Monday, October 7, 2013

Sane and Able?

Is it possible to renew one's life after personal tragedies hit the double digits? Yet again, while I try to cope with my varying degrees of chronic illness due to cancer, Lupus and fibromyalgia coupled with the traumatic loss of my brother nearly six weeks ago, I am seeking to be sane and able.

How many blows are too many? When does the day come when enough is enough? The sheer number of traumatic events that have hit my little family of four over the past 25 years have ranged far and wide, from serious injuries to 9/11 to near fatal illnesses to shocking deaths plus more. We are the people that others pity. 

Paradoxically, is it enough that I have my immediate loving family and friends? Is it enough that I am free of major worry about finances and can sit in two modest, comfy places that I call home where at one I roam the beach and at the other I can light a fire, gaze freely at the majestic Hudson River, and do nothing? 

Is it enough that I've been married to the same man for almost 30 years and we've settled into a comfortable albeit routine pattern of living? Is it enough that I have food to eat, clothes to wear, a car to drive, a bed to sleep in and grown children who still want to talk and be with me? 

I must answer "yes" and continually remind myself I am very, very  blessed. So why is it so hard.?

You see, I'm not an "enough" sort of gal, however, and this land is foreign to me. I'm a goal-setter and charting a revised course one more time isn't easy. Recently, my husband and I both joined a suicide survivors support group and went to our first meeting last week. Since both our brothers took their own lives (two years apart), we think it will be helpful. Maybe we'll go back. 

So, I guess its enough that I can still kick myself in the butt to to live regardless of the pain; regardless of the shame; regardless of the guilt; regardless of the grief. I find the nights are the hardest. This is when my nerves jangle and my head aches and my sorrow feels like knife blades. I can't settle down to sleep. I wonder what's next. I pray. 

I know I am clinically depressed. I've been here before, albeit a long time ago when it was also tied to tremendous grief. And I am getting help and taking things one step at a time. After being on such a high with the launch and great reviews of my book, I find myself completely upside down; swirling in a vortex and weighted down with worry and pain. 

I know. It does get better. As the sayings go: Time heals all wounds. God only gives you as much as you can handle. This too shall pass. When God closes one door he opens another, etc. etc. Those of you who follow my blog or who have read my book are aware of my internal guidepost - my Statue. It's a cement figure of a human that I envision when I need to 'take my temperature' - understand how I am feeling. Today, my Statue is in medium-sized pieces all over the ground. That's better than crumbled or dust. I'll take it - for now. 

There is no point to this blog other than to say I'm still trying my best and following my own advice about taking charge of your own health and well-being. Perhaps if I try through my tears, you will, too. And I will gladly accept any words of encouragement through comments on this blog or to

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NOTE: As is typical, we find that my brother is receiving fame in death that he should have had in life. Stories have already been written in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR and various other newspapers around the country. I have also been contacted by New York Magazine that will be compiling a feature about his interesting, varied, and fully-lived life as well as The Lancet for the contributions he made to medical research. My own book takes a back seat for now as I tend to the business of honoring my brother's legacy. 


  1. Hey I have a quick question about your blog, could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! –Cam

    1. Would love to but don't have your email. ????

  2. Amy , I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. Thinking of you,

    1. Thank you, Megan. I believe I know who you are. ;-)


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