Michelle Linn-Gust is, without a doubt, one to persevere through the multitude of hurdles that life can present us. An established woman, Michelle has written several books on grief and bereavement, suicide, and divorce for women. Unsurprisingly, these accomplishments did not come without struggle.
Brett Batterson is currently the Executive Director of Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago Illinois. He resides in Aurora Illinois with his wife Veronica, with whom he has two wonderful daughters.
A Story of Resilience
“Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been different if he hadn’t died when I was so young, and I wonder if he were alive, what would he think of me and my life now?”
To Walter Egerton, success is measured not by the grades you make, or the awards you acquire, but by the lives you touch. A practicing physician in Bel Air, Maryland, his greatest joys in life are his two sons, his daughter, and his wife Deborah.
Nikki, aside from being a 24-year-old blonde beauty living in the Bay Area, is a young entrepreneur and visionary who started Partnered for Success, a mentoring program for youth who are orphaned or in foster care. She is now a business analyst for the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, where she helps the IT team “translate business to geek.”
When I met Dr. Cunningham at the new Wolfgang Puck Express in one of the University of Chicago hospitals, he was 10 minutes late and on the phone. His eyes looked tired, his hair dishevelled, and his phone was as closely pressed to his ear as humanly possible. The stress he was under was obvious, but he still radiated friendly warmth. The eager helpfulness apparent in his eyes reminded me so much of my dad.
After losing a parent, many of us worry about how our lives will change, the new responsibilities we will acquire, and how we will need to become more reliable. These can be some of the most difficult and intimidating thoughts we face after a parent dies, especially if we pressure ourselves instantly become a stronger person in order to support our loved ones.
It’s been 40 years this past June, June 9th to be exact, since my father was killed in an accident, riding his motorcycle. I was 10 years old that summer. School was getting out that week, and I was supposed to bring the drinks for our end-of-the-year class party. I remember that I called a friend to tell her that I couldn’t bring the Kool Aid; and, that my dad was dead. I said it just like that, still not believing it was real.