–a blurring of lines characteristic of

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Grieving at the Holidays

When I learned that my brother had ended his life, I stood clutching my then-4-year-old son’s hand. I crumpled to the hardwood floor outside his play room, clinging to his tiny frame like a life raft. I let out small, staccato chokes. “Get up, Mommy! You’re laughing,

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The Upside of Early Loss

How Losing My Mom Prepared Me for My Brother’s Suicide* What could be good about my mom dying when I was a kid? Not much, I thought — until I lost my brother last year. My mom has been gone for 25 years. She lived with a

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My Brother’s Keeper

I recently started blogging for the Huffington Post. My first piece published there is an essay I wrote about my brother. The essay is below, followed by a link to it on HuffPo. My brother, Jim, died by suicide on a bright day in early September, ending

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