Over the past year I have watched my life come full circle. Some things that didn’t pan out in the years before my sister’s death, or things I lost interest in mostly because I was a busy college student, have come back into my life.

A few summers before Denise died in 1991 I had an opportunity to work at my local newspaper but it didn’t work out. Then a few months ago I picked up a freelance gig with the same newspaper. I was enamored with surfing growing up in the Chicago area but never thought it was something I’d ever get to do (no one was surfing on Lake Michigan in those days and very few women were getting up on boards). But a year ago, the opportunity came and I ran with it, finding that I loved the new challenge. I now own a surfboard and have surfed in several places around the world.

It feels as if I had to break ties with some aspects of my life so that I could walk the road of coping with Denise’s suicide and the transitions it would bring to my life. Slowly though, these things have crept back into my life. I wonder if I have reached a new road, or if I've come back onto the old road with new paving?


As part of my new journey, which marks a transition from writing about grief and loss to now talking about coping and how we can live meaningful and authentic lives, a new website was in order: www.inspirebymichelle.com. After years of motivating myself, even in the time before my sister died, I’m now passing those lessons onto everyone else.


And stay tuned... soon I’ll share about my new book that’s due out 12-12-12, Conversations with the Water: A Memoir of Cultivating Hope.


Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., President of the American Association of Suicidology, has spent the past nineteen years educating people worldwide about coping with loss and change following the suicide of her younger sister. Her eighth book, Conversations with the Water: A Memoir of Cultivating Hope (due out December 12, 2012), chronicles her grief journey as she moves forward beyond the suicide and loss field. Her first book, based on Denise’s suicide, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Si..., inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. Learn more about Michelle at www.inspirebymichelle.com.

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Comment by LChandler on December 12, 2012 at 12:18pm

Dear Michelle,

It is ironic that I'm reading your blog the exact same day that your eighth book is due to come out.  I appreciate that you are embracing new challenges.  I'm sorry that you had to experience your sister's death.  May you continue to cope with it and know that there are others that you are helping through your experience.  Keep writing and surfing and thank you for sharing your experience with us. 

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