All Things New: Katie’s Story

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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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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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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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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