Few realize the moment that life’s pivotal point has occurred. I do. One moment I was watching a play I wrote being performed at Philipstown Depot Theater in Garrison, and then, one week later, on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 1997, that joy quickly plummeted when my 17-year-old son Matthew Jason Narad jumped off the Bear Mountain Bridge. He became another statistic in the horrific surge of suicides committed by young adults.
Written over the course of the past two decades, my memoir, Questions of a Thousand Tears, follows my attempt to deal with overwhelming grief, as I adjusted to the daily realities of my loss, while trying to make sense of the tragedy of suicide and beginning the task of rebuilding my life.
Through my journal writing and poetry I wrestled, from a father’s perspective, with the intense emotional questions surrounding suicide. When I finally resurfaced from the deep anguish and depressive despair, I gained the strength to share my insightful story, through the initial stages of shock and denial, culminating in recovery and acceptance.
Questions of a Thousand Tears traces my compelling transformation and is essential reading for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide, as well as those who desire to understand the experience of a suicide survivor. It offers hope and healing as I explore the day-to-day challenges of maintaining meaningful relationships, parenting my daughter Vanessa, and the universal emotions and issues facing suicide survivors.
While searching for avenues to aid my healing process, I took long solitary hikes in Blue Mountain Reservation, as well as running and as many hours of tennis that my body would allow. And crying.
I soon became involved in the healing world when I discovered the healing energies of Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy, becoming a healer and teacher, including teaching Reiki classes at Putnam/Northern Westhester BOCES in Yorktown. I also went to massage therapy school, and sought to help others by opening the Multi-Model Healing Center in Peekskill, where I live.
When I finally completed Questions of a Thousand Tears, I began to rework stories that I had been writing, but abandoned, many years ago, publishing Not For Boys Only, about a 10-year-old girl athlete who believes she can do anything a boy can; and Nick of Thyme, which explores the life of a fledgling coin collector and inadvertent hero as he tries to obtain a rare coin.
My latest publication, Poemography, is an autobiography that follows the trajectory of my life through my poetry. All four books can be found on Amazon.
I am currently a member of the task force of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and working on my next book. Hopefully this one won’t take 20 years to complete.