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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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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