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Mark Madoff's Wife, Stephanie Madoff, Has Hard Road Ahead As A Mom

By Sierra Black |

Children are never prepared to lose a parent

Children are never prepared to lose a parent

Mark Madoff’s wife, Stephanie, faces a hard road.

Her husband Mark Madoff, son of disgraced financial schemer Bernie Madoff, committed suicide this morning. He hanged himself from a dog collar attached to a pipe in their New York apartment, while his two-year-old played nearby.

Stephanie was in Florida with the couple’s other child. She called her father after getting worrying emails; he found Madoff’s body.

This is a tragic end to Mark’s life, but it’s only the beginning of the tragedy for Stephanie and her kids. They have to keep on living, with the grief and trauma of this death hanging over them.

Stephanie was already feeling the pressure. She’s been going by “Stephanie Morgan” since news of Bernie Madoff’s crimes reached the public in 2009. Now, she has to cope with the loss of her husband in a gruesome and very public way.

Not only that, she’s just become the single parent of two very traumatized little kids. The two-year-old was in the house when Mark Madoff killed himself. How will the family recover?

Very few families have to deal with this kind of grief in public, but suicide affects many families. Parents die. We all know someone who has been through the death of a parent, and many of us have lost a loved one to suicide.

Stephanie Madoff isn’t the only parent facing these tough questions this week. Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral was held today. Her children will grow up without her. My colleague Carolyn wrote a lovely piece about the new challenges the Edwards’ family is facing, based on her own experience losing her father.

What helped you most during the dark times? What words of strength or wisdom would you like to offer to Stephanie Madoff as she begins this hard journey?

Photo: bterrycompton

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About Sierra Black


Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Mark Madoff's Wife, Stephanie Madoff, Has Hard Road Ahead As A Mom

  1. Jack Welch says:

    They ALL deserve the tortures of the damned. They lived lavishly based on obvious theft and now want sympathy. Guarded by a bunch of shyster lawyers, they will do quite well compared to the rest of us.

  2. lam says:

    “…his death hanging over them”? seriously?

  3. JKTK says:

    Read “No Time to Say Goodbye” by Carla Fine. A must for anyone who has lost someone to suicide.

  4. henryka ternier says:

    I am the author of “The Floss Diet”…I have lived with a tragic loss a son and my husband. My parents live with WWII trauma from grizzly massacres … My mother and I rely on faith in God, a source of comfort, peace; just having hope that soul survives allows relationships to continue into afterlife. Since my son’s death one foot is in this world, and the other in “after life” dimension — waiting to receive a signal, a sign, a confirmation that they still exist. My faith has been confirned! In the 24 years since his departure, I have enjoyed a different relationship using a wireless prayer frequency. I am at peace now; however, the first year, was a fine line between sanity and insanity. I cannot imagine living through it without my faith.

  5. shanneeq says:

    hang yourself with a 2 year child nearby?? shocking

  6. Anon says:

    Ditto, Lam. Not good.

  7. [...] her to take care of their son and said that he loved her, the official said. If you will remember Stephanie Madoff, Mark’s wife, petitioned a Manhattan court in February to change her and her children’s [...]

  8. Kate says:

    It is tragic. My heart goes out to the wife and kids. But suicide is a selfish act, it does make you wonder about the other ways selfishness has manifested in that family. I hope Ms. Morgan has a good family she can rely on.

  9. DaveRB says:

    Kate, suicide is not a selfish act. It is an act borne of great pain, shame, and an overwhelming feeling that there is no way out, that whatever problems one has are permanent with seemingly no solutions.

    People will say what they will regarding Bernie Madoff and the great loss he has created for the families of his financial scandal, a scandal that I am sure has resulted in the suicides of many people as a result of loss of fortunes and lifetime savings; however, let’s not vilify the act of suicide because less than honorable people have done it. Very good and honorable people have also completed suicide, and the world loses when we lose them.

    God and God alone will sort out the mess in the eternity to come. I just thank Jesus that I am saved, and I also thank Jesus that my very sweet and innocent lady friend, who also died of suicide, was also saved. She simply had a lifetime of awful problems that would have been impossible for just about anyone to deal with.

    Living as someone who has lost someone else to suicide has been an absolute nightmare, and the only relief I get is knowing that she is safe in the arms of The Lord now and forever.

  10. Robert says:

    This women was living luxourously for years off of the ill gotten gains of those despicable Madoff’s, whether or not she or her husband knew all the details… One thing is clear, is that Mark obviously knew more than he ptretended and the thought of losing all of that money and possibly going to jail (he was the next target by the governement…. Maybe they were still building the case, i.e, tax evasion, fraud….) was terrifying for this playboy…. I feel no pity for any of his decendants who reaped pleasure from the misery of others… Let them all suffer…. In fact, I look forward to his brother, mother, and uncle spending time in jail…. or at the minimum, completely bankrupted of all possessions… As for his second wife, as they say, maybe she should have had a “shorter leashe on her husband and not visited Florida on vacation…”

  11. Judith says:

    I agree suicide is not a selfish act. However, hanging yourself in front of a 2 year old is extremely selfish. Selfishness he learned from his father I might add.

