Grief management

When Your Child Grows Up to Be a Monster

March 11, 2014 Grief management

Like most people, the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre cut me to the core. I blogged about it, trying to find a lesson for humanity. Having lost a sibling myself, I wrote an open letter to kids who lost a brother or sister, hoping to offer them something useful, if not comforting. Mood music: […]

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My Brother Lives on in the Nephew He Never Met

January 8, 2014 Grief management

Thirty years ago yesterday, my older brother Michael died at age 17. I felt the need to write something to mark the anniversary. But to be honest, I didn’t know what to say. Mood music: Part of that is because I wrote the whole “how his death affected me” post three years ago in “Death […]

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My Heart Breaks for the Newtown Officer, But …

November 13, 2013 Grief management

It’s hard not to get where Newtown, Conn., police officer Thomas Bean is coming from. He responded to last December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children were among the brutally slain. He now has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can’t work. He says he feels dead inside. Mood music: CNN reports that Bean […]

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For Those Mourning Colleen Ritzer

October 24, 2013 Grief management

I didn’t know Colleen Ritzer, the 24-year-old Danvers High School math teacher found dead in the woods behind the school this week. I also don’t know Philip Chism, the 14 year old charged with murdering her. But I’m affected by this tragedy all the same. My first job as a reporter 20 years ago was at the […]

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Songs That Mattered After 9-11-01

September 7, 2013 Coping tools

Like so many other times in my life, music made the difference between sanity and insanity. I focus a lot on the metal. But in the weeks after 9-11, I turned to a broader group of musicians to help me along. They did their jobs well, helping us all see that it was OK to […]

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9-11-01 Jumpers: A Suicidal Mystery

September 7, 2013 Depression

I remember the photo well. It was a man falling to his death in a zen-like pose that haunted me for a long, long time. It haunted us all. Mood music: Yesterday, I came across an entire documentary based on that one photo. The program, like the photo, is called “The Falling Man.” Associated Press photographer Richard Drew snapped […]

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Some People You Just Can’t Save

April 15, 2013 Grief management

I just learned that a young man from my extended family was murdered recently. I only met him once, when he was a baby in the late 1980s, and I’m told he had a troubled adulthood that led him to seedy neighborhoods and bad crowds. Mood music:  HallelujahLeonard CohenMore Best Of When good kids fall […]

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Aaron Swartz and How to Deal With Suicide

January 14, 2013 Grief management

I read many articles this weekend about the suicide of Internet prodigy and activist Aaron Swartz. Most were about how we should view his legacy in the face of charges that he used MIT’s computers to gain illegal access to millions of scholarly papers kept by JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary […]

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To the Siblings in Sandy Hook

December 18, 2012 Grief management

To the people of Newtown, Conn., particularly the surviving children of Sandy Hook Elementary School: I have no idea what it’s like to lose a child, and I pray to God I never will. But I’ve lost a sibling and know how that feels. So I’m hoping, nearly 30 years after my brother’s death, that […]

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An Inconvenient Death

November 28, 2012 Grief management

It happens whenever someone dies. After the initial shock passes, you start thinking about when the wake and funeral will take place, including whether it will get in the way of your work, family, or entertainment plans. We feel selfish and petty when we get this way, but it’s human nature.  Not EnoughVan HalenBalance Some […]

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