A Personal Tragedy Shared

A writer friend of mine is compiling a photoscape of the world’s saddest places. Scenes of executions, mass graves, military cemeteries, places of memorials, final resting spots. The gates of Auschwitz.

For me, the saddest place has become a giant rock jutting out of the Pacific in the California coastal town of Morro Bay.

Morry Bay Rock

Morro Bay Rock

Last week my 25 year old nephew, Alex, was found dead on the jagged rocks below it on the ocean’s floor.

No one will ever know if it was suicide—likely—or some final, futile grasp at meaning in his turbulent life that led him to walk out of an unrestricted psychiatric halfway house, snowed on heavy amounts of the anti-psychotic, Seroquel, fix on the massive, six hundred foot rock, try to climb his way up, and dulled and disoriented, fall. In either case, his sad end has left two devastated parents for whom he was their only child, and their only hope of a lasting legacy of their own ruined, bipolar lives. As well as a lot of unanswered questions.

A week before, his mother had found a hastily scrawled application to buy a weapon in Alex’s room. A 20 gauge shotgun. (Thank God the state administered application period delayed the transaction.) And with it, a lot of manic, suicidal writings. About lying down with the devil, taking other people with him. Terrified—there was a history of violence in the house and Alex had been under psychiatric care before—she contacted the police. When they came, Alex, enraged, took her by the hair and threw punches at her. He was thrown into a van, taken to the state hospital in San Luis Obispo, restrained in a cell, medicated, put on suicide watch, his belt and shoelaces removed, under 24 hour watch. Rounds of psychiatric consultations over the next few days indicated he was depressed, suicidal, schizophrenic, a clear danger to himself and those around him. He was dosed heavily with Seroquel. His parents felt relief their son was finally in a controlled environment. (Over 21, it had been impossible to commit him without the threat of imminent danger.) Back in New York, we felt relief too. It was decided he would be transported to a restricted “transitional” facility, where for as much as ten months he would be among people like himself, unable to leave. Receiving medication. Learning a trade. It was a rare moment of hope in his short, tragic life. And calmer, he seemed to be embracing it too. “Wish me luck, Mom,” he said. The last words she ever heard from him. Maybe one day he would have a platform from which to embark from there. A footing for the rest of his life.

Last Sunday that footing forever collapsed.

Two days before he had been released from the hospital into a small, unrestricted halfway house in Morro Bay filled with aged patients coping with Alzhiemer’s. Dropkicked there– without a medical history or any background on him showing suicidal or violent behavior. The home’s administrator said he was “like a stroke victim, snowed on Seroquel.” But he seemed ready to “work it out.” Last Saturday he said he was going for a walk. She thought that was actually a hopeful sign. She didn’t know any better. When he never returned she called my brother and sister-in-law the next day. Looking to put out a missing person’s alarm. By that time he was already dead. He had been found that morning on the rocks at the base of Morro Bay Rock, a formation that seems to majestically rise out of nothing like Ayers Rock in Australia. A John Doe. Two news stations did reports on the unidentified suicide. My brother and sister-in-law saw them, never knowing, sadly, it was their own son they were hearing about. He was identified by his fingerprints the next day.

And their lives fell apart.

So how was this clearly agitated bipolar kid, two days from suicide-watch at the hospital, released into an unrestricted environment with no medical history or background provided to the staff? Only that he was bipolar and on medication. Lots of kids are bipolar, the facility’s head told me, coping, needing a place to come to. Not suicidal. Not violent. Not on the teetering edge of sanity, only a few days after beating up his mother, wanting to buy a gun, rambling crazily about killing himself and his parents, a threat to innocent people as well.

We viewed his battered body at the mortuary. I held his parents up, their legs weakened, from collapsing to the floor. They pawed over his marked-up face in grief, strangely quiet and peaceful for the first time in years. His voices silenced. Anger stilled. It’s a cliché, but in this case, one that works: Maybe Alex had gone on to a calmer place.

Then we went to the rock. To someone who had not seen it before, it is, stunning, majestic, awe-inspiring, rising out of the sea, nothing else around it. There were tourists walking around. We climbed out to where the coroner’s detective said we would find the spot. Rocks so jagged, they are like the gnarled teeth of the sea, gnashing at you. A cliff, rising above, maybe eighty feet high. How did he ever even get up there? What was in his poor head—to finally end his turbulent life, or maybe look up at last and see some clarity, the sun shining, a deluded, final search for God? Did he fall, climbing? Or, like the detective surmised, do a final, backwards dive onto a mangled resting place on the rocks?

What is the saddest place? Where your heart breaks with sorrow from what has taken place? Where the winds seem to carry a hymn. The world has its many spots, its hallowed memorials, its quiet tombs.

But for us, with the sound of the surf beating against the rocks, staring up into the face of something God must have created with something more glorious in mind, this is it. It’s here.


135 Responses to “A Personal Tragedy Shared”

  1. Chicky Wicky Says:

    OMG – I am so sorry about your loss.

  2. MJ Says:

    I am so sorry.

  3. Sherlock Says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your nephew, and how devastating it his for his parents. The world is indeed full of those sad places, forever etched in the hearts of those who know what happened there.

    • Andy Says:

      In this case I’m not sure anyone will ever know. Suicide or accident. They chose to believe accident. Understandably. Thanks for your toughts.


  4. michelle grogan Says:

    I am truly, deeply sorry for the tragic loss your family has experienced. It is heartbreaking. I work with young children & young adults who suffer from many psychiatric issues, child onset bipolar being one of them. I hope that wherever your nephew is, he is at peace now & no longer fighting against himself & the world to understand what is going on in his head.

    • Andy Says:

      Thanks Michelle. Myson (below) said Alex’s saddest place was his own mind. Chip off the old block. Better.

  5. james Says:

    I have no words andy. Deep sorrow is silent. It refuses any sense of sharing. At best it is just about isolated witnesses hoping they can help by not saying anything. I spent the whole last week brooding without my family. My wife and son were away and a horrific accident wiped out three little girls in a family that shares our town. Gone. No words.
    I turned to prayer. Nothing. Tears. Nothing. I drove to the beach. The ocean crashed against sand I’ve loved and adored my whole life. It spoke to me…without words. That’s the sound I can offer you. And a friendship that is there and not there. maybe THAT can help. At least a little.

  6. Deb Says:

    I guess a tortured soul is at rest. My sympathies to his survivors, I can’t image the grief you must be feeling.

  7. Jen Forbus Says:

    What a horror to have to experience. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and especially with Alex. What you have eloquently memoirialized here is probably why so many of us turn to your writing…for answers to all of the questions that haunt us in life. The books can wrap up the stories and provide the answers. Life isn’t always so generous. May you all find a semblence of peace in your efforts to make sense of it all.

  8. Debbie Haupt Says:

    Andrew, I’m so sorry. It’s tragic enough that a life has been wasted, but for that life to have endured the hardships that it did within the small 25 year span that he had is the real tragedy, also the loss that the family and friends left behind go through. Though the whole that his passing left will never completely fill for you or his parents. I hope as I sit here and cry for your loss that he will be remembered fondly and that maybe someone somewhere will learn from this hard lesson and someone else may be saved. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones.
    My saddest place is where my dad lost his life in a car accident, even though it was marked by one of those crazy roadside crosses put there by my mom. I’ll never forget the place where skid marks and broken glass marked the only sign that my best friend won’t be coming home

  9. Seale Ballenger Says:

    This is unbelievably sad and tragic. I am so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Sincerely, Seale

  10. nickgross Says:

    You know, as Alex’s cousin, I only have one thing for to say, “I’ll miss you and I hope so whole_heartedly that you finally are at peace.” It is something I really never had to deal with in my life, the death of a loved one or the death of a pier.

    When I heard the news, I can remember doing what I always do when I receive bad news, I smiled in disbelief and awe. i don’t know why i do it but that is what comes out for some strange reason. It wasn’t until almost twelve hours later that I became truly sad and as soon as I got into my car to go to work the next day and I was finally isolated and alone, I started to cry. I cried for the fact that I started to imagine the utter pain and unrest that my cousin must have suffered through for the last few months of his life-the point where he got REALLY bad. And I cried because there was nothing I could do and I cried because Alex’s saddest place, was his own mind, a place that no matter how hard he did tried, he could not escape.

    My mother said something to me, that really made me think. She said, “I feel for Alex’s spirit, that perhaps chose this path for itself. Chosen to make up for the troubles and tribulations of itself’ or someone else’s past. I can only hope that if that is the truth, that whatever or whomever is taking count considers all debt’s settled.

    As for me, I suppose I can go on using this as a lesson in life. To remember these sad places and use them for making up for what Alex never got to have. Happiness. Peace. Self pride.

  11. James Grippando Says:

    Andy, my heart is breaking as I type these words. Just flew back to Miami from Rhode Island last night after my 10 year old son threw out the first pitch at the PawSox v Yankees game on Monday night, and fell asleep on the couch with my son in my arms watching the Red Sox on television. Some moments in life you savor. Sometimes you simply endure it. I’m glad Alex’s mom and dad have you to help them through this tragedy. I hope you know that many, many others (even in my own small way) are there for you. You’re in my prayers. Jim G.

  12. Andy Says:

    Thanks Jim. Unfortunately, there is no one, only me, on a different coast, there for my brother. Even my sister, who I took out, hadn’t seen him in 21 years!!!! Best to say, it’s hug the kids time.

    Great story about Pawtucket. Must’ve been fun.

    Hope the books go wel. It’s tough out there. Maybe we can get a chance to say hi next time down.


  13. Kristen Gross Says:

    My dearest brother and father,

    What wonderful words you both came up with to honor our poor cousin/nephew. Reading this brings tears to my eyes again.

    Unlike Nick, I cried almost the second I saw the awe and horror on my mother’s face when she answered the phone that night. I purged my feelings of pity, sadness, distress and emptiness for this person that I knew too little about.

    I consider myself lucky that I have fond memories of spending a few weeks during two summers with this distant cousin. He made me laugh…

    Fortunately, we have a chance to bring some good into this tragic situation and honor Alex by rekindling our relationship with his parents, whom to this day, I have never met.

    Goodbye, Alex. I will always remember your smile and the shine that I saw behind it.


  14. Jenny Levinson Says:

    WOW! What a tragedy!
    Your description was so deep, I am sitting in awe with a heavy heart.
    I am so sorry for your loss and for your family.
    May your nephew have peace and be remembered always for the love and joy he brought to those around him while living, and not just for the tragic end of his short life.
    My saddest place is the roadside memorials along Miami streets and highways.
    It seems lately, there are so many more of them around.
    Way too many of them of children or teens with little stuffed animals wrapped around the crucifix.
    Just devistating to see as it is always someones mother or father, daughter or son, neice or nephew etc…someone’s loved one is gone forever. So sad.
    My late cousin, Dr. Larry Eisner, once said “You gotta live like you are dying, ’cause one day we all will anyways!”
    My condolances

  15. candace arnold and jesse lindo Says:

    we are truly sorry to hear about this. We were good friends with Alex. We share the pain and grief that u guys are going through. He was a good person. As well as a good friend. please inform us if their is going to be a funeral held. we would like to attend if possible! please let us know if there is anything we can do to help out!

    • Andy Says:

      Thanks, both of you. What a downward spiral and waste of a life. If there’s anything to push you to greater heights in life, this is it!

      There wasn’t a funeral, just a cremation, which is sad initself. What you can do is keep in touch with Suzanne and Michael. They truly need it!

      Appreciate the warm niote.


  16. Amy Says:

    Hello Andrew,
    I would like you to know that alex and I went to school together from elementry to high school. I also know his parents. I am very sorry for the loss of a bright young man. He always made me laugh in school. We all know there are no words to say to bring him back, but God broke our hearts to prove he only takes the best. Your family is in my prayers. Amy Watson

  17. Sheryl Says:

    Hi Andy, A very sad ending to a young life. My heart goes out to you and the family. Thank you for sharing such a personal tragedy. Sheryl

  18. Louanne Gross Says:

    Andy Gross,

    Although we are not related I came to the website to learn more of your writings. Wow! I am saddened to learn of the loss of your precious nephew, Alex. I am also moved by your openness in sharing your sorrow. My prayer is that God will comfort your entire family as you continue to grieve this tremendous loss of life. May his memory remain in your hearts forever.
    Louanne Gross

  19. Lianna Englehaupt Says:

    Dear Andy,
    I came to your blog after rereading your july 8 newsletter, expecting to find anything other than what I just read. When you shared this terrible tragedy I felt compelled to offer my deepest condolences to you and yours. When lives end so soon after they begin, it is so hard to understand and accept. I lost my husband when he was just 28 years old in a car accident. That was 24 years ago. I have been remarried for 8 yrs. now. It really did take that long for me to find my second Mr. Right. But find him I did. I think that I needed that time to make a new way for myself and our son. Life will never be the same, but joy will return, and memories will someday make you smile instead of weep.

    with deepest sympathy,
    just a fan, Lianna Englehaupt

  20. Eileen Schuh Says:

    My profound sympathy. Those who have never struggled with the darkness of depression, cannot know how excruciatingly painful it is. It is so very sad that your nephew didn’t get the help he needed. There are many resources and effective treatments for those with mental health issues. Unfortunately too few in our society know about mental illness, even fewer understand it, and almost nobody talks about it.

    Kudos to you for sharing your pain and spotlighting the issue.

  21. Laura Says:

    Andy and family,

    How terribly sad. Overwhelming.

    I hope you all find some measure of peace about this sad loss.


  22. Sue Clarke Says:

    To have a child die before his parents, simply put, upsets the odor of the universe. To have a child with emotional/mental problems makes you question the odor of the universe, as well. It leaves a hole that will never truly heal. Having died twice from injuries in an automobile accident, I can tell you without equivocation that you do come face to face with God/a supreme being. And at that moment, after your life flies in front of your eyes and you see your regrets and the sadness there is complete and total forgiveness for us and there was for Alex, too. We who are raising or have raised children remember times when we should have reacted differently and feel guilt as well as sorrow. And at the moment of death there is total forgiveness for us for the times we reacted less than we should/could have, as well as for those who reacted differently to us than we needed – called a state of grace/unqualified forgiveness. May you and your family take comfort in knowing each of you did the very best you could in that nanosecond of time.

  23. Sue Clarke Says:

    Be kind to yourselves.

  24. Dawn Says:

    I am reading 3rd Degree and decided to Google your name. I am so sorry for your loss and for the many questions that you now have, and the answers that will never come.

  25. James Says:

    Everything that goes around coimes around and isn’t it wonderful that a reader searches for the heart of a writer and gives a word or two of support right back. I like that.

  26. Sherri Cameron Says:

    I feel so bad for you and your family. My husband died of brain cancer four years ago and still I grieve sometimes. He was my soul mate. I have always read but reading has helped me so much to forget the pain most of the time. You are one of my very few favorite authors as your books take my mind away. Keep writing your incredible books and let your nephew’s mother know that it will take awhile but some day she will be at peace again and hopefully so will you.

  27. ellen Says:

    Andy-reading your blog so many months after the fact of your nephews death has indeed made me feel some of the pain your family has gone through with this troubled boy-i remember the night you told Jan and I about his death and how you had to identify the body and hold up your brother and sister-in-law—
    our hearts indeed still go out to you for such a young hopeful life to be blown out like a candle….
    you are truly an amazing writer and have aptly put into words the feelings you have for your family.

  28. Kathy E. Says:

    Its sad that in today’s day and age, those struggling with mental health issues are not better cared for. Unless they are deemed suicidal or homicidal, they can not be forced into any kind of health care setting, and even if they are exhibiting these issues, they only get two weeks in the facility. Most are what we see walking the streets as homeless.

    We need to stop being so damn afraid of mental health issues and start reseaching more and treating them more effectively. Let’s give our loved one some quality to their life. If it was your family member, you would want nothing less. I am so sorry for your loss Mr Gross, as well as your families.

  29. Kelly Says:

    I read this story last week and I’m sorry just seemed so insignificant to say for such a tragedy but I was and I am. I thought about Alex last night when I was at Christmas mass with my family (my husband & 3 sons). I thought about his parents- especially his Mother, perhaps because I am one. We lit 3 candles and said a prayer for you and for them.
    After mass I was walking with my sons to the car and my youngest son (l4) brought my attention to the brighest star in the sky. This is the same son I practically have to drag, beg and plead with when it comes to church. His words were “look at that star Mom” I knew which one he was talking about because it was the most radiant star in the sky. Before I could comment on it’s beauty my son said ” I bet it’s that boy Alex and he heard our prayer. He’s letting us know he’s happy.” My son was absolutely beaming at the thought of that. My reply for him and for his family is “have faith- god works in mysterious ways and I am no longer sad to read this blog because I believe Alex is finally free.”

  30. Judi Rosen Says:

    Hi Andy..

    As a Californian, who has always held Morro Bay Rock to be so majectic and mysterious, I am saddened to read your account of Alex’death from its peaks. I came upon your sad tale while looking for your next book on your site. There are no words, that I, as a writer, can ever put here to equal yours. The thought comes to mind that Yeats said, and I’m paraphrasing it..”we all are looking for that elusive someone or thing to lead us into the dance of life”, for Alex, perhaps he found it in the drugged freedom of a leap off of Morro Bay Rock. His life in the end, gave meaning to his disease, and the often poor quality of help he really needed. I hope your brother and sister-in-law use his statement in death, as a stepping stone to reach out some way to help the greater community understand what this disease can do absent proper care. Grief takes time to heal, but from it often comes positive actions that bridge it and shine a new light upon the love lost.

    As Judaism has taught me, no one is ever truly gone as long as you carry them in your heart. I shall add Alex to the six million already in my heart.

  31. Karissa Firkey Says:

    Excuse my bad English i highly recommend you, I am going to try out to talk about pretty good post. i just stumbled upon your website and wished to talk with you about that i have genuinely enjoyed reading through your blog posts. any way i’ll be subscribing for your feed and i desire you submit once again rapidly.

  32. Kathy Says:

    Do you honestly think it’s appropriate to post an ad for male impotence in lieu of the subject matter here?
    Wish there was way to totally delete you post. Ho inconsiderate of what this family has gone through.

  33. andrewgross Says:

    that post has been deleted, Kathy. Not sure how they stumbled upon this page to spam messages on! Thanks for your concern.

  34. Judi Rosen Says:






  35. rockwell review Says:

    Good post. Can’t wait to read more about this subject.

  36. Kris Lovaas Says:

    Andy, I, along with everyone else, am so saddened by your loss. I decided to read your bio after just ordering your new book & came across this horrible tragedy your nephew and your family have endured. I have a 34 year old son who also suffers from this dreadful disease and lives by being snowed on Seroquel. Just prior to ordering your book & reading your blog, I read a middle of the night text from my son in which he says he’s really struggling and needs help. I am really praying that he will tell me he wants to go into the hospital to finally get the care he desperately needs when he contacts me later today. Your son is so right when he said that Alex’s saddest place was in his mind. Ryan always says he wouldn’t want anyone to have to live a day in his mind. Maybe reading your blog was an omen & a story I can share with my son to encourage him to take the next step in helping himself. Thank you for sharing your personal tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  37. David Says:

    Having a nephew who has the same disease, we live in constant fear that something like this will happen to him. It is not a comfortable place for any of us to be, including him. So sorry for your loss. May God bless and keep you and your family healthy

  38. Shelly Savory Says:

    I lost my bipolar 19-year-old son to suicide. He was also on Seroquel but it never worked for him. When I first started reading Eyes Wide Open, I thought, “Is it a good idea to read this book?” I did and it was a great book. I am very sorry about your loss. I hope you book stops things like happened with your nephew’s treatment in the future. I talked to my son’s psychiatrist after he died, and he said, “I thought he was doing good.” I couldn’t believe it!!

  39. Diane Says:

    Just finished Eyes Wide Open. I didn’t know until I read the bio it was a true story. I’m so sorry this happened to you and your family. It took a lot of courage to put this into words and relive the whole thing, but I think it was important to a lot of people that this made it into print. Maybe it will ‘open eyes wide’ out there about this medical condition.

    Thanks for all your great books. I’ve read them all. Your collaborations with Patterson are great, too. Please keep up the good work. You have a lot of fans out here.

  40. Ellen Atkinson Says:

    My heart just broke when I read your note in Eyes Wide Open.

    My son will be sixteen in a few days. He has been overloaded by hormones this past year and with that also comes the anger issues. There is a treatment center in our town that specialzes in “teen age behavoir”. As a precaution I called the center wanting to make an appointment and get their opinion as to whether he needed treatment. The first five minutes of the conversation I was told that he needed to get help immediately, warned of all the dangers, etc. I ask for an appointment and she tells me the first available time is three and a half weeks away. My response was “But you have told me he needs to evaluated immediately.” She responds with “he does but no one here has the time for him”. I was almost laughing at this point. Next she tells me “we take our job here very seriously”.

    I can’t imagine the frustration your family and so many others go through in seeking help. As a society we are missing the point of what providing help to someone truly means.

    I am sorry for your loss. Talking to God more each day has helped us. My son will be fine.


  41. Laura Rey Says:

    My heart goes out to you and you family, as well as all the thousands of other families who have lost loved ones as a direct result of the political decision in the 80’s to literally throw away the mentally ill in this country. It was, and still is, deemed to costly. There is much to be said about that but this isn’t the forum for it.
    My prayers are with you all. I can only hope that someday our government will find its way back to being a government “of the people, for the people, by the people”. Perhaps then proper facilities and care for those who truly need help will become more important than profit and power. God bless you all.

  42. Jeannine L. Muhn Says:

    Andrew…I know your family’s pain over losing a child. My grandson, Chaince, died on January 17, 2008 at 3 1/2 years of age due to blind cord asphyxiation. He was such a joy and it is devastating not to have him with us. Our hearts go out to you and your family.
    Sincerely, Jeannine Muhn
    Here is a link to Chaince’s virtual memorial website: http://chaince.virtual-memorials.com./

  43. nancy moseley Says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your nephew,Alex! It is terrible the way the mentally ill are just left without many options of care or structure for learning life skills. I have seen this with closing of institutes in my area because the state does not want to pay, Some of these people have lived all their lives in these institutes and now are being placed in”Group Homes”. And this is suppose to be better for them???? being taken from the only home they have known and placed in a strange place with less supervision!! how sad all this is…

  44. MLAT Says:

    I just finished your book and i am absolutely floored. I live in westchester and work in special education and see many of our families dependant on services and cannot fathom EVER putting them in a place that. My heartfelt sympathies to you and ur family

  45. Emily Says:

    I just read your book – Eyes Wide Open. It was a great book and I couldn’t put it down. I was saddened to read the Author’s Note and to learn of the death of your nephew. I work in mental health and it can be such a “mental jail” for most of the patients’ lives. I’m more angered about the mental health care facilities and how these very sick people don’t get the care they need. Thank you for sharing his story.

  46. Mary Fledzinskas Says:

    Also just finished your book and was amazed to learn of the reality aspect of the story. Words can hardly express the sorrow. I live with a troubled adult son who refuses any medical type of help, and it can be a nightmare to struggle through day to day. My son says he wants to die, but I do not believe that will happen by his own hand. I have such empathy for Alex’s parents. I hope they are experiencing some form of healing, but I know this is something you don’t just get over. Thank you for writing your wonderful book and sharing your personal story. I was at one time also a member of a cult, and I feel that has also contributed to the brokeness of my son. So your novel had quite a few interesting twists for me. Blessing. Mary F

  47. Phyllis Sarver Says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful novels! I have read everyone, including those written with James Patterson. This was a different novel for you and probably difficult to write, yet perhaps somewhat healing. Wondering how your brother and his wife are doing? Thank you for your willingness to share this difficult event of your life. Phyllis

  48. Jim Silverman Says:

    Andy: I just finished Eyes wide open. One thing I’ve felt from each of your books was that you put some of yourself into each. Until I read the story of Alex, I didn’t realize how much. Thanks for inserting some of Alex’s reality into this story. Keep writing, I sure have enjoyed knowing you through your stories. Shalom, Jim

  49. Larry Woods Says:

    I have loved your work with James Patterson for years and found your “Eyes Wide Open” a few weeks ago. Read it off and on while i was recovering from back surgery, and only a few days ago decided to finish it. Compelling writing! I kept getting more drawn in as I read. Told my wife last night I had to finish it. And ….. much to my dismay, when reading the Author’s Note, I found out it was a true story. I can’t imagine the heartbreak that you brother and sister-in-law felt. And, I can’t imagine the grief you have suffered through. My guess is that by writing this, you can help justify the life of your nephew. I am compelled to write a story on my blog about your book. May God look over you and your family. Larry

  50. Eva Grace Says:

    So sorry for your loss, there should be better care for the mentally disabled, not to just place them somewhere with meds and forget about them

  51. Daniel E Shields Says:

    I was astounded when I read the author’s note at the end of Eyes Wide Open and realized that the story was in fact based on truth. I am very sorry for your loss, but the tale that came from it is definely some of your best writing. Again I am sorry and keep up the great work.

  52. Arlene Kruse Says:

    Dear Andrew:

    Just finished reading “Eyes Wide Open” … I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the eternal hurt in your hearts. God bless and keep you and yours.

  53. Joy Lesperance Says:

    Thank you for having the courage to tell of your family’s tragedy at the end of ‘Eyes Wide Open’. I have a daughter who has struggled with mental illness all her life. Thankfully, she is still with us, and seems to have settled down in her 50s. Finding appropriate help for her in ‘peak’ moments was nearly impossible. Hopefully, your excellent book will make a difference somewhere, somehow — if only to let people know it is OK to talk about mental illness!
    Blessings, Joyous

  54. ثبت دامنه Says:

    Youre unquestionably right with this writing…

  55. Elke Ostler Hanna Says:

    Dear Andy,
    I just came across the page I had torn out of a People magazine this summer which had a quick review of your book, and curiosity led me to your blog. Your account of your nephew’s death is beautifully written and so sad, it is almost beyond imagining. It will be on my mind for a long time and I just needed to let you know that your writing has had an impact on me.
    Elke Ostler Hanna

  56. Kathy Powell Says:

    Andy, I just finished reading your book, Eyes Wide Open and went to your alexwemissyou.com website. Your book is a beautiful memorial to the tragic story of your nephew. I lost my sister to alcoholism a few years ago — the pain subsides, but the feeling of loss stays for a lifetime. Only my faith that my sister is with her Creator helps me through it. I know it’s been two plus years for you and yours now, but please know I’ve sent a prayer heavenward for your continued healing.
    Kathy Powell, San Diego

  57. How To Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring Says:

    How To Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring…

    […]A Personal Tragedy Shared « The Blog of Andrew Gross[…]…

  58. sheila blower Says:

    I too have just finished reading “Eyes wide open” – Great book!
    I was shocked & saddened to learn of the true story it was built around, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  59. Bali Beads - Bali Silver Beads Wholesale - by Thebalibeads.Com Says:

    Bali Beads – Bali Silver Beads Wholesale – by Thebalibeads.Com…

    […]A Personal Tragedy Shared « The Blog of Andrew Gross[…]…

  60. Michelle Veiga Says:

    My heart goes out to you & your family. I can only imagine the sorrow felt at the loss of life. I too have a loved family member who even now is locked for a crime committed. My main fear is after jail/ prison will he get the help he do obviously needs? Yet such is life so many of our youth ou in the world barely holding on to reality. Thank you for your honesty & imagination. May your family find peace & grace.