  12. ALittleShort says:

    I’m going to agree with Kate. When you make the decision to commit suicide, it is selfish. You are only thinking of your self. “oh woe is me. No body cares or loves me. I’ll just die”. If you feel that awful, reach out to someone, because someone cares or no one would ever show up to a funeral where someone committed suicide. I don’t mean to be flippant about suicide because it is something that is serious and tragic, but also very selfish. And leaving your 2 year old and 4 year old (he has 2 kids I believe) without a father because of your own selfish act and woe is me pity party is the ultimate in selfishness. Especially since there was no one there other then him with his 2 year old son. What if he wasn’t found after several days? How would have that child fared? Again the ultimate in selfishness.

  13. Kate says:

    It’s just my opinion that suicide is selfish, and I probably qualify that a little if asked to elaborate. My uncle committed suicide, I think he thought his family would be better off without him. But they didn’t think that. My cousins were small children (6 and 8, I think). My aunt had a difficult time raising them by herself while keeping their small business going AND working full-time. The life insurance had a “no suicide” clause. I have sympathy for the person who is in so much pain, but I still think that they are selfish because they take their own pain away by putting it on their loved ones. The only thing that mitigates their guilt is how disordered their thinking is. Some suicides really believe that their family will be better off, which is very, very sad.

  14. Solon Lechonitis says:

    My heart goes to his wife and children.
    I dont know him personallymand I believe one should respect
    him.He had surely qualities and a good character.
    I find it very tragic,and cannot understand the suits of the trustee,
    against his children.I hope he will leave in peace.

  15. Seven&Single says:

    I am shocked and horrified by some of the commenters and their implications that Stephanie Madoff and her children *deserved* this due to Bernie Madoff’s illegal activities. You should all be ashamed of yourself. Never have I been so disgusted by the comments of a story on Babble.

  16. Rosana says:

    So Mark was a selfish as his dad, hu?

  17. Kate says:

    @Seven. There are a lot of trolls on Babble, apparently they find sufficient humor in causing outrage and indignation among parents (let’s face it, mostly moms). Frankly, I think it’s low hanging fruit. Don’t let them get you down.

  18. Diane says:

    I happen to know the family personally… so many facts are wrong regarding the press…but that is not the point. Stephanie is a student, as well as a working mother, now a single mother. She is devastated by her loss ( wouldnt you be?, and do you really know everything your parents do?) She truly loves her husband, that is why she stuck with him. She does have a really , really hard road ahead of her, but the love and help of her family, and her inner strength, she will make it. Her kids are awesome, loving, centered children, and will miss their father, she like any other mother is trying to protect her kids.So let her grieve in peace…. contrary to popular believe, she does pay her own way….and always had. Her father-in-law, screwed.blued, and tatooed, everyone, including her own parents….he is the one to blame.(and maybe the inept SEC, who looked the other way,)

  19. George says:

    The sad, sad part of this story besides everything that has been written is that when somebody kills by will,the connection between body and soul, (as in this case) the end of the mental agony does finish right there. It goes with the soul, to the next subtle plane. The intensity of the mental burden will continue for ages, because in this lower astral region, everything stays almost the same as it was on the physical existence we all had before the suicide. Mark’s mental system still is connected with all our thoughts probably with higher intensity, this is the hardest part of all this sequence of actions and reactions!

  20. Sasha says:

    You are a sad, sad individual and ironically you display the same empathy deficit that Bernie Madoff had. Actually, I don’t believe he had any at all and I’m not convinced you do either based on your hateful post. Fact is Mark Madoff was never charged, tried or convicted of any crime in two years. Certainly there was a possibility he might have been but there is still a presumption of innocence in the United States. And thank goodness since it’s clear that some of you have a mob mentality – in many cases driven by jealousy it seems – who would have people drawn and quartered before they even have their day in court. About whether suicide is selfish, sorry, but I think that’s a really dated belief. As another poster said, it’s usually only people who are in the depths of despair who can’t bear the psychological pain any longer who are likely to go that far. To glibly ascribe selfishness to them I think totally misses the point and shows a lack of understanding about psychological trauma. At its core, this story is about the devastation that psychopaths wreak on other people’s lives. Devastation that sometimes engulfs their own families…

  21. dani says:

    Let them all suffer? Apparently you have never felt the devastation of a loved one committing suicide, nor the sympathy of someone’s pain. Just because she was married into a rich family, with such an unfortunate event, automatically makes her guilty. Wow! What a class act you are!

    PS- Suicide is very selfish!

  22. ELLEN says:

    I don’t believe for one second that Mark was innocent. He knew he was going to be found out sooner or later, so he took the only route to try to save his reputation, and leave a rich widow. Now his “poor” wife can enjoy all the ill-gotten money and find a new husband to help her spend it. Anyone who buys her book has something wrong with them. She has enough money. I do feel sorry for the children, they are the innocent ones. God help them.

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