Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kristine E. Brickey Interview



     Today has been one of those days where I feel tears threatening at the strangest times. Sitting in my classroom, one of my sweet eighth grade girls is falling apart, asks to sit out awhile. Checking in a bit later, I just hold her hand, let her know that her feelings count, her reactions are real and necessary. She returns part way through class, smiles at me on her way back to 'normal', our secret safe between us.
     That's the thing with loss and sadness and living past despair that wants to eat you alive and tear you apart. It's always hovering, breathing hot steamy moments into a day that seems harmless to anyone nearby.
    Maybe it was that girl's need that sparked my own memories. Maybe it was the email from a stranger, sharing a connection with not being able to visit her stepfather's gravesite. Maybe it was the sunshine that my Robbie loved to soak up from his vantage point on the garage rooftop. Maybe, just maybe it was nothing.
     Listening to 'Pink' as I write this evening from a new perspective above Bestseller's Books and Coffee in Mason, tears threaten to spill over. I push them away. I listen to my amazing writers share their powerful, personal words and I am again fighting tears. My fingers fly across the laptop, creating a character strong enough to embrace the death of her abuser and fight for her future in unconventional and creative ways. Still, the tears are close.
     Sitting amidst my high school writers does not push the imminent grief burst away. These young adult writers know me too well. They have made me cry, laugh while crying, out loud and silently at different times with our sharing and bonding through the power of our words.
     So, I will get through another unconventional Mason Writes! session with my lovelies. I will probably make it tear free until I drive home. Then, in the dark five minutes it takes me to reach my safe haven, I will let the tears flow. I will miss my boy, seen so often in different faces and glimpsed for a moment or less in the faces of these 'kids' that I love so much.
     Embrace the weepy bursts of grief. They matter. They heal.

Monday, March 21, 2016


     When Curt Smith contacted me about writing an article I was thrilled. After an hour interview, I was still excited but also worried. Emotions were brought up, roiling around inside me again after talking to Mr. Smith about my beautiful Robbie.
     However, today the article showed up online, and I am so glad that I toughed it out and followed through with this opportunity. As I stood in line at Starbuck's, I read the piece, cried as I remembered, sobbed at what my friend, Tammy had shared, and smiled as I finished. Hard. Tough. Important. Someone will pause. Someone will understand. Someone will be angered, but that's because they're not ready, not there yet, too raw or hurt or in denial.

Link to LSJ article: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/community/2016/03/21/mason-book-suicide/81808192/

     It's only been a few hours, I'm still in Detroit participating at MRA 2016 at Cobo, and I've received numerous emails from people sharing appreciation, asking for more information about how to live beyond suicide, and wanting They Said She Was Crazy as soon as possible.

     Please read the article, read the book, contact me, ask for help, share a smile and a story and a kind word.

     I look forward to more email and communication from readers. You matter to me. We all matter.

Feeling blessed,

Kristine E. Brickey