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

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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