Leaving the Hall Light On

Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss. It’s about finding peace and balance and various ways the author, Madeline Sharples, brought herself together after feeling so helpless and out of control during her son Paul’s 7-year struggle with bipolar disease and after his suicide in September 1999.

The author’s book shares several aspects of her son’s illness and how she and her husband, and their other son, Ben, survived Paul’s suicide. Leaving the Hall Light On:

  • Describes the frustration, anger, and guilt of trying to care for an adult child with mental illness
  • Gives mothers and fathers who have experienced a child’s death ways to get out of the deep dark hole they are in
  • Tells people the realities of mental illness
  • Describes the steps Sharples took in living with this loss; the first and foremost being that she chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer, and
  • Shows readers that grief is love in action. Grieving lets us feel the depth of our love for as long as it takes. For those of us whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.
"Madeline Sharples has written a poetically visceral, emotionally honest account of her experience with her son’s bipolar disorder, his suicide, and her family’s grief and gradual adaptation to their terrible loss. I know I will not only be a better, more empathic psychiatrist but a better person and friend after reading this extraordinary memoir."  Irvin D. Godofsky, M.D.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Madeline Sharples’ writing credentials include working most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager. She co-authored a book about women in nontraditional professions called Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (August 2010). Also a poet, her poems are featured in the book The Emerging Goddess, a beautiful full-color hardcover book of poems and photography she co-authored.

Her poetry has also been published in Memoir (and), The Muddy River Poetry Review, and Perigee, Publication for the Arts and The Survivor Chronicles. “Lunch,” an excerpt from Leaving the Hall Light On, also appeared in Perigee. Twitter-length poems appeared in “Unfold” on Twitter. 

Sharples’ maintains two blogs: “Choices”  and a blog at Red Room. She also writes for several websites including Naturally Savvy, PsychAlive, Aging Bodies, and Open to Hope. Madeline Sharples and her husband of 42 years live in Manhattan Beach, CA. 

Please click here to read a sample of Leaving the Hall Light On.


CMSmith said...

I found you through Linda Hoye's "Look" challenge. Your memoir sounds compelling, although daunting. I can't imagine the pain of the loss of a child.

Thanks for sharing your courageous story. Perhaps someday I will have the courage to read it.

madeline40 said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, CMSmith. I hope you will read it someday. You might find the book inspiring as well. All best.

Unknown said...

Hey Madeline. I think I am going to try to find your book and give it a read. I have struggled with mental illness during my young adult life. 3 suicide attempts. I am on the right path now. Thank you for sharing so openly and I look forward to reading the book.


Unknown said...

Just letting you know I have bought your book on kindle. I look forward to reading it : D.

madeline40 said...

Thanks so much Sebastian. I hope you'll let me know if you like it or not. I very much appreciate your wanting to read it.

Unknown said...

I have started to read it. Well just the first chapter, but it made me cry. I am actually crying right now. Ooh gosh.... Partially because of stuff going on in my life and because I could relate. I have been hospitalized and have had three suicide attempts in my past and can't deal with stress and have had suicidal ideations since I was 15. At one point I have told my mom that I am sorry if I ever kill myself. She freaked out. I don't want to hurt my family and friends by doing such an act, but it can be hard.

I have had conflicting psychiatrists say bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder or both. I don't know.

Well I look forward to reading more and I'm glad that it has made me feel. I think it will be hard to read, but well worth it. Thank you.

madeline40 said...

Dear Sebastian,
I hope reading my book doesn't stress you too much. Just keep thinking you would never want to hurt your family and friends. That is the key that will keep you whole.
Thanks for letting me know your feelings. I'm rooting for you. I want my words to help save lives.

Unknown said...

It won't. It'll be good for me. I just am a very sensitive person so things touch me easily. I wouldn't want to hurt them and that does keep me whole.

Thankfully I am at a place where suicide is no longer an option.

madeline40 said...

I appreciate your telling me, Sebastian. And I appreciate your reading my book. I hope you'll write a review and post it on Amazon when you're finished.

Thanks, Madeline