Eric’s Story

Everyone has a story. Mine, sadly, is intricately woven with the tragic loss of my older brother Eric to suicide. At 29, he decided to take his own life after finally revealing to family that he’d been sexually abused by the parish priest at the tender age of 12. The mental torment was just too much. While our family was forever changed by this devastating event, we’ve also remained incredibly close, and share a bond that only tragedy can forge. In July 2012, I began unpacking Eric’s Story on my blog, and received so much support, that I’ve decided to somehow put all of these stories together in book form. Someday. Somehow. Below you’ll find the series of posts in the order they were written. I will probably write more, but only when the words and emotions well up so high in my heart and mind that I must let them spill out over the keyboard.

It is Absolutely my Business

It is Absolutely my Business

Kansas.com I type the name into the address bar, and breathe in. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…hold 2, 3, 4… I’m beginning to recognize the physical signs of an impending panic attack, and have learned to use breathing techniques to ward them off. But it doesn’t always work. “Kansas priest removed fromContinue Reading

Why I’m Taking Bill Cosby’s Rape Scandal Personally

“It can’t be true because he’s so well loved.” “It can’t be true because he was around so many others and it didn’t happen to them.” “It can’t be true because they waited so long to come forward.” “It can’t be true because they’re conspiring to ruin him.” I know. I get it. None ofContinue Reading

Letting the Imago Go

Letting the Imago Go

The night air was surprisingly refreshing when I stepped barefoot onto my cold concrete porch. The light from the living room streamed through the closed storm door behind me, but I was drawn to a light beyond the overhang. Above. The moon. Brilliant and white, it pierced through the inky black sky. It was coolContinue Reading

I need to tell you where I’m going.

I need to tell you where I’m going.

Some of you won’t want to hear this. Some of you will. Some of you will be angry. Some of you will rejoice. I realize I run the risk of alienating some friends and family if I expose just where it is that this journey is taking me. And for those of you who haveContinue Reading

A Beautiful Encounter Among the Dry Bones

A Beautiful Encounter Among the Dry Bones

“He’s not really here, honey. It’s just his bones.” I spoke these words from my own mouth, but I wasn’t sure I believed them. Part of me desperately wanted to believe that his spirit somehow lingered in this place, where flesh becomes fodder for earth dwelling creatures. I parked on the gravel path right inContinue Reading

2012: The year I learned to be content

2012: The year I learned to be content

Has it really been five days since I’ve written? Hmm. It feels strange…that it doesn’t feel strange. You see, I’ve had a bit on my plate the last two weeks. In the course of fourteen days, my youngest daughter first came down with the rotavirus, had two days of relative good health, then got anotherContinue Reading

I am not brave.

I am not brave.

Brave. It’s a word I’ve been called over and over again because I chose to come out of the shadows and tell Eric’s story. My story. The dark one. But I am not brave. Brave would have been standing by my parents’ side when the held up protest signs outside of the Cathedral. But IContinue Reading

I guess his favorite color was red.

I guess his favorite color was red.

“I think we’re getting together on Sunday to visit the grave.” I had to pause for a moment after hearing my mom’s voice through the phone. Of course. The grave. The anniversary. How could I have forgotten? Well, I didn’t forget. I just wasn’t thinking about it at the time. All the time. Like IContinue Reading

Setting one agony down, only to pick up another

Setting one agony down, only to pick up another

Recently,  I was asked by a class of college students what it was like to bear my soul when writing essay after essay about my brother’s suicide. How did I prepare? How did I handle the exposure? I wasn’t sure how to answer the questions, because honestly, the way it unfolded, and why, was aContinue Reading

The Missing Birthday

The Missing Birthday

Yesterday would have been Eric’s 42nd birthday. This time of year typically puts me into a spin cycle, hurtling me towards the anniversary of his death on October 29, then to the holidays where his presence is noticeably absent, then finally spits me out sometime in January, when the frigid weather numbs my raw emotions. MyContinue Reading