I am a mother who has had to bear the unbearable after my teenage daughter died from cancer.
I am a parent to a surviving daughter torn apart by the loss of her sister.
I am a woman who stumbled, collapsed, and stood up again.
I have recently completed a memoir, Chasing Hope, about my fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s battle with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. I write of her fear and courage, denial and acceptance, and her parting wisdom. My memoir reveals how in the face of her impending death, Elizabeth lived a life filled with grace. My story sheds light on the harsh reality that relationships in families can break apart after a child’s death. And it’s a testament to how the love and support of family, friends, and community can heal and make whole a once-shattered woman.
I know that writing Elizabeth’s story has made me stronger, and I believe that sharing it will benefit other families who are struggling with the death or life-threatening condition of their child or relative, too.
In an earlier publication of poetry, Facing Into the Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, I capture the process of grieving, healing, and even reawakening to the joy and beauty of life.
As a writer with a keen interest in narrative medicine, I am enrolled in workshops at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University about the beneficial health outcomes of writing and sharing personal narrative. In the fall, I will pilot a journaling program with medical staff at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children. The goal is to give parents and children over 16, the opportunity to express their own stories and be heard.
Earlier in my writing career, I studied poetry with Mark Doty and memoir with Paul Lisicky at the Juniper Institute, part of the UMASS MFA program in Creative Writing. I am also the owner of WIL Communications, a strategic marketing and communications consultancy that specializes in content development, content curation, content marketing, and production management. My work increases reach and audience engagement of client products and services across digital, print, and social media channels.