January 27, 2011

About Me


Susan Fried Perl

Some years ago a moment came, one that comes to each of us differently. It is the moment when we begin to understand the imminence of our death. For some, the moment is tragic, arriving with a diagnosis, a first encounter with death, an accident, or disaster. For others, the contemplation of one’s own death may come subtly; with the birth of a child, the death of a pet, the writing of a will, a birthday, a wrinkle.

Mine came this way.

weeks before turning 39
24 hours into ‘natural’ labor
read: no pain meds
we became an emergency.
my body infused with anesthesia
my abdomen sliced open
our first child born
big and bouncing
grateful for her life
and mine.
a near death experience
without the white lights
brought me close to death
and much closer to life.

three months later
another baby was born
to our ‘sister’
three months later
the oxygen mask was lifted
the air quivered
like a mirage
over a hot tar highway
he floated away.
i kissed his cheek goodbye
and i went home
and held my baby
my worst fear lived
with just a small degree of separation
not my baby
she gifted me a depth of intimacy
i had never known
and forever
i was changed.

a life grew inside of me again
there it was
the fear
i could die
i would die
my baby would not know me
and so i began to write
and i haven’t stopped.

Contemporary culture has little to offer in response to this moment, one that I met with fear. The fear was unwelcome but present. I lacked a way to get closer to it. I searched but couldn’t find what I needed. So I created what I needed — ‘After — a book to leave behind’, and this blog Afterthoughts. My intention is that we all get closer to this fear, live with it, talk about it, unmask it a bit, and find some light in the dark moments.

Susan Fried Perl susan@afterthoughtsblog.com
Darlene Chan (Publicist) dchanwork@gmail.com

Comments (5)

  1. April 20, 2011
    wlb said...

    what a beautifully written piece. very moving.

  2. April 27, 2011
    Allan Badiner said...

    The more we address our minds to the reality of death, the more fully alive we will be. Death and only death has the power to shape our life, to give it meaning, and to inspire a greater appreciation for being alive in every moment. Thank you Susan for this powerful resource.

  3. June 4, 2011
    Monica said...

    Such a fantastically courageous and important gift you offer. Thanks for your honesty, vision and insight.

  4. November 16, 2011
    Ray Good said...

    also have site in a few other countries like your blog welcome to post on all my sites .Would you also like a link to them

    • November 16, 2011
      aftert11 said...


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge