Archive for the Faith Category

Finding God in My Postpartum Fire

*This originally appeared on Risen Motherhood on Jan. 18, 2018. **Trigger alert: This article contains references to intrusive images, and may not be suitable for some suffering with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The birth of our babies—especially our first—is supposed to be magical. We expect a

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When Postpartum Packs a Punch

If you’re a mom or a dad, you’ve known the otherworldly time of pregnancy, childbirth, and just beyond. Whether a new parent or a veteran, you understand that the postpartum season is incomparable. It brings the gift of new life, the fun of seeing your family grow,

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On Being a Mom Without a Mom

My mom died of breast cancer when I was 15. At first, I missed the short-term comforts she brought. No more Chinese-takeout dinners on Friday. No more special trips to Canada or Florida. Soon I missed the lack of love and attention. I grew to believe that

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What the Living Can Learn From the Dying

Kara Tippetts, a wife and young mother, died recently. I didn’t know her. Like many, though, I feel as if I did–from the words she shared in her book, on her blog and in her radio interviews. Tippetts, 38, was a warrior. She lost a battle with

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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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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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Not Enough: When Guilt Follows a Suicide

After you lose someone dear, the first round of holidays is brutal. I remember the gaping maw that loomed the Christmas after my mom died. I figured the first Christmas season without my brother, Jim, would be similarly sad. It was. Shortly before New Year’s Day, my

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