Writing as an Act of Faith

By Fred Baumgarten / July/August 2012
July 16th, 2012

BAM How has Damon’s death changed you?
DW It breaks you down, and you have to reassemble yourself, molecule by molecule. It challenges all your beliefs, including religious beliefs. My deepest faith is actually in art, so the writing of the book was an act of faith, or belief.

BAM Your career involves understanding science. Did your experience, especially with the medical profession, challenge that belief?
DW No, because the failures were mostly human failures, although one part of the problem was the health-care system, which is very Balkanized. In our case, individuals failed to provide the proper standard of care.

BAM Can you speak about the malpractice suit you’ve filed?
DW The hospital has still neither handed over the documents we requested nor acknowledged any mistakes. Interestingly, the early response to the book from the medical community has been very powerful. Some want to use it as a teaching tool.

BAM Has writing the book helped you?
DW It has been a key part of the journey back, but there’s no point you can say, “It’s over. I’m better.” Grief is not a straight line. One of the nice things is that I have received letters from young people who said reading the book made them want to become a parent. That was not anticipated. It’s an affirmatory book—a celebration of Damon.

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Related Issue
July/August 2012