  61. Body Toning Lotion Says:

    Body Toning Lotion…

    […]A Personal Tragedy Shared « The Blog of Andrew Gross[…]…

  62. Mary Jo Says:

    Dear Andy

    Just finished reading “Eyes Open Wide”. First of your books I have read and tt was nearly impossible to put down. You are a very talented writer and I intend to start a collection of your books to read all of them.

    The character of Evan (Alex) struck me as a very compelling person who so needed help, love and understanding. Where do families turn who are desparate to find help and care for their loved ones who are suffering?

    What strikes me most when thinking about your nephew, his mother and father, and extended family is that you were faced almost daily with mental health problems and feelings of helplessness when a precious loved one was having such a difficult time trying to live his life. I can’t imagine the feeling of overwhelming helplessness that drives one to think there is no way out for them but to take there own life. Have faith that he is now at peace with God; he is still close to all of you. Hope you can remember good days and be kind to yourselves that you did what you were able to do to help him; mostly you loving him.

    There HAS to be great improvements in mental health care throughout the country. Why can’t it be put on the same level of importance as cancer, diabetes and other diseases that are in the forefront of pleas for finding cures? It should be; mental health touches all of lives one way or another every day, whether we realize it or not.

  63. jeff Says:

    Just read your book, and your blog, brought tears to my eyes, I have two children and losing them would be a impossible mountain to climb. You have a fantastic way with words. my positive thoughts go out to you and your family.

  64. leica m9 review Says:

    leica m9 review…

    […]A Personal Tragedy Shared « The Blog of Andrew Gross[…]…

  65. Vikki Titus, Mom to Lance Says:

    Like others, I have enjoyed your writing with James Patterson, so when I read that this novel dealt with suicide, I knew I had to read it. My husband and I lost our only child at the age of 27 five and a half years ago. He had struggled with bipolar during his early adult years and showed many parallels to your dear Alex. I am so sorry that you and your family are walking this difficult path with the rest of us making this tragic journey. To lose a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. To lose a child to suicide is even more heart-wrenching.

  66. Jennifer Morrison Says:

    I read the book for its compelling storyline, but the menal health aspect drew me in. Mental illness is a scary place to be, good days are great, and bad days are pretty damn bad. I hope that Alex’s family find peace and know that this book has made an impact on many lives. Take care.

  67. Vicki Fleming Says:

    I don’t know what to say. My heart goes out to you and family! I just found your books a couple months ago with The Blue Zone. I fell in love with your writings and read three more. I am a big fan of yours. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless you. Vicki

  68. password manager Says:

    password manager…

    […]A Personal Tragedy Shared « The Blog of Andrew Gross[…]…

  69. Barbara Long Says:

    Thank you Andy, for speaking for the wounded ones, who cannot.

    God bless,


  70. Linda Amaral Says:

    Just finished your book. After reading Author’s Note, felt I should look at this blog. Losing your only child is the ugliest thing that can ever happen to a parent. Our only child, a beautiful, brilliant, girl named Danielle, died 3-22-09. Her body was no longer able to sustain the many illnesses she suffered since childhood. I am grateful though, that we did have happy times together. As for your nephew’s parents – they have to grieve, to go to the ‘dark country’, my husband and I call it. No one else will understand, and they shouldn’t whether or not they do

    I cry whenever I want to, wherever I am. My husband & I are closer than we ever were. My son in law lived with us for 3 years, finally moved out to Chicago. He can’t get over her, still wears her wedding rings around his neck.

    Your nephew’s parents probably feel they have lost everything, there is no future, no grandchildren. Our faith sustains us, along with the knowledge that we will see her again, restored to perfect health on the earth.

    For you, just know that sometimes they want to talk about him, sometimes they just want you to sit quietly with them. We love to look at pictures of her, they’re plastered all over the house. Some people don’t. Follow their lead. A friend who lost her daughter 20 years ago said to me the other day “You don’t ‘get over’ it.” There’s no such thing as closure….if I could get my hands on the moron that coined that term….but it was gestaldt idiot from the 1800’s, and Oprah jumped on that bandwagon.

    Keep writing……

  71. Peggy Peckford Says:

    I have just finished reading EYES WIDE OPEN; I have one more book to go before I have caught up to you….always a sad time, waiting for more books to be published.

    As Linda (above) mentioned, after seeing your blog I felt compelled to come to this site…..my heart aches for your family, for the tragedy of someone so young leaving us before his life really began. The only consolation I can think of is, Alex is at peace now….it’s us who have been left behind who are hurting.

    My young cousin took his own life a year ago at 21 years of age….the ending for him was a girlfriend who had cheated on him, and was with her new boyfriend, yet bombarded him with texts and calls rubbing it in his face, torturing my cousin…he simply wasn’t able to take it any more. He went out back, paced around a tree long enough to wear a path. He texted his ex saying he was done, he’d had enough of her torment; a shot was heard to the house, not uncommon in the country at hunting season. The ex then was afraid enough to contact his parents home; this was not the young man she knew. His younger sister and brother found him….shotgun. Not one person could believe what happened. This young man was always laughing, joking, always happy with the world…..and yes, she was at his funeral….making it even harder on the family. So many suffered because of his death. Such as your family, Andrew……I am so very, very sorry……no parent shoul ever have to go through something like this.

    Although these two deaths have no close comparison, the hurt, bewilderment and loss so profoundly felt are parallel…..

    May you fly high and free with the Angels, Alex….and may your parents and loved ones findtheir peace, in your peace.

    God Bless all of you.
    May your writing be your salvation…..
    Hugs from Canada

  72. jean scavcone Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had seen that giant rock during a trip to california. I understand this loss. today would have been my son Jim’s 35 b irthday. 13 years ago he went on a cruise ship. That night he told his friends he was going to the men’s room. He was never seen again. I love and miss him so.

  73. Linda Amaral Says:

    Oh, Jean…what a horrible thing for you. At least we were there when Danielle was disconnected from life support. Last month, 3+ years later, I found a whole sheaf of ‘love letters’ from her to me, her dad, and her husband when I cleaned the garage. I am so glad that I was soo sentimental and kept them all. She would be 34 years old now. You poor dear mom.

  74. chuck Says:

    Hope the book I just read was cathartic and mitigated the pain.

    It is just my opinion, but death just seems to be more change and a different vehicle just left the lot. Your nephew is enjoying a new ride.

