Donna Erickson had awoken early Tuesday, March 5, 2002 because she was determined to make a batch of raspberry jam. She had a five-quart pail of raspberries in the chest freezer in the basement and she had hauled them up and now they were thawing on the kitchen counter. In her early 70’s, she still had energy for jam.
Roger Erickson, her husband, also in his early 70’s, was sitting in the living room of the home they had owned for almost 40 years. He had already walked across the street to get the mail at the post office, a…
A friends gift created an analogy that has helped me and many others.
Many years ago, my friend Victoria went to visit her cousin in Bulgaria. One of the first stops on their trip, once she arrived, was her cousins favorite pottery shop. Victoria became enamoured with a large bowl with yellow, sky blue and teal stripes that circled the inside edges of the bowl. …
I guess one of the most painful things about dealing with the death of my brother to suicide was this notion of what to do with the swirl of thoughts that engulfed my mind and the agonizing daggers that continually stabbed at my heart after his death.
My brother was ten years older than me. When I was in second grade, he was graduating high school. Developmentally we were always at very different milestones in our lives, at least until we both were adults but even then, I always had the feeling that I was the “little brother”.
A man was murdered
in my city last Monday
and my Red America Peony
(the supreme of the red, single bloom peonies cultivated by Nathan Rudolph in 1976, likely to commemorate the bicentennial)
refuses to open.
It’s a herbaceous peony I carefully planted, watered, fertilized, protected this year
from late spring frost and
slaved over. Yet it
remains tightly balled.
I have been waiting
for what feels like weeks (years?) for it to open. Its ruby red petals gently clustered around a frilly golden center merely a memory.
Even the ants have abandoned
the seeping sap
Wednesday Morning — March 6, 2002 by Lee Erickson, MA, LPCC
It was 5:20 a.m. and I was standing outside my apartment in Magnolia, a little neighborhood north of downtown Seattle waiting. The sky had hints of yellows and pinks of morning but the sunrise was still a long ways off.
Catherine had offered to drive me to the airport and I had told her that I would take a cab. The flight was early and I had to be at the airport early and a cab would have been the easiest but Catherine had insisted.
“I’ll be at your…
by Lee Erickson, MA, LPCC
Several years ago, I attended a conference on suicide. Having lost my brother Doug to suicide in 2002, I have been interested in the topic and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can. It continues to be a large part of my work to meet, counsel and provide therapy to individuals, couples and families who have lost a loved one to suicide.
But at the morning session on the first day of the conference, it wasn’t the speaker I was interested as much as the woman who was sitting next to me. She…
The Cutting Board by Lee Erickson, MA, LPCC
At our last Christmas together, my brother Randy and his family gave me a wooden cutting board for Christmas. And seven months later, he was dead. And while it has been several years since his death, I’ve come to know two things: I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the fact that he’s really gone and I haven’t been able to use the cutting board. It sits on the back of my cupboard, propped up, leaning against the wall.
A cutting board is a practical thing. A thing to be…