It’s the finality of it, all the questions I will never get to ask.

No, it’s the unfairness of it—waiting for the other shoe to drop, it started to rain shoes.

It was the coincidence, the irony, the reverb and sequence that was shocking.

Or it was the poignancy, the cruelty and obscenity, the horror.

Why her and why now? She remains a cloak wrapped around my brain. Every hour spent with her formed the basis of my ability to withstand the loss of her. How ironic that She is the reason I can live without her.

She was the leader, out in front, with no one to protect her, all of us behind, all of us injured, but She was confident that, injured or not, we could go on. She decided at the end that she may not want to—she hadn’t considered that, except theoretically.

Mental pain and suffering was her forte. She confessed to having no defense against physical pain and suffering.

She’s not suffering now, but I will miss her terribly. She was my second Mom and closest friend.

I dreamed I forgot to water my mums—both of them—both withered and about to die. I spill water all over the floor, a flood of tears I step in.


Dedicated to my therapist,
Marleen Josie Doctorow Ph.D.
February 15, 1947 – June 13, 2011

20 thoughts on “She

  1. Diana,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I do understand your intense feelings for this woman as my own therapist has been such a part of my life for more than 20 years. Without her, I don’t think I would have survived the loss of Caitlin.

    Your post is sparingly beautiful.

  2. Sorry to hear of thisloss. A therapist is someone we let into our soul and it is a huge loss when that witness is gone from the world.

  3. Thank you Mary. I got your comment when I was out of town and it felt good to hear you say “that witness” because that’s exactly how it feels. Like “who knows me now?”

  4. Hi Lita, thanks for asking but we have been at the coast for a couple of weeks. before we left, I had slowed way down on social media because of my therapist’s death. Just sitting with it, you know? Sorry I haven’t been to your site lately either 😦

  5. No worries. I can only imagine how much the loss of this beloved person in your life has affected you. Take the time you need for the days to offer possibilities once again. Just wanted to check in.

  6. Just moments ago while Googling her name, I learned that Marleen died two months ago. The news leaves me stunned and breathless. When I first met Marleen back in 1974 I was an emotional wreck. She helped put me back together and remained my therapist and best friend for over 20 years. I owe her everything. Oh Marleen… I’d be grateful if you’d share what you know about the circumstances of her death and how her family is getting on. Thank you.

  7. Greg, I am so sorry. Please email me privately with your email address and I will tell you what I know. You will find an “email me” link at the bottom of this page.

    It occurred to me that a patient might find this post. I am very sorry to have you learn of this this way. I know exactly what you mean about Marleen. She was one in a million.

    I can’t post her private info here. If you don’t want to give me your email address, you can find me at Facebook as Diana Moore Maus.

  8. To my readers… It’s not that I have had nothing to say, but I can’t seem to post anything else yet because it will erase this one, shoving it into the background. Summer diverted my attention for awhile but now that I am home and in my regular life, I miss Marleen so much. I feel like the dog that’s watching the water. I still need this picture to be here, and I guess I need the pause.

  9. Diana,
    Marleen was my therapist for 6 years, 26 years ago, when I was a graduate student in psychology. I felt/feel the same way about her as you expressed. I tried to call her today to share something I had learned from her that STILL resonates and is helpful in my life! When the number was disconnected I Googled her name and found out about her death and your wonderful writing. Could you please tell me more about the circumstances of her death and how her family are doing?
    Thank you,

  10. Carmen, I am so sorry you had to hear it suddenly like this. Yes, I will most certainly give you any details you like. It’s late here so I will write in detail to you in the morning. In the meantime, I will send you a short email to your email address.
    my deepest sympathy,

  11. Hi my names Eric I’m marlens son if any one would like to know any thing about her you can email me at (address removed by this blog for privacy reasons).

  12. Thank you Eric. That’s very kind of you to offer. My only wish is that you are doing well after your loss. My deepest sympathies go to you. Your mother was a wonderful woman.

  13. Diana, I have read your blog for the first time and am very touched. You have a way of writting that speaks directly to the heart. I lost my husband 2 1/2 years ago and am still struggling to find my way. I keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Your words caused me such relief that for a moment I was at peace. I am so sorry about your friend. I too have a therapist and so wish I felt about her like you do about Marleen. I will keep working and searching for that place that will allow me to feel joy again. He was, after all, my story.
    Thank you so much

  14. Pamela, I’m so glad that you took the time to write. I’m sorry you are still struggling. I don’t know that I will ever again have such a deep connection with another person but at least I had it. It doesn’t go away, that special feeling of true acceptance, does it?

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