    Like a child from the womb,
    Like a ghost from the tomb,
    I arise and unbuild it again.

    God bless.

  75. Laurie Hamilton Says:

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I lost my father and my ex-husband to suicide so I understand the devestation it causes. You are in my prayers as are Alex’s parents. As I have read the comments of other people I am blessed to know that there are still so many people who are compassionate. We hear so much about hatred whether it is war in other countries, terrorism, or bullying. I am glad you have had this outpouring of love and support. I pray that it will help you in your grief. Thank you for sharing your story and for letting us who read it be able to reach out with our hearts and maybe in some very small way help hold you up.

  76. Sarah lesher Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! And my heart truly goes out to the parents also! I read your book, ” Eyes Wide Open.” I couldn’t help but to sink my heart into it. Very touching, and sad. I couldn’t help but to cry. I suffer from bipolar too. And have been medicated. “serequel” a very powerful drug. Alot of side effects. And I actually stopped Taking it due to ” it didn’t make my mind work right.” everything was a haze when I was on it. And honostly it mad me think crazier when I was on it; more so than when I was off of it. I took it only for insomnia. I hope and I pray that one day u and your family finds peace ( the answers u are looking for.) I truly wished their was something I could do. Your book is a huge inspiration! May god bless u! Sarah

  77. Becky Says:

    We just lost our son, Chuck, Feb. 2, 2012 to suicide. He was 34 and also suffered from mental illness. He had made other attempts before and had been released in Nov. 2011 from a mental facility after only a week. Chuck had lived with us for several years because he had been ill from a rare disease called acroangiodermititus. We don’t know the affects of that disease the whole body including the mind but it certainly played a portion in his total illness. After his stay in the mental facility in Nov. it was determined that he should get a place of his own. Part of his mental issues were thoughts that we were all after him to harm him and that his father was the one doing all the bad things to him. We all agreed that he would do better on his own. I, his mother, was in contact with almost daily, making sure he was alright. On the day he died, I could not get him to answer his phone or his door. I finally went to the landlord and got a key. I found him in his shower, water still running…he has slit his own throat. I can’t imagin the pain he had to be in to do such a thing…such a drastic thing.
    I, like you, Mr. Gross, do not understand the system that allows the mentally ill to be released in just a few days after such episodes of violance. I was in constant contact with his doctors and I was telling them of his irrational behavior. I was in a meeting with them when they asked him if he was having bought of parinoidia. Of course he said, “No”. I could not believe they would ask him that because to a mentally ill person that is real to them. I know he was not taking his meds correctly or at all and he was an adult, so what is one to do?
    I understand the total devistation this causes the family and the heartach and void and un-answered questions it leaves. My daughter and my son were very close and she has been truly devistated. I and my husband have come to some understanding of the situation although it is still a hard concept to grasp.
    My prayes and thoughts go with you as you adjust to this situation. I believe that God allows these things to happen for a reason. My husband is a pastor of a large church and I work with college students at a local community college. If what we have gone through will help someone else in a similar situation, then I feel all is not lost. Perhaps since you are in the public eye, then bringing notice of the mental illness issue and how they are treated, especially the poor, will help shed some light.
    Thank you for your truthfullness and honesty in a very difficult situation. May God bless you and your family.

  78. Alice Rakestraw Says:

    so sorry for your loss cannot say anything else, seems so lacking!! Read Eyes wide open and was shocked to know that it was a real event = partially. After spending 10 yrs in Morro Bay – a fantastic area, but I do believe that things can easily slip through the system.. would rather think that there could be another answer. Hope your family will be able to heal. I can’t imagine the pain. With prayers.

  79. Dee Says:

    Like everyone else who has posted, I am truly sorry for your lost. I was in Florida and I picked up your book at the market, I just knew it was going to be a great book! To be honest, the words ” A chilling Page-Turner” that was what sold me 🙂
    I look forward to reading more of your books and glad that you turned something so tragic into something positive. I have not read an entire book in over 11 years and surprised how fast I read this book because I could never put it down.

    • Vicki Fleming Says:

      Dee, Just a note for you. ALL of Mr. Gross’s books are “chilling page turners”. I have all but one now and they are all just as good as the others. I’m totally hooked!! So don’t hesitate to pick up any of his books you see! Also the library has most of them! God Bless; Vicki PS One of my favorites of his is “The Blue Zone”

  80. Anita Says:

    What a story! I could not put the book down. When I got to the end and read that this was about Andrew’s Nephew, I got goosebumps! Living close to the area, Morrow Bay Rock will have a different view to me now. Peace be with the family. I learned a long time ago never to judge as we all have a story, it’s how we deal with that story. Do we deal with it with good or evil, demons or Angels? I hope your brother has found the good in life and has let the Angels help

  81. Lilli Says:

    Thank you for writing/speaking the truth. That took courage. Bravo! My deep sorrow for the loss of your loved one and the suffering that your family has endured.
    I have worked within the welfare system as a nurse & social worker for numerous years and witness, on a daily basis, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and disempowerment. Unconditional love & respect can only help.
    NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, is a family to family support organization and, I have found, a most helpful resource.
    I feel like that they had saved my life when my husband was ill.
    Bless your heart! And, keep writing about what is meaningful.

  82. Douglas Finnegan Says:

    I just finished the book and was glad I read it. I’ve read all your books and when I saw the preview it wasn’t like any other of the books I had read. Now after seeing the meaning behind the book I’m glad I read it. I’m so sorry for you and your family at the loss of your beloved Alex. He hardly got to live. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. R.I.P. Alex God Bless

    Doug (Boston)

  83. Christine Says:

    I started to read and had a sad feeling this story was true. My heart goes out to your family.

  84. Scott Evans Says:

    Everyone has been so eloquent it is hard to add anything else. Andy, your book is a wonderful gift to readers but more to those who have suffered through similar situations. I enjoy mysteries and thought the first half, all of your character development, was superb. I felt like I really knew the people. Then, to learn that they WERE real people was a shock and hits one very hard. Thanks for your writing.

  85. Marilyn Says:

    First of all, I am truly sad for your family. I cannot imagine a loss of a child. I have a friend who is bi-polar and before she was diagnosed I couldn’t understand her moods. I think it is extremely unfortunate that there isn’t enough emphasis on this disease and why there is not enough information in the media about this. Many people go untreated and those around them are at a loss of what to do. I thoroughly enjoy your writings and look forward to many, many more. Again, God be with you.

  86. Georgina Says:

    I just finished reading the book and felt compelled to come here to the blog. Unlike a few others who posted, I had no idea it could possibly be a true story. It saddens and angers me that our country doesn’t provide better services for our mentally ill, doesn’t give them any respect for even being “people,” and tries to shove the whole topic under the carpet. I’m so sorry for your loss and experience. May God grant you the strength and courage to keep your message going and your healing growing.

