Tag Archives: Rebecca Wasserstrum

One Year Goes So Fast – Rest in Peace Rebecca

One year ago today a life was removed from this Earth, and it’s tough to express the thoughts that have ranged inside over the year about it.

When I wrote my post the morning that I found out about it all I promised the following:

But so many of us suffer. So many of us just can’t admit (whether to ourselves or to those around us) that depression, loneliness, whatever you want to call it, is eating away at us.
Making us miserable on the inside, regardless how we appear on the outside.
And I don’t know what the real solution is, but I’m gonna try my hardest to figure it out.

And I am pleased with the strides I have taken over the last year to help those around me and help to break the stigma that exists. I’ve reached out where I thought necessary to friends and strangers, just to make sure they knew someone was there if need be; and just two weeks ago we held an event, attended by over 200 people, and viewed by hundreds more online, in which experts came together to talk to the community and help expound on what most people turn a blind eye to.

But there’s the other side to that coin too. The feeling of emptiness and loss, and I’ll admit that it’s now rare for me to drive over a bridge and not have that fleeting thought of loss, specifically yours.

Rest in Peace Rebecca Wasserstrum, on the first anniversary of your death, as we know that that you are up there looking down helping us through the ups and downs of life.

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me
~See You Again by Carrie Underwood~

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
~Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day~

PS. I encourage everyone to watch the panel discussion from two weeks ago, it’s worth the time spent, and as always feel free to contact me if you need an ear to vent to.

Mental Health Awareness Panel

On Wednesday night the Orthodox Union/JLIC at the Tanger Hillel of Brooklyn College had a panel discussion entitled “Depression and Anxiety: Let’s Talk”, with the intent of breaking the stigma and getting the community talking.

Very often mental illness is a disease of separation where people feel different, isolated, and alone…and you really don’t have to be.
– Dr. Perlstein, Clinical Psychologist, DBT CBT Specialist

It featured a panel of six people including a Child Psychiatrist, a Clinical Psychologist, Social Workers, Organization leaders and a religious leader.

Mental illness is real. It’s something that needs to be addressed and something that we cannot shy away from anymore. Confront it. Deal with it. Get proper help.
– Zvi Gluck, Executive Director and Founder of Amudim

They spoke on a range of topics, from depression and anxiety to addictions and signs to look out for, as well as what we can do to help ourselves and those around us.

People aren’t crazy. Human behavior, every behavior that someone does, there’s a reason behind it. Let’s try to understand why before we judge it.
– Alexander Rand, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

At the end of the event, they had a resource expo handing out pamphlets and information for a lot of local organizations. They also handed out a booklet of information that people can take home and use as a guide if they ever needed a place to turn.

It’s time for us to be open with each other. It’s time for us to stop thinking and worrying about the shidduchim of our six-year-olds with ADHD. It’s time for us to stop running away from our problems. Face the problems.
– Dr. Ronen Hizami, Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist

The event was in memory of my friend Rebecca, who we lost almost one year ago, although it was the first anniversary on the Hebrew calendar on Wednesday, the day of the event.

Education ends the stigma. It’s important that we get a clear picture of what it is so that we stop stigmatizing without realizing what it’s all about.
– Rabbi Yisroel Grossberg, Principal of BCA and Rabbinic Advisor for Chazkeinu

Amudim, an organization formed to help provide assistance and guidance to those facing crisis, and whose founder was on the panel, recorded and live streamed the event via Facebook.
I turned their feed into an unlisted YouTube video, making it easier to view without a Facebook account.

We do have a choice whether we stay in denial or whether we come out of denial and take action and fight it.
– Judith Leventhal, Licensed Social Worker, Author  of National Bestselling Series, Small Miracles

I know it’s two hours long, but trust me it is worth watching and sharing along to everyone you know. You never know who needs it and who will benefit from it.
As always, if anyone ever needs it, my inbox is always open to talk.

Top Posts of 2016

Now that we have hit 2017, let’s take a look back at the most viewed posts of 2016:

Remembering Rebecca Wasserstrum and Killing the Stigma – Remembering a friend lost and how we need to end the stigma against mental illness.
–> Death of a Classmate – The loss of an elementary school classmate also ranked high this year.

Package Thief Exposed – Stealing packages off of a doorstep is unacceptable, so spreading the word (and picture) of these thieves is important!

Sophie’s Bistro (Meat) – Nothing like being one of the first internet posts about a great new restaurant.

TV Reviews ranked pretty high on the list as well, with Orange Is The New Black (Season 4) and The Path leading the way.

Remembering Rebecca Wasserstrum and Killing The Stigma

There are almost no words to describe it, so I’m gonna borrow some from conversations I’ve had with others in the hours since we found out that Rebecca was no longer with us:

But for some reason – and granted I haven’t spoken to her since graduation – this hits pretty hard

She was so full of life and brilliant. I am in such shock

Hard to forget the curls

That all sounds right to me.

She was the most brilliant light in a room, from the minute she walked in. We all remember the days sitting in the cafeteria at Brooklyn College, and she’s as much a part of that picture as any of us.
Outgoing. Bubbly. Full of life and giving it to those around her.

And it hits all of us slightly differently, but the reason I think it: She is a lot of us.
Energetic, outgoing, and holding a lot inside.

There will be plenty of conversations on this in the upcoming days, but it needs to be said: The stigma is what keeps any of us from saying anything.

We want to go out every day like everything is peachy, and not face the reality. It’s just so much easier like that.

But so many of us suffer. So many of us just can’t admit (whether to ourselves or to those around us) that depression, loneliness, whatever you want to call it, is eating away at us.
Making us miserable on the inside, regardless how we appear on the outside.

And I don’t know what the real solution is, but I’m gonna try my hardest to figure it out.

Rest in Peace Rebecca. Your bright light will continue to shine and help the rest of us through tough times.

Photo taken from her Facebook page, via Corrine Malachi (@corrine.malachi)

Photo was taken from her Facebook page, via Corrine Malachi (@corrine.malachi)