Posted in Great Quotes, Grief, Life, Love, Pain

Death Is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all. It does not count.

I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

~ Henry Scott Holland, Death Is Nothing at All

Posted in Family, General, Grief, Hope, Life, Pain

The Day I’ll Finally Stop Grieving

From the article:
“Grief doesn’t just visit you for a horrible, yet temporary holiday. It moves in, puts down roots—and it never leaves. Yes as time passes, eventually the tidal waves subside for longer periods, but they inevitably come crashing in again without notice, when you are least prepared. With no warning they devastate the landscape of your heart all over again, leaving you bruised and breathless and needing to rebuild once more.”

john pavlovitz


“How long has it been? When is he going to get over that grief and move on already?”

I get it.

I know you might be thinking that about me or about someone else these days.

I know you may look at someone you know in mourning and wonder when they’ll snap out of it.

I understand because I use to think that way too.

Okay, maybe at the time I was self-aware enough or guilty enough not to think it quite that explicitly, even in my own head. It might have come in the form of a growing impatience toward someone in mourning or a gradual dismissing of their sadness over time or maybe in my intentionally avoiding them as the days passed. It was subtle to be sure, but I can distinctly remember reaching the place where my compassion for grieving friends had reached its capacity—and it was long before they stopped hurting.

Back then like most people, my mind was operating under…

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Posted in Crime, Health, Life, Pain

Nov 5th 2012: Worst Day of My Life: Fungal Meningitis Diagnosis

My life was changed completely after receiving an Epidural Steroid Injection on September 25, 2012. I lost my health and my ability to work as a result of the contaminated steroid. Contaminated with fungus — black mold.


After a month spent going to the Emergency Room 6 or 7 times, I was finally diagnosed with fungal meningitis. I say finally because I was in major pain from head to toe. Apparently fungi spores take a long time to grow so MRIs and lumbar punctures were coming up negative.  


I retained a law firm once I was officially informed that I had fungal meningitis. My son, Justin (An attorney and judge.) located a reputable and aggressive law firm. 


This is what was growing inside my spinal fluid.


 Mold Grows in Patient's Spinal Fluid




NECC closed down in 2012 after it was tied to the outbreak and inspections found serious sterility issues at its Framingham, MA, plant. It filed for bankruptcy protection in December. A bankruptcy judge ordered the owners to keep their hands off about $21 million they received in salary and shareholder distributions in 2012 that were only recently uncovered, Reuters reported. The private company’s largest shareholder,


Carla Conigliaro, extracted nearly $9 million from the company last year. And MSN News quoted court documents that show the owners received more than $70.5 million in payouts over the last 6 years. NECC said much of the money distributed last year was to cover taxes. Right! They needed 70 million for taxes. I sincerely doubt that is an honest explanation.


There was no shame nor concern for the health and lives of the patients who received these contaminated injections. They have a Me-first attitude which explains some of their heinous and despicable actions. Three years later victims of these awful people continue to have health issues that may never be resolved. This sort of thing should never happen. Ever.







Posted in Crime, Fungal Meningitis, Health, Justice, Pain

NECC: Killer Pharmacy

Killer Pharmacy: Inside a Medical Mass Murder Case


From Newsweek’s Article

“On September 24, 2010, a seemingly innocuous exchange of business cards during the Freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center Association trade show held in Franklin, Tennessee initiated a sequence of events which would lead to “horrific, tortuous deaths of the first victims in a mass killing that trailed from New England to Tennessee, from Michigan to North Carolina.

Ironically, that exchange of business cards occurred nearly two years to the day (September 25, 2012) when I was injected with an epidural steroid contaminated with fungus. Black mold. The kind of mold that requires a thorough cleaning and detoxification should it get into a home due to flooding. I didn’t die, obviously, but my health along with my occupation (which had defined me for nearly 30 years) was stolen from me. Far worse, 64 lives were stolen. Ripped from loved ones due to unimaginable greed and disregard for human life displayed by the actions of NECC (New England Compounding Center).

This was the worst U.S. public health disaster ever according to the CDC. I live in Michigan which is the state hardest hit by fungal meningitis. If this were a natural disaster, our state would have been granted funds to clean up the mess. After nearly three years, victims are still paying the price. Jobs lost, health compromised as well as continued need for medical intervention. Damage caused by fungal meningitis and/or the anti-fungal medication (side effects similar to chemotherapy as well as possible kidney or liver damage) still impact victims.

NECC was the culprit but federal and state regulators, those agencies put in place by government to protect citizens, did not adequately perform their job. Agencies too often overrun by bureaucracy, complacency or lacking the power to enforce regulations.

From Newsweek’s Article:

Despite the scale of the killings and the scope of the investigations, the inside story of the events that led to the lethal outbreak and its discovery is being told for the first time here. Newsweek’s examination of the NECC deaths was pieced together from emails, order forms, investigators’ notes, drug company and court records, and sworn statements of participants, as well as interviews with people connected to the case.”

Posted in Authors, Books, Dreams, Great Books, Great Quotes, Life, Pain

Shakespeare’s Hamlet Musing

To be, or not to be, — that is the question: —
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? — To die, to sleep, —
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, — ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; —
To sleep, perchance to dream: — ay, there’s the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death, —
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, — puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know naught of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet, Scene I

Posted in Fungal Meningitis, Joy, Life, Pain

A Life Without Pain

Butterflies and rainbows
Rainbow and butterflies

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. ~ Richard Bach

Those who sow in tears; Shall reap in joy.
~ Psalms 126:5

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
~ Psalms 46:1-3

Or so they say. Personally, I believe my life would have had just as much meaning without falling victim to the New England Compounding Center (Framingham, MA) and their fungal-laden steroid that made it’s way into the epidural lining of my spinal cord.

I believe my previous struggles with broken legs after being hit by a car at age 13, nearly bleeding to death birthing two of my children among other fear-generating experiences should have been quite enough to build character so that I might become a useful contributor to society. I’m not yet convinced that losing my health, the best job I ever had, my income and the ability to enjoy physical activity has improved me as a person.

My “goal” in life these days is to read 250 books for the read-so-many-books-in-a-year challenge. Last year was 300. With that and five dollars I may be able to buy a cup of coffee.

Soon we “victims” of NECC and their conscienceless, unscrupulous practices will receive some compensation — after only three years of litigation and settlement negotiations. None of us have completely healed physically or otherwise. The compensation does not bring back lost wages or jobs or people who died (64) from this unprecedented public health calamity. So, no. I’m still waiting for the improbable silver lining to surround my personal mushroom cloud (otherwise known as my life) and not expecting to see anything rainbow-like when all is said and done.