"A moving read of tragedy, trying to prevent it, and coping with life after." - Midwest Book Review
"Moving, intimate and very inspiring." - Mark Shelmerdine, CEO, Jeffers Press
"Poetically visceral, emotionally honest. I will be a better, more empathic psychiatrist, and a better person and friend after reading this extraordinary memoir." - Irvin D. Godofsky, M.D.
Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide charts the near-destruction of one middle-class family whose son committed suicide after a seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder.
Madeline Sharples, author, poet and web journalist, goes deep into her own well of grief to describe her anger, frustration and guilt. She describes many attempts - some successful, some not - to have her son committed to hospital and to keep him on his medication. The book also charts her and her family's redemption, how she considered suicide herself, and ultimately, her decision to live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother and writer.
A note from the author: I encourage you to read my book if you have been touched by bipolar disorder or suicide. And even if you have not, my book will inspire you to survive your own tragedies. As author Jessica Bell says: Leaving the Hall Light On is "a remarkable book and it SHOULD be read."
A note from the publisher: I have seen Madeline Sharples read from her memoir and talk about her son's suicide at multiple events. Afterwards, people always come up to Madeline to tell her "My son killed himself too" or "My husband committed suicide," etc. Sometimes the people can't even talk. They are in tears, and they just want to hold Madeline's hand for a minute or ask for a hug. Clearly, there are a lot of people who have experienced the suicide of a loved one. And clearly, they don't have many opportunities to share their grief. That's why they are quick to embrace Madeline when they hear her story. They connect, and they always thank her for sharing her story. I tell you this because I have heard from a small handful of people who believe that Madeline is selfish to focus on her story when the real victim of this tragedy was her son. I find that criticism hypocritical on multiple fronts. Madeline would be the first to agree that the person who suffered most is Paul, her son. There is no question about that. And Madeline honors Paul's memory by volunteering her time to prevent suicide and erase the stigma of mental illness -- and by telling Paul's story in the first part of the book. But Paul is gone, and the tragedy did not end with his suicide. For survivors, a suicide is only the beginning of suffering. Most people carry that suffering with them for years, rarely talking about it. But Madeline Sharples is willing to talk about what happens after a suicide. For her (and for many others), what happens is a journey deep into one's self in the hope of maintaining sanity and having some semblance of a life after a loved one commits suicide. To call a journey into the self "selfish" misses the point. If you have experienced the suicide of a loved one, you already know this. If you have not experienced such a tragedy, be thankful, and look at Leaving the Hall Light On as an example of what it takes to enable the "self" to survive a tragedy of that magnitude.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Madeline Sharples offers the story of her son Paul's journey into madness and the life she rebuilt from the rubble of profound sorrow and heartbreak. Sharples describes her grief and the guilt-ridden aftermath, and then moves forward to share with readers how she emerged from a heart-crushing event alive, whole, and productive.
Interspersed with photographs, as well as poems stunning in bare emotion, the book explains what happened in the life of Madeline's family before and after the death of her eldest son, and how Madeline, her husband, and younger son claimed the ability to move forward with their lives--honoring the memory of Paul and facing honestly the toll his mental illness took on their family.
Selected Reader Reviews from Amazon:
"No one wants to go through challenges or difficulties. We don't welcome them, but I was able to see through this book how they help us sometimes become the person we were meant to be--if only we allow them to be true teachable moments. We can grieve, we can hurt, but we have to push forward towards the healing. If we can do that then we can become a source of strength and inspiration for others. Delivered with passion and fueled by love, Leaving the Hall Light On speaks to what it means to live when living isn't always easy." Cyrus Webb, "Conversations Book Club," July 3, 2013
"Honest and personal. The author's brave and honest telling of the tragic death of her son touched me deeply. I was impressed with her raw honesty. I don't know how many would have been that honest. Thank you Madeline for giving me a glimpse into your life. Sending love your way." Heather, Aug 8, 2013
"This book should be read by anyone who has dealt with bi-polar disorder and/or suicide--either from a family member or indirectly through friends. Madeleine leads us through the difficult years after diagnosis and then after the suicide. She and her husband deal with grief differently, but their marriage survives and she tells us about it. Her poems add extra poignancy to the story." Barbara B., July 9, 2013
"What most struck me about this memoir was how it stands as testament to a mother's undying love for her son... At times it is almost impossible to keep turning the pages, so deep is her grief, so all-encompassing. Yet she holds us through her own honesty, her look into every aspect of her son's life both through poetry and narrative... As a memoir writer myself, I found Leaving the Hall Light On stands as a true example of the healing power of writing our most compelling life story." Susan G. Weidener, June 22, 2013
"Beautiful and Inspiring. I would highly recommend this book to any parent who has lost a child. It is a unique and, more important, honest memoir with powerful poetry. My six-year-old son died two years ago, and I am so grateful I discovered this book. It is the most helpful book I have read since the death of my son. It reassured me I am on the right track and inspired me." Chanel Brenner, June 1, 2013
"A heart-breaking story told with straightforward grace and resilience, Madeline Tasky Sharples' Leaving the Hall Light On will educate you, and leave you with lots to consider. But the memoir isn't just about her son's death. It's about how she survived--without becoming an alcoholic, or a drug addict. Without destroying her marriage. She finds a way. It's not easy, and Sharples definitely doesn't live in denial. She writes her truth with straight-shooting accountability, showing her struggles and her small triumphs. She neither suppresses her memory of her son, nor does she wallow in her grief. She is an example for us all." Laura Dennis, author of Adopted Reality, A Memoir, June 11, 2013
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Lucky Press, LLC, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110984631720
Book Description Lucky Press, LLC. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0984631720 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0559462