My second book is complete, but in need of an agent or publisher.
In Whom I Am Well Pleased is the slightly ironic title of a nonfiction work that jumped the line in front of the second novel I had been planning. Starting with the events of August 24, 2014, the day my son Matthew took his life, it chronicles both his youth and growth into an “All-American Boy” and subsequent downward spiral after achieving his dream jobs of N.Y.C. Firefighter and Jones Beach lifeguard, as PTSD steered him toward substance abuse and depression.
As you might imagine, writing Matt’s story, and recounting the fallout for his family that followed, was difficult, but it was an assignment I was determined to complete. No, I’m not at all pleased with how things turned out, but neither do I believe that the terrible ending was the defining moment of his life. His mother shares this view, and we both felt we were forgetting too much during the first two years following his death when I couldn’t even think of starting this project. There is plenty of sorrow and regret, but simply way too much goodness and love that needs to be remembered.
Once I did begin writing, it went quickly. I knew what I wanted to say, and it just came bursting out, like a secret kept too long.
This most candid memoir details one family’s fight to avoid a loss that may have been inevitable, and its struggle to survive that loss once it occurred. IWIAWP will only be a cautionary tale for most people, who never have to face such a test, but it is a supportive narrative for those who must search for meaningful life following a love one’s self-inflicted death. Disturbing in parts, yet humorous in others, IWIAWP illustrates how abject failure can result despite best efforts, but also demonstrates how such a failure can be overcome or at least endured through faith, hope and love.