Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Mess Welcomes Joanne Mazzotta

Joanne Mazzotta
This week The Mess welcomes Joanne Mazzotta as she brings us a heart wrenching tale from her life, the suicide of her son Danny.  Joanne's book, Why Whisper? is a memoir of that period of her family's life as she shares their grief with us.  One of the things I like about this strong lady is her love of family and her title as "proud matriarch of one helluva great family." Not only a writer, Joanne is a painter and she shares some of her work with us on her blog, which you would be wise to check out. 

I met Joanne on Twitter and from there to Facebook.  She is someone I call friend as well as a great supporter of other writers.  So, sit back with your morning coffee and let's meet Joanne.

Why Whisper?

My name is Joanne Mazzotta and I am the author of a book titled: Why Whisper?

I am not a great philosopher. I am not a brilliant scholar. I blend in with society, hardly noticeable.
By age 26, I was the mother of 4 children. That is all I cared to be defined by. They grew up with me. Motherhood to me, was all that mattered. I wanted someone to love me unconditionally and I made that my prime goal. I do not and never will regret having children.

I adored them, learned with them, worked hard for them, played with them, and I found myself having to protect them in a not so friendly world that has a potential to take them, and give them back to me in pieces. We all broke when one fell apart. He found drugs and alcohol.  Those things took him from us.

His name is Danny.

Danny took his own life when he was 32 and all the love, concern, worries and uncertainties along with heartfelt rescues did not save him. We were watching him die and didn’t know it.  No matter how great the efforts to cure him, fix him, and deny the danger of his predicament, we thought our love was enough to save him; it was not. Addiction kills. The perplexity we experienced was no match for the struggle he felt. He didn’t want to live with his pain anymore, so he killed it, and died in the process.

In the wake of his death my true life lessons began. With no one to help me understand his death, I began to write to him, to grief, God, and to myself. 8 Years later my journals were published and I learn most of all, that I was not alone. There is where my healing began. Those who live in a society where "suicide" is not spoken about have contacted me and knew why I titled my book, Why Whisper? They thanked me.

Giving my hand and my heart to those who have lost loved ones by suicide became the way out of my pain. And Danny's story became a way to keep him alive. But it is Danny we must thank for speaking to me beyond his grave and allowed me to give his message to the world.

Love doesn't die... Suicide doesn't discriminate, nor does grief.  The pool filed with tears that we are tossed into when someone we love dies, is full of people who need to give their grief a voice.  We learn to swim together. My beloved family has healed along with me and we all survived the unthinkable sorrow that no one in my world wanted to talk about.  We see the gifts deeply embedded in our grief... We are not the same people we were before he died. We are stronger.

My book, Why Whisper? is about, our veterans, celebrities, children, hairdresser, neighbor, doctor, lawyer, elderly, young, old, successful, rich, poor, and, it is about you.

Godspeed to those who are gone too soon and God Bless those who found a way out of their pain.

Joanne, The mother of four, three who walk, and one who soars

"There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." Echoing these words by the former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, author Joanne Mazzotta writes Why Whisper?, a mother’s gripping account of her journey alongside grief after her 32-year-old son Danny took his own life.

Why Whisper? faces the more arduous task of living with one’s self as suicide seizes more than one life, it takes some life from everyone around it. When her son took his own life, a portion of the author’s life also died with him. In this gripping account of one mother’s journey alongside grief, Mazzotta bares her soul and her skeletons to bring readers an honest and insightful look at addiction, loss, hope, suicide, and the enduring power of love. The author further explained:

“This experience showed me that there is a significant amount of suicide survivors in the world with a dire need for simple human-to-human compassion and understanding. I was not alone. But, during my own ordeal, I found no book, person, or god that could rescue me from the black hole of this unfamiliar territory. I felt alone. I began to journal my anguish as a way to survive my loss. This journal became more than a collection of chronicles about the lives of my family members. It became a clear reflection of the way love could deliver me from a kind of hell I had never imagined. I gave my grief a voice because its silence was trying to kill me.”

Why Whisper? has received a good number of positive reviews from readers who were lucky to read the book before it got published. Joanne Sinatra commented, “I didn't know you that well when I read it on your website and I had to stop every so often and breathe. As I was reading it I was actually holding my breath or shallow breathing and that is how moving it was to read it. I can tell you I cried at times. If I had to use one word to describe it - it would be "raw". It is painful and touching. It's sad and also happy. It has made me appreciate my life all the more. It made me realize the mountains that I thought were in front of me, and that I climbed over, were mere hills compared to what others have endured.”

This poignantly well-crafted work of Mazzotta, Why Whisper? reminds readers that healing arrives in the most unlikely times, and love, as proverbial as it may sound, still conquers all.

Visit Joanne at

Latest Review from a reader who needed to read Why Whisper?

Danny is not dead! Joanne Mazzotta writes brilliantly about a mother who loses a son through suicide in her masterful work WHY WHISPER? Her literary voice rings with the divine truth that comes only from those who experience sorrow firsthand. From childhood narratives in and around Rhode Island to the alcohol addiction that became this young man's nemesis, Mazzotta takes the reader along as she remembers an extraordinary life and those it touched. Through these heartfelt pages strangers like me come to know and to like and admire Danny with his imperfections and his gifts. This story is balanced on all points and is ready to provide sanctuary from emotional storms for years to come. The treasure that lies within the pages of this book cannot be stolen or transported away for selfish purposes, but is spent by those who know grief firsthand. It has been almost a year since I read this magnificent work. Some things are hard to say ... why whisper? Memories haunt our souls and make some reviews hard to write. I lost a daughter Jennifer to suicide some years back, the stories are never the same but some parts are torn from the same dark pages. She left me my only grandson.

Danny is not dead. Sometimes I hear his voice in the willows outside my mountain home. "Tell the truth ma ..." and I believe this author did.

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Did you enjoy what you read?  Leave me a comment and then join me at The Mess that Is Me on Facebook!

For Further Reading ~ The Mess Welcomes Matt Best
                                The Mess Welcomes Tess Stenson
                                The (Almost) Perfect Daughter's Blog Tour

Thanks for visiting The Mess!


  1. What a beautiful post Robbie. Thank you for sharing this lovely, brave and poignant author. Joanne clearly shows that the healing comes from the "telling" of that dark place we humans often go to cope.

    This is a must read for me...Joanne, thank you for sharing your heart. I wish you peace and light always.


    1. It takes a great deal of courage to share the tragedies in our lives as you well know, Taylor. We, the readers, are blessed by people such as yourself and Joanne who have braved that journey and shared how they have survived.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting!

    2. Thank you Taylor. My hope is that sharing my story helps others to share theirs.

    3. Robbie, I just saw these posts. How kind people are.


    4. The Mess has a sweet readership, I agree :)

  2. Thank you, Joanne, for being a guest on the Mess and sharing your heart with us. I hope people will go and check out your site and your book. It was wonderful having you here.

  3. Wonderful story. Thanks Robbie for sharing it with us.

    1. It was great having her here and a touching story. Thanks for visiting, Roxanne!

  4. Thanks for sharing this with us Robbie. Amazing courage in the face of such a tremendous loss.