I love Ilyene Barsky. And today, with great sadness in my heart, I say goodbye to a friend that has inspired and, quite literally, changed the lives of so many.
She has written about her journey in the Afterword in my most recent book. I will cherish her words.
When Ilyene and I talked about the book, she joked about the fact that now, finally, she had time to write a book, but alas, she was so tired. So she settled for the sacred spot in the back of my book, to tell her story, with words and finesse, in a way that only Ilyene could do. She’s a brilliant writer, actually. Because she writes the way she speaks: Honestly, openly, without the inhibiting filter of what others might think, and with exquisite humor. Ilyene had a way of making people laugh even while they were suffering. Whether it was her PPD clients, struggling to see the light of day, or her own loved ones, struggling to make sense of her catastrophic and untimely diagnosis. Everyone feels the joy when Ilyene speaks and writes. You can’t help but feel it.
I never met Ilyene’s awesome family, who surrounded her with love throughout this passage. Yet, I am certain she continued to be a source of strength, tremendous courage and much laughter throughout her last days. She said she was not afraid to die. She said she was looking forward to seeing her parents. I hope Ilyene finally finds comfort and peace. And I know that she will not be forgotten. Her name, her tireless work, her dedication to the postpartum community, and her vibrant spirit, will live on and on and continue to heal others.
Here’s to you, my dear sweet Ilyene. Sleep well. Please know you are missed and terribly loved.
If you would like a pdf file of her Afterword, my publisher has made that available so email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you a copy.