  87. Luann Rigg Gustafson Says:

    I just finished reading your book, and I, like the many people before me, did not realize your book was predicated on a true story.

    To be honest, I was not familiar with you as a writer..I found your book scrolling through books on my Nook. I feel guilty in a way, to tell you I enjoyed your book, knowing it was written through your pain of losing Alex.

    May you and your family continue to know and understand the devastation of mental illness, and the impact it has on families.

    As we continue to grieve for the families in Connecticut and Colorado, please continue to keep the awareness of just how work and attention is needed.

    I am so sorry for your loss..may Alex know he wss loved, but not understood. Rest in peace dear Alex..we love you.

  88. Glynis Nalley Says:

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Your book was very good but does bring to light the issue of mental health which is something we all need to be more aware of. It’s sad no one had his history and that he could have been helped. Prayers for your family. God bless.

  89. David K. Says:

    Like many, I’m saddened by the loss to your family and my heartfelt prayers will go out that hope in humankind can be restored. As a father, the thought of losing a son is unfathomable. To have you bring so much of your personal life into a must read book is not only honorable, but stands as a sincere tribute to a light that was extinguished far too soon. Your sharing of Alex’s story brings us all closer to you. I, too, am a writer and am also a Psychologist. Your words spoke to me. Thank you for sharing and may peace find and stay with all in your family.

  90. Kimberly Dunn Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of this tragic & sad story of a child who was certainly created by God. Why, anyone struggles with such a devastating disease, I can’t answer except to say that we live in a “fallen” world where sins abound. Thou no sin of his own that Alex was born to such a mean disease.
    While there certainly could never be a loss like the one of losing a child, I applaud the “gift” that your brother and sister-in-law were able to give others when they took action as they realized their beloved child was a danger to himself and others! Another senseless and tragic mass shooting of innocent people may very well have been avoided! As a parent myself, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Alex’s mother to call authorities to him and also the emotional pain of having your child to physically turn on her, his own mother. I’m sure that in itself was quite devastating! My heart goes out to her. She showed such courage to be able to do that. It had to have been devastating, even knowing it was what was best at the time for her child.
    While these two people will forever be grief stricken over this loss, this kind of loss, and will always have questions I’m sure, I pray they have found a sense of peace knowing that their actions and the story you share have most likely saved so many!
    God has many reasons, though usually unknown, as to why He allows such things to happen. I believe we all go through trials to bring us and others into a relationship with Him so that we will experience a true peace and happiness one day in Heaven.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Alex’s story, with the world. I pray I meet this child in Heaven one day living a peaceful and happy life with our Heavenly Father!
    May God bless you, Andy, and your family!
    With heart felt thanks,
    Kimberly Dunn

  91. snoring mouth guard Says:

    Why really should you select botanical treatments

  92. shelly itkin Says:

    I had never read any of your personally written books and started with this one. How sad and my condolences to you and your family. It was something I could not put down and now am going to read all of your other books.
    Thanks for sharing this personal loss with all of us.

    • Judi Rosen Says:

      Andy, it has been many years and a book based on Alex, yet you have touched so many peopl’s lives, they continue to write. I hope someday you can once again, see Morro Bay Rock for what it is, a hauntingly beautiful place and experience the beauty of it and in that beauty, lies a life unburdened and at peace. Each time I go back and read mine and other’s posts, while it was still fresh, I then read of your joyous trips to the Wine Country and find new wineries I’ve never heard of and new dining places.
      Your new book is going w/me on Sept 21st to Alaska, to read. Believe me it’s been a chore not to dig into it yet, but I know it will be great while flying to Seattle to board and then to once again, after 12 yrs to return to a place of ice and beauty.
      Thanks for every word I’ve read from your pen or computer.
      Judi Rosen

  93. leslie crist Says:

    Just finished the book today & had to come to the website you provided. I was somehow inspired by reading the story. I’m so sad that it all came from your loss. God Bless you & yours.

  94. Joanna Bates Says:

    Did you purposefully relate the horrors of Charles Manson’s crimes in this novel? And why?

  95. best snore mouthpiece Says:

    What is Snoring Really?

  96. Barbara Shlevin Says:

    My only daughter, Annie, suffered as did your nephew, from mental illness and it caused her life to be chaotic, desperate, dangerous, and out of control. I placed Annie in residential treatment at 15 until she was 18 when the law, in its wisdom, said Annie could decide her own fate since she was neither actively homicidal or suicidal. She died – alone – when she was 24 from a drug overdose that caused her to have a heart attack. Finding Annie the next day was the most excruciating experience I have ever had or ever hope to have. I tried everything but I never lost hope that she would survive and somehow realize how destructive her life had become. She was brilliant and funny, but had no sense of risk or danger. How sad to try and try and finally lose the fight. I know I did what I could – what anyone could – and I was always there for Annie. She knew that, even in her darkest moments.
    Your book touched me deeply, and although I cannot know exactly how you feel, I have been in that same place. The loss is tragic, indeed. And overwhelming. However, I put one foot in front the other and go on, trying to make the world a better and safer place, and keep Annie in my heart and her memory fresh in my mind. I loved her dearly, despite all her demons, and I still do
    Chazak, Chazak v’amatz – means be brave, be brave and be strong.
    May you be comforted by the words of others and the good memories you shared

  97. Bonnie Huber Says:

    I just picked up Eyes Wide Open to begin reading it this morning. For some reason, I am always curious about who books are dedicated to. I searched on Alex Jeffery Gross and found this article. I did then recall that several months ago you had posted a comment about his death – probably around the anniversary date. My oldest grandson, now 15, is bipolar. He has been hospitalized for it twice – in simple terms – “he loses it” and begins cutting himself. I pray that he gets the help that he is crying out for – from professionals, family, friends. The situation leaves me with a helpless feeling. Please give your brother and sister-in-law a hug from me. I am sure the pain of their loss is with them everyday. I pray that peace is coming to them.

  98. Annemarie Says:

    Just finished “Eyes wide open” than read the real story on this website.
    Both times it struck me: does anyone ever jump BACKWARDS?

  99. Cheryl Fleming Says:

    I just finished your book. I thought that it seemed so different from your other books. Your story really touched my heart. I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. There Is nothing worse than burying your child.

  100. hillgirtheights Says:

    Hi Andy – I just finished your book too. I got it off a table in the local Oakland library and when I began reading it, was especially interested since the tragedy took place starting on the Morro Bay Rock.

    On a whim, we met up with friends visiting from Brussels for a weekend in Morro Bay last summer – never heard of the place, or the rock before that, being new to California ourselves (moved here 5 years ago). Anyway, your book which I thought was totally fiction was a good read (despite the close resemblance to the Manson slayings in that particular section – but why not use something historical and true as background, worked for me). At the age of almost 67 now, I read about Manson family killings when they happened. When you suggested if interested, the reader check out alexwemissyou.com, I did just now, and here I am now commenting. I am very sorry for the loss of your nephew in such a tragic way. I am professionally aware of bipolar syndrome having started my working career as a mental health specialist – coming across more than my share of people (and their loved ones around them) who suffered from this terribly hard to address syndrome.

    Writing a book incorporating your family’s tragedy is a very permanent way of memorializing it – while educating others about bipolar syndrome. Again my deepest sympathy on the loss of your nephew, Alex. Thank you.

  101. garage door Says:

    Hey there! I’ve been following your web site
    for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

  102. Auburn attorney Says:

    A guardianship lawyer can administer an estate or trust for clients or represent an individual who is contesting the terms of a will.
    The person must have a passport that allows them to step foot
    on the U. They have an extra sense in reading the minds
    of the people and in understanding the real problems of the

  103. Kelly Says:

    I just finished your book, I read it in about 5 hours over 3 days, it was a very good book and hard to put down. I know it has been several years since your nephew passed and I am sure you still feel the loss, my condolences to you and your family.
    I really enjoyed the book and felt like I knew these people; I felt their struggle, their sadness, and the sense of despair….well done on your part. I will look for more of your books.

    Kelly – Upstate New York

  104. Pam Donner Says:

    So sorry for your son I lost my son in 2008 car accident

  105. Connie Mullen Says:

    Andy, my heart goes out to you and your family. No parent should have to endure the loss of a child. I am truly sorry for your family’s loss. My husband and I lost our firstborn child at the age of five. I just recently wrote a book about her that is called “Hello – Goodbye My Precious Child” and I found it very therapeutic. It is also nice to see people post comments about my book on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. It has made me realize how I was able to help others in their own special times of needs. As hard as it was writing your book I hope you too found it to be therapeutic. I share in your grief. Great book…keep up the great work!

  106. Tammy Says:

    Admittedly, I don’t regularly read author’s notes. However, the first line grabbed my attention. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I was moved to tears upon learning the real tragedy. I can’t possibly imagine the pain and anguish your family has experienced. My prayers are with you for continued healing. Thank you for reminding me how truly grateful I am for all I have.

  107. Remedies For Cold Sores Says:

    Remedies For Cold Sores

    A Personal Tragedy Shared | The Blog of Andrew Gross

  108. Colleen Says:

    I do know the pain you and many others have expressed here. I cried many times just reading the book. I did not know it was from a real experience in your life. It mirrored our struggles for years with our Sons mental illness, hospitals and the police. We sought out for help so many times. Twice he attempted suicide and was suppose to be on a minimum 24 hour hold. He was never even held that long. They would drug him up and send him home. They didn’t keep him long enough to see if the medication prescribed would work for him. At the age of 30 he was shot in a domestic dispute with his son’s mother and her boyfriend. The boyfriend shot him as he was turning to leave but claimed he was trying to kill them. So same circumstance not knowing his intention or theirs. Drugs usually play a part in thoses with mental illness trying to deal with their chaotic minds and life. It is a disgrace and disservice to our country that proper treatment for the mentally I’ll is not a priority. I am sorry for the lose of Alex and the many like him.

  109. why become a life coach Says:

    I pay a visit daily a few blogs and websites to read posts, except this blog gives quality based articles.

  110. .marilyn Says:

    Like so many others I just finished reading Eyes Wide Open, which I enjoyed and then I read the authors note and I was stunned. It must have been so difficult to write, but I hope it was also healing to degree. It was a tribute to such a short life. Thank you for sharing his story with us. I am so sorry you and your family had to go through all that you endured

  111. Carla Osier Says:

    I truly believe that people come and go in your life for a reason. Be it a day or a portion of your life or a lifetime, it is to teach you something. Reading this book at this time in my life is for a reason. It reawakens the reality of mental illness in its many forms. Trying to deal with depression that myself and family members suffer from it is a warning to pay attention to signs you may not think are a problem. No words can take away your pain but your son, your nephew lives on in your book and I hope that people take the message to get help and look for the signs. Demand help and hold people accountable The recent loss of Robin Williams is another wake up to people to listen with your heart not just your ears to the warning signs of mental illness.
    I am so sorry for your loss, my children are my life, I cannot imagine your pain but know his life is living on and helping people.

  112. Wendy Short Says:

    I have just finished the book and read about Alex. I know it was a while ago but l feel your pain. I hope the State has improved the care of children with Bipolar. Thank you for sharing your story with usWendy Short UK

  113. Dave Says:

    Been on bipolar medications for over 20 years. Seroquel is by far the worst I have experienced. It caused me to have involuntary uncontrollable facial and jaw movements for 6 months. My psychiatrist at that time said there was a strong possibility the movements could become permanent. Andy I strongly believe Seroquel had a play in your nephew’s death. Many psychiatric drugs are pushed thru to market without proper testing.

  114. Joyce Hartson Says:

    So very sad about your nephew, for you, your family and especially his parents. I am now 65. In my 20’s I suffered from manic depressive bouts…..from high on the mountain to the depths of despair. That was the term or what is now called bi-polar. In my late 20’s, I found a doctor who told me that half the people in insane asylums and prisons would not be there if they cut out sugar. After diabetic blood work (glucose tolerance), I was diagnosed hypoglycemic and told to cut out all sugar. I did. And I mean reading labels, breads, potatoes and corn; all starches…. and found that middle ground I didn’t know existed. I didn’t know it was possible to feel that good. I never had. So while it may sound oversimplified (and believe me, at first, it was very hard and I had no energy for about a week and a half), it worked. This world is never an easy place to live, and as a Christian and having become a stronger one with age, I believe that some people are sometimes just too good for this world and God takes them Home early. May His peace uphold you.

  115. Karen Vincent Kos Says:

    I wish you sanity–despite their insane world I wish you clarity–the why’s are unforseen. I wish you acceptance–God knows you tried. I wish you sleep–to dream about forgiveness. I wish you peace–and abiding love. I wish you serenity and better days.

  116. Gina McVey Says:

    Dear Andy, I just read your book and it was really good. As I was reading I was feeling so many emotions I’ve never felt before.I never experienced a tragedy like this one or even known anyone who was sick like you nephew was. at the end of the book I saw where he had a site you made a was able to put a face to his name I thank you for that and I pray that you and your family have peace

  117. Jonathan Says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss Andy i know am late but am sorry.

  118. Dee Thao Says:

    Best book I ever read….. I hope to visit this place one day. Thank you for sharing

  119. Jaden Says:

    There is a video on you tube that might suggest it was a suicide or acident

  120. Asshole Ameeya Says:

    You suck at being a “writer”. You’re trying way to hard.
    It was so fucking annoying and irritating reading that dumbass bullshit you compiled.

    You wrote nothing but confusing nonsense. Stay off the drugs motherfucker.

  121. Steff Says:

    Hey man, I’m not going to link it out of respect. But I thought I should let you know that your nephew’s suicide is on YouTube. It’s horrible. If you want a link to take it down I can give it to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: