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Where I’ve Been Over the Past Few Weeks

Hi, everyone. Thanks for your patience during the only blogging + social media hiatus I’ve taken in seven years.

I know a lot of people have been wondering what happened, so I’ll tell you.

Three weeks ago I learned the saddest news I’ve ever heard. My brother, Ken, died unexpectedly in Washington, DC. He was 31 years old.

Ken was a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He then worked as a special agent for NCIS (yes, like the TV show) and by all accounts advocated tirelessly on behalf of victims.

He came to WDS two years ago and enjoyed riding a mechanical bull, something he didn’t get to do at any military or government conference he’d ever attended.

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We also traveled together for several stops on my first two book tours. Last fall, when Nana was ill, he and I worked together to do everything we could to improve her living situation in the last few months of her life. That will always be a good memory for me, along with many, many others.

One of our speakers at WDS this year, Megan Devine, talked about grief in the context of losing her life partner unexpectedly six years ago. She mentioned how in a time of loss, well-meaning people tend to say things like “It will all be okay”—but that’s not really true. When someone close to you dies, especially when they are so young and the loss so unexpected, it’s not okay.

I hope at some point I’ll be able to write much more about Ken, and it won’t be all sad. I hope that in time I’ll be able to honor his legacy even as I miss him every day.

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For now, though, there’s not much I can say about this situation that’s hopeful or inspiring. I don’t believe it happened for a reason, I don’t believe anything good will come out of it, and all I can think is: “I would give anything to bring him back.”

So that’s what happened. I’m slowly ramping back up to as much “regular stuff” as soon as I can. I’ve missed writing and sharing here with all of you.

Also, I know that many of you reading this may also have lost someone close to you. My condolences and sympathies for your loss—I know it really sucks.

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