Life Without Judgment

After losing a sibling, searching for the sinkhole

A few days ago, a friend passed along a link to an article on the Huffington Post called “When a Brother Dies,” by Judith Newton. Ms. Newton says: “Even siblings we don’t see, who live differently from us, who move in their own world, may be shoring up our lives, our sense of family, our feeling of being at home in the world without our knowing it.” Although my brother and I had a closer relationship than what she describes of her relationship with her brother, much of that quote rings true to me because of the nearly 2000 miles between my home and my brother’s. That physical distance necessitated that we moved in our own worlds and lived differently. It resulted in our not seeing each oth

Keep in mind. (For the family of Lisa Adams)

Lisa Bonchek Adams lived her experience of illness On the web and in the blogosphere On Twitter In essays In poems Out loud On her own terms. Memorial Sloan Kettering has a fund in her name that will go toward solutions to metastatic breast cancer. The New York Times published her obituary. Forbes found her, and her words, beautiful. Her Twitter account has over 15,000 followers. But keep in mind: Her husband lost his wife, her children lost their mother, her brother lost his sister, her parents lost their daughter. Lisa set an example of being true to one’s self. She touched and inspired us with wit and poignancy, authenticity and reality. She created under-140-character gifts of wisdom tha

Thank you, Lisa Bonchek Adams

Readers of the cancer blog I kept before I needed to add grief to the mix -- No defeat baby, no surrender -- may recall my response to Bill Keller's NYT op-ed about Lisa Boncheck Adams, a cancer patient who chronicled her experience online via blog posts and tweets. I was astounded at his need to judge this person who, in my view, was living as authentically as any of us could wish. I am devastated that she is no longer living. However, her authenticity, her words, and her determination remain in the world and with us. This particular post of hers really resonates with me. Authenticity, indeed. And no judgment on anyone who, facing his or her own death, has needs that differ slightly or p

Hijacked

One morning last week I woke up angry and with a headache, the kind that seems to live both inside and outside of your skull, enveloping your head in a cloud of low-grade but insistent pain. I wondered why. Oddly, it still takes me a little time, when I wake up with an emotion already in progress, to understand the problem. You probably have a guess by now, having read only this far, and I’m pretty sure you are right. However, I couldn’t figure it out at first. I had to drive the kids somewhere that morning, and we had been bombarded with snow and ice over the 24 hours prior. Before I could drive my car anywhere I had to break it out of its wintry-mix casing. The scraper was proving ineffe

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