13 thoughts on “A Homage To My Nephew: How Death Brings Us Closer To Truly Living Life

  • January 14, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Hello Dr. Michelle:
    First I want to say that I am so very sorry for your family’s loss! Your nephew sounds like a wonderful young man who added so much love and life to those who knew and love him. I can only imagine the devastation…
    Secondly, I want to just say that I admire that you are being genuine and open in sharing your own pain around the loss. Sometimes it can be hard for people to imagine that therapists are human too and they have the same joys and sorrows as anyone else.
    Although I would not wish this loss on you or anyone else for that matter, you have done your nephew proud by your expression of what he means to you, his dad and family, as well as the way in which you demonstrate how to “be with” the pain. NOT that this is about “therapy” for others but I think it is indicative of the fact that even now, your Sammy is a force for good and his legacy will live on.
    Wishing you peace…

  • January 14, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, Michelle. It is a reminder of how precious and fragile life is, and how this moment is truly where all life takes place. Knowing that your children are out there in the world, safe, experiencing their own moments is one of the most important things to a parent. To lose that is perhaps the most searing pain there is. My heart and my most gentle thoughts go out to all of you, and to everyone whose heart was broken by the loss of a child.

  • January 14, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    God be with your brother and you and your families as you attempt to navigate this uncharted path of grieving and “trying” to live without your precious nephew!
    There can be nothing more heart wrenching than a parent bring their child!
    I have witnessed it’s ugly pain and soul taking! Prayers for all!

  • January 14, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    I am so very sorry for your lose. The death of a family member is no stranger to me. My days are filled with memories of those who have died, who have gone before me. Its a grief that I know will never end and that this sorrow I feel will always be a part of what and who I am. There are no other words I can think of to share with you , but only these, That the love that you had will always be with you, to hold you through your darkest hour

  • January 14, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Michelle: I just read your eloquent message about your nephews’s fundera. How devastating and agony for so many this is being. Not “it is” ” but “is” I am brought to anguish myself just reading your journaling on this experienc, your own and your absorbing the feelings of other family members. there are no words that can comfort, just being with each other and knowing it is an experience that is shared begins a process of healing, whenever that begins to happen.Holding the grief and memories should never be denied of course (and cannot be). they are there and remain forever. They get “sanded” over time, but are always there. H e goes where we all go in due time, he got there a little sooner. these are all platitudes. I just had to send this ineffective note to you to let you know how much your telling this has helped me, an 87 years old senior, to reflect on life and death with all its mysterious happenings, griefs and unaswered questions. Sorry for this rambling, but your note is a living example of grief almost standing alone as a reality, unable to be comprehended. i hope you and family members are able to keep talking to him wherever he is in this mysterious universe and in silence hear him speak back to you. that is what a therpist told me at the death of a child I loved. Talk to hi
    m whevever he is and listen to him speak back in your heart. That is where the spirits speak.

  • January 14, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you Michelle for a beautiful tribute to the uncertainty of death and the spiritual significance of your nephew’s journey. I recently lost my wife, of 20 years, to cancer. She died 7 weeks from diagnosis. She left me with 2 great kids who are respectively pursuing medicine and psychotherapy. I am a Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Brooklyn Heights and Scarsdale.
    The death of my wife, and the extreme sadness which ensued, helped me to spiritually reckon with this painful loss and so build a connection to my wife and her memory.

  • January 14, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    …. and… to make the most of our lives…. while we are IN life ! Deep condolences to you and your family.

  • January 15, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Thank you for your profound and caring words. We can all be inspired by your perspective.

  • January 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Michelle, I read your article through tears. I have no words that can express the heartfelt sympathy that I feel for this horrible, unbelievable loss. I do hope – because I care so much for you and your family – that somehow you can all go forward with a new outlook, sharing this horrendous pain, but building a new future.

  • January 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    My nephew Joey died the day after Thanksgiving last year…at 33 years old. It was a tragic accident that took him from our family, and I’m still having trouble not crying each day. I think I’m passed the numb stage and denial of it all, but I can’t get passed the why’s and brokenness that my heart feels. And I’m hearing things like “Too soon.” “I hurt too”. “Just get over it.” “Take your time.” “Don’t think about him”…All these things are said to me by others and some by my own brain. I can’t express how much love I have for this boy, who somehow became a man too quick. I see his beautiful brown eyes, hear his laugh and the way he said “helllll-o”, his voice as a toddler, his fuzzy hair as a baby, the look in his eyes when he talks about music and getting things done at work…the list can go one for days. I appreciate you writing this blog and wholeheartedly say that I am so sorry for your loss.

  • January 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    I have three sons aged 31, 20 and 17 and can remember so clearly when each one reached 15. Whole life ahead of them yet still a child. I cannot imagine losing any of my beloved boys and sat and sobbed when I read ‘A Homage To My Nephew’. You sound like a wonderful human being.

  • January 18, 2019 at 9:10 am

    written so eloquently and beautiful; my heart goes out to you,, your mom, Michael, Rebecca and family. I’m so sorry for your loss. May Sammy’s memory forever be a blessing.

  • January 18, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Reading this reminded of my cousin’s death at 29. I remember the pain we all felt. He was an only child, and my aunt and uncle decided to withdraw from this life. They existed but didn’t really live again. I still can’t fully believe this is true. May that sweet child Rest In Peace. You’re all in my prayers.


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