The End of Life Journey

As an active observer –participant in the struggle to survive the indomitable forces of cancer…taking a once vibrant woman who told others to “follow her lead as if they had jumping beans in their pants”… and then to gradually succumb to the ravages of the disease, is an experience no one should have to participate in or witness first hand…

It’s an up and down roller coaster ride with so many complex forces to consider, that it catches everyone  off guard… even if your physician, attorney, support  services, hospice try to prepare you … There are a multitude of things that shock and shake you to your very core!  Things that should be that aren’t… Things that don’t make sense in a civilized society, screwed up priorities…  Things that mystify given all that public servants like Susan Murphy-Milano have given to countless others in this world…           We begin to question the existence of God …or God’s wisdom in the unfairness of it all…

If you are a homicide survivor and grew up feeling like a “little medical specimen” for others to study like Ladyjustice, you probably think you know it all when it comes to grief.  However, the trials and tribulations…the long haul nature of cancer in its later stages has been a whole new experience for THIS crime fighter to contend with…

Unless you are there to witness the process in person or have had the experience previously, you have little cognizance of the time, effort, dedication, financial costs, energy expended and emotional toll it takes… not only on the person suffering the cancer, and the caretaker, but the “second ring” of persons as Trauma Specialist Duane Bowers would say.

In addition, when the person who has the cancer does not have immediate family who care, the “second ring” becomes the “first ring” – filling in the gaps…in a very noble and heroic way!

Ladyjustice sometimes feels helpless to make a continuing real contribution when separated geographically. E-mails and postings, support from the circle of friends can all help assuage the grief…  But phone calls can’t realistically be returned “just because you want to know”. Therefore, your head tells you that patience, understanding and compassion MUST kick in…even if your heart tells you otherwise… You may try to assist others as a distraction and cause for the greater good while others are busy.

During this life altering ordeal with Susan Murphy-Milano, Ladyjustice has learned many, many lessons such as:

God – is present and has a plan that we mere morals most likely will not fully understand…if at all. With time and reflection some answers may come to us;

Friendship – is thrown into high gear with the wonderful support that springs forth by those who “always cared anyway’ literally going the extra mile and more… Core people will remain, while others will fall back into their former routines;

Respect– ABOUNDS ….particularly for those closest to the crisis. We must keep in mind that EVERYONE grieves and copes differently according to their comfort level. We can offer help in many forms personally or professionally.  Just because it is OUR need to give, it is not really about us …even if we are hurting!    Ladyjustice and others need to remember and give others their space and own way to process, come to terms and move to the next part of their journey in their chosen ways.   Safe in the knowledge that we care and can be called on, others can and will in their own time take it…with a little encouragement;

Community – consists of the “inner circle,” large groups bound together by the heart wrenching situation, divided into still other sub-groups.  Some participation is active, some is passive. It is an imposition at times for passive observers to ask others to “catch me up” on the details when they too are in the throws of their own activity and grief.  Always be respectful and take the time to use the resources that are out there…Some participants are” the caboose “on the train, some are the engineers and regular passengers” to use a metaphor… That’s just the way it unfolds…

Priorities– whether you are the caretaker, a friend, acquaintance, fan or cheerleader…and involved with someone with a life threatening illness/disease, YOUR priorities will change…at least for the short term…and maybe forever. Your suffering is temporary in the scheme of life,  as is the person’s with the illness until they are in God’s eternal home.         If you suffer too long and too intensely, please seek professional help to put you on the correct path with your loved one…

Health – After this traumatic experience, if you tended to be unhealthy in your eating habits, lifestyle, sleep patterns, your weight, smoking , drinking, workaholic nature… you too will take pause…and hopefully make some type of qualitative, if not quantitative life altering change.  However, do it at your own pace… Listen to your physician, but refuse to” be bullied into change “ if you aren’t ready for “leaps and bounds of change”.  Smaller steps will do… as long as you keep on the path…

Never again will you say “Cancer… (or whatever) can’t happen to me or those I love.”   That refrain is all too common … Take it from a homicide survivor… Yes it can…

If you think you are not up to the task… you will be, because you have to be…  You will do it…’Just look at the “Susan and Delilah blueprint example” we have before us….  Truly amazing!

With Love and Respect,



Holding My Hand Through Hell: A Review

“Hey baby it’s a mean ol’ world…

‘Gotta keep your feet on the ground…

‘Gotta have a heart like Jesus…

When the devil come to knock you down…

Trust what’s inside you…

And head’s up for the wrecking ball…

Head’s up for the wrecking ball!”

(Singer-Songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman)

When the trees in your personal forest are so thick with dysfunction and terror… When a propped window held open by a screwdriver is the difference between life and death… When your world is surrounded by constant death threats and acts of violence… What can you do?

Susan Murphy, the “little girl lost” took charge of the situation to rescue her mother. Little did she know at her tender age… in the process of her personal nightmare she would grow up to build a legacy saving thousands of other victims in the grip of intimate partner and family violence for years to come…

To the outside world, hers was the happy home of a decorated police officer. In reality, Susan took on the protector role to shield her mother as best she could… ending in the ultimate acts of murder and suicide committed by her cop monster-father.

Navigating such a childhood consisted of making deals with God in between questioning his existence while others chose to ignore.

“Holding My Hand Through Hell” is so much more than just one women’s story of domestic violence. It is the epitome of hope, courage, strength and survival against all odds.  “The Hell book” is a journey like no other, as told in riveting detail through the words of a child…turned woman.

Like a mismatched tapestry, there is a richness and simplicity in her tale…  But, evil is always in the shadows.

This book is replete with examples of “survival of the fittest” overcoming terror for yet another instance…until the next time, keeping us on “high alert” from the first to the last page… The devastation is palpable, as Susan keeps moving forward regardless of the cost.

As the ultimate survivor, Susan takes her readers into the most intimate places of her existence. As an adult, she does her best to seek stability and sanity as a “regular member of society.” However, the house of horrors always lives within, as she finds comfort and love…in “all the wrong places”, continuing to suffer incredible losses along her path.

As an author, Murphy-Milano is masterful in painting a picture with great depth, emotion and vulnerability. The reader, is literally transformed, viscerally shaken and forever changed… trying to fathom how the unbelievable events are indeed true… but they are….  Everyone who reads “Holding My Hand Through Hell” will come away with their own personal indelible message- guaranteed!

Susan Murphy Milano is a one of a kind role model for victims of violent crime. Her greatest achievement – her own survival… couched in the painful knowledge that she was unable to save her mother in the end… in spite of Herculean efforts. She survived and taught the masses how to survive…and come out alive…in an arena where even angels fear to tread.

To learn more about Susan Murphy Milano and her work, please visit the following sites:





HOLDING MY HAND THROUGH HELL can be ordered from

Ice Cube Press,


Barnes & Noble

and all other online book retailers as well as through your local book stores.

Susan Murphy-Milano- Reaching for the Stars… and Attaining her Goals

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

A person must begin by being still and listening in order to become aware of his path, but after that he must actively follow it. Such activity arises from trust, not from the egomania of “I will, I do”.                      A human being attains his highest freedom when he can speak the words: “Lord, not my will, but Thy will be done”.                                              Thorwald Dethlefsen”


Such are the words of wisdom… are the truths reflected in the myriad of accomplishments and legacy of Susan Murphy-Milano….  As Susan battles her fight with stage four cancer, the world continues to benefit from her lifetime of work. She spoke candidly with Ladyjustice and Delilah about her life, her “baby” the EAA –Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit… and most importantly, her newly published memoir from called “Holding My Hand through Hell.”  ‘So much more than an account of living and surviving with domestic violence, it is a positive affirmation of life…and is certain to be yet another teaching tool from her toolbox.  It is awe inspiring!  This book is the courage that endangered women and men need….   Delilah recounted their relationship, the evolution of the book and the marvel of this incomparable woman. 


Join the Journey…. CLICK HERE…

  • Delilah discussing what the public needs to know about this book… A ride from the beginning to the end…
  • Feedback from reviewers and authors…
  • Ladyjustice’s take on the book in general …
  • How HMHTH impacted the life of a woman…
  • The impact of her life and now living with Stage Four Cancer;
  • The difficulties of writing this book over three year’s time;
  • SMM’s life filled with taking the risks…
  • Susan speaks:  Her description of the book and making people accountable, making people’s lives matter;
  • Stacy Petersen’s kids will never know hope;
  • Susan’s  hope – keeping her mother alive;
  • The words and lessons are powerful enough to get the word out – What really happened – No more excuses;
  • Self-revelations- very painful;
  • If Susan gave in, she would let the killer and spirits of other’s win;
  • It’s about God – June 23rd her Cancer diagnosis;
  • The irony of success- multiple projects;
  • God’s timing… You can come through on the other side;
  • The last two years…” I have never felt so loved;”
  • Susan on Delilah’s dedication as  her caretaker;
  • Susan’s opportunity to preserve her words…..
  • Susan’s wishes for her son… Hoping for a pathway to understanding of the truth for him and her kid sister….
  • “I didn’t choose this work… It chose me…”
  • The EAA- “A beautiful symphony;”
  • Saying I’m sorry isn’t that hard…. The cowards…
  • “Homicide occurs and everyone turns away like the plague… It’s the same with cancer;”
  • “God allows things to happen even if you are good; Everything has a reason and purpose;”
  • No second victimization-   “It’s all in the timing;”
  • “I’ve led a heck of a life… in uncharted territory… Go with your heart…”
  • Delilah reads a passage…and sheds a few tears…
  • “Delilah…”The last key in the bunch that opens the door…. “
  • Susan’s parting words… HMHTH- spreading hope with the book;
  • Delilah and “Ladyjustice“ talking about the book’s content;
  • A real life journey… Failures  turning them into a benefit for others;
  • Susan goes to the end’s of the earth to make things happens;
  • Susan’s unique  gifts of analysis, problem solving  and her ability to take on and solve the impossible highest risk cases;
  • How did she come through all of her high risk personal problems??
  • “Ladyjustice” on the savyness of a little girl and “making deals with God”;
  • Susan as the mother role – the protector;
  •  “Ladyjustice” on the personal costs…
  • Delilah on Susan as a great teacher and her favorite phrase:     “Get out of your own way;”
  • HMHTH as a teaching tool – You can spot the red flags in your world;
  • Textbook  nature and HMHTH as a companion to the EAA;
  •  “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden
  • Moving forward….  Never be called a victim;
  • “Ladyjustice” on: How does a person do what she did on a shoestring?  “Finding a way…”
  • A better mousetrap…;
  • Why isn’t the EAA embraced by more people… It’s NOT about lack of resources…
  • The nature of dealing with systems – the frustration of Delilah and “