Tag: sons

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Leaving the Hall Light On  A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide is the powerful, heart wrenching story of one women’s journey through 17 years of heartbreak and struggle. It is a story of strength and courage, creative genius and despair. Madeline shares her confusion and anger, her hope and disappointment as she recounts the events that led to her son’s ultimate suicide, and along the way the reader has an up close and personal introduction to this debilitating disease and its effect on a family. I came away from this book with a new depth of understanding and compassion for all who are and have been touched by serious mental illness. It’s message has lingered long after the initial reading. It will broaden your perspective and awareness and for that reason alone, this is an important book.

In addition, Madeline is our peer. A woman of our generation and experience who tells her story, not only as a part of her healing journey but, to inform and support others who are struggling with a similar challenge. Whether or not you have someone in your life who suffers from mental illness, there is not a one of us who has not witnessed its destruction, most recently in the shocking and unexpected death of Robin Williams.  We long for understanding. We search for hope. Perhaps together, by raising awareness, we can find a cure, a satisfactory treatment, or at the very least, an opening of our hearts in support of one another.

Madeline Sharples

Although Madeline Sharples worked for most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager, she fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. She pursued her writing interests in high school while studying journalism and writing for the high school newspaper, and she studied journalism in college. However, she only began to fulfill her dream to be a professional writer later in life.

In addition to Leaving the Hall Light On, Madeline co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) a book about women in nontraditional professions and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (2010). Her poetry accompanies the work of photographer Paul Blieden in two books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy as well as appearing in print and online on many occasions.

Madeline is now a full-time writer and is working on her next book, a novel, based in the 1920s. She and Bob, her husband of 40+ years, live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles.

Connect with Madeline online: 

Visit her website: http://madelinesharples.com/

On Facebook: Madeline Sharples

On Twitter: @madeline40

On G+

Soul Expression

Soul Expression

Have you ever heard of hooping? Check this out!
Dance, rhythm, motion. This image that I found on Hooping.org expresses it so well, don't you think?


Last night my son and I went out together for ice cream. I never thought I’d see the day when I would blissfully hand my keys over to him and ask, “would you mind driving?” He’s an adult now and I’ve come to lean just a little on his competence. He’s a kind, gentle soul and I feel blessed to have him in my life. We share some important interests, like love, compassion, kindness…and rock ‘n roll. He, like me, adores music of all kinds and has a keen ear for the details. He once told me that he listens to a piece one instrument at a time before he listens to it altogether. He has a well trained ear.

It was a beautiful night. He put the roof down on my convertible, popped in his latest favorite CD (that I had told him I loved) and cranked up the volume. We drove in rhythmic bliss through the dusky night to our destination. I couldn’t help but close my eyes, tip my head back against the seat and soak in the moment. Poetry set to music moves me like nothing else and this particular CD has this combination in spades. Music has the power to inspire and transform at the soul level, eliciting tapping fingers and dancing feet.

So much of the joy in life comes from places we find difficult to name. Remote to the conscious mind, yet privy to the deep and visceral. I don’t know how it is so, or how it works but I know it is essential and important, at least to me. It is a soul expression and I can’t imagine life without it.