Author Archives: Jill

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

Farewell to Doron

a willow treeFAREWELL TO DORON

A very good friend who is  no longer with us, sent this after Doron’s death.

A young, innocent child playing with his toys

Provides his parents with countless joys.

An energetic youth, full of charm,

Who ever thought he’d come to harm?

Noone knew what his future would be; nor about his tranquility.

All at once his world was shattered

He had the feeling of being battered.

Unseen demons chased him, causing strife; his life was grim.

Though it was hard to bear, this brave youth shed not a tear,

but, contemplated this world to leave,

didn’t consider his family who would truly grieve.

He’d leave to find eternal peace,

Some felt it would be a great release.

Did he need to suffer so?

The answer is no, no, no, no.

I sighed and thought of happier times

Memories plenty; friends did their best.

Thank G-d your son is now at rest.

We all loved  you, Doron.

More poems in a notebook


You’re the one

I can’t get out of my mind.

I’ll dream of you day and night.

You’re so far away

and I’m so lonely, so cold

and so bitter.

It will be good when you lie beside me,

soft and innocent,

pure and smart,

as pure as the soul of a new-born babe.



Summer has gone

There’s no sun, no sea

There’s no tanning on white sand.

Im waiting for the leaves to fall.

Winter, I’m waiting for you,

waiting to hail the start of the cold.

Spring, summer, fall, winter

Im stuck in the same place.

My doctor refuses to help me

My parents leave me depressed and forlorn

in a psychiatric hospital.



Medication without cause

Parents threw me out.

For a long time

I haven’t slept at home.

For three and a half years

I haven’t dated.

I haven’t been to a party.

My social life doesn’t exist.

I’m a good salesman.



My life is plagued by demons

Awake all night and day

They persecute me

And never let me rest.

My shrinks support them

And don’t consider me.

I represent the bourgeois

I come from a good home

Therefore I’m not worthy of their support.

Only a kick in the pants.


Poems in a notebook … ‘I’ll dance on their graves’

After out son Doron’s tragic death, my late husband and I found a well-worn, notebook on his bedside table. It was filled with poems that he’d scribbled at odd times; thoughts he’d put down on paper. Painstakingly we deciphered them but were unable to read the contents immediately. It was far too upsetting. We put it in our study for perusal later; much, much later. One evening, we sat together on the same couch where Doron had spent so many hours, doing little but stare out of the large window at our garden and started reading. Our hearts broke once again. How many times can one’s heart break?


I never thought

I’d be as dependent as

an innocent lamb is

on its mother’s milk.

I am dependent on the charity of

good people and bad people

but to date, I haven’t met

anyone who can help me.

Certainly not my parents.

I’ll dance on their graves.


Summer has gone

There’s no sun, no sea

No tanning on white sand.

I’m waiting for the leaves to fall.

Winter, I await  you.

I wait to hail the start of the cold.

I close my windows and

won’t let THEM in.


Life is difficult sometimes

but we have to find small flashes of light

to lessen the depth of the gloomy darkness

that gets more profound

with the ticking of my clock.

It gives me a dimension of time.

Those points of light are vague during the day,

barely visible,

so I ask; ‘Is it worth living for two or three minutes a day?’


My friends are having fun;

one abroad, one recently returned

all living full lives.

Only I am incarcerated in a crazy cage

without a past, without a future.


‘We’ve tried to help you

my doctors claim.’

But, they set a trap for me.

I fell into a bottomless pit

that they dug for me.


THEY enter stealhily                                   robber thief 2

in the dead of night.

The storm inside of me

turns to fear.

What do THEY want from a pauper?

Peace, peace, peace.

I pray for peace of mind.





From SANE Australia … suicide prevention

The clip below was produced by SANE, Australia, and is one of the most sensitively portrayed videos I have yet seen. It sends a message of hope to a person who is in such a deep depression that he/she is contemplating putting an end to his/her life.  Their message is:-

S T O P. There is help out there.



Journalist, is your child different?

Journalists, have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a child that is different?

Have you ever wondered how that child’s parents feel when they discover that their child is unable to walk, to hear or to see?

Have you ever wondered how they feel if Autism or Asperger’s is the diagnosis?

Well, as parents of three wonderful, healthy children, neither my husband nor I thought that way. Then, our son became ill and we heard words like paranoid schizophrenia which we barely knew how to spell. We never dreamed that we would … that we could produce a defective child: not in our family: oh no! Well, our nightmare had begun. It was worse for our son than for us of course, but our whole family was involved.

Mr/Mr. Journalist, before you write your next newspaper article or report on television, please think of me as well as the millions of people around the world like me, who are dealing with a mental illness and are simply trying to survive each day.

Your duty is to provide a fair and comprehensive account of events. You of all people recognize the power of words and the images used to define and characterize a subject. There are no definite guidelines when your report about someone with a mental illness so it can be problematic. If mental illness is important to a story, you may not assume that an illogical act of violence is the result of mental illness in general. The statement that a crime was committed by a person with a history of mental illness is often made on-scene by a first responder who might not even have direct knowledge of the person’s history. So, even if accurate, it may be irrelevant to the incident. Mental illness is not a defining characteristic of the ‘so-called criminal.’

 It’s advisable to avoid descriptions of an individual’s behavior that might contribute to the impression that all people with that particular illness exhibit similar behavior. A term like He was a schizophrenic in a rage, creates the impression that rages are common behavior for those experiencing schizophrenia AND, why use the term schizophrenic? Do you use the term cancerous? It takes away the person’s dignity and turns them into an illness.

But Mr. Journalist, how about giving the impression that mental illness is treatable and that people can recover – maybe not 100%, but sufficiently to join the workforce and lead lives like the rest of us? Now that would be a welcome change and would make a huge difference in the lives of those affected by this ravaging illness.

For every negative story about mental illness with violence, there are so many positive ones that can be written about people in recovery who serve valuable roles in their communities. Reporters could write compelling personal stories about people who have recovered, as there are many who have lived through and survived a mental illness and who might be prepared to be interviewed and serve as an example to the general population.

Please stop giving the public a distorted view of the facts. Stop to think how you would feel if you were unfortunate enough to have a son or a daughter with one of the mental illnesses that you describe this way.

newspaper 2

Is advice always necessary?


tablets 2When people show love and give advice, they only mean to be helpful, but, is advice always necessary?

‘Maybe you should try a new treatment?  How about changing your doctor? There’s a miracle fruit juice in the supermarket and I bought a bottle for you to try.’

These people are offering the best solution to your problem that they have. It may not seem like much but they probably figure that it’s better than nothing. Now, there is no way you can say that they didn’t try. But, a chronic sufferer has no doubt researched everything available on the internet, from medical journals to visiting a line of doctors and that is probably why advice stings.  People mean well but there are times when they make the patient feel like an idiot without meaning to of course. ‘As if anyone could be in so much pain and fail to  research all available options,’ one patient told me: ‘I have tried every single treatment available from tablets to brews to magic potions and talked to every pharmacist and naturopathetic doctor I could find.’



From the sublime to the ridiculous

hand holding a phone 2SERENADE 2 SENIORS

Now that I am a blogger and supposedly computer literate,  a blogging grandma, I think it’s only fair to share the following with you. I do not have an easy time. There are nights when I am up till 2 or 3 am fighting with my computer while trying to get an image to settle down on my blog and stop hopping about.  The neighbors in our building help me with pleasure but even they are getting a bit worn out. A kid on the third floor came to help one afternoon, sat down at my desk, tapped a few keys on my laptop, and after a few seconds got up and started edging toward my front door. ‘Where are you going and what seems  to be my computer problem?’ I asked. He blushed saying; ‘Well Jill, it is an i d 10 t problem.’ ‘What’s that?’ I asked innocently. ‘Well, take a pen and write down what I said.’ And with that, he fled. I took a pen and wrote exactly what I had heard him say:  I D 10 T. So that was what he thought of me. IDIOT. Oh well, I wouldn’t call him again. Computers are easy for those born in today’s hi tech generation but not for people born when I arrived in the world. I think I have come a long way, but it’s all relative now, isn’t it?

In my day …

Memory was something that some older people lost with age.                                      

An application meant a job interview.

A program was a radio show.

A ‘cursor’ was someone who used profane language. (curser)

A keyboard belonged to a piano.

A web was a spider’s home, if I am not mistaken.

A virus meant you needed a doctor.

A hard drive was a long road trip.

A mouse pad was a mouse’s home.   

AND, IF a male had a three and a half inch floppy, he made sure that nobody discovered his secret!


flowers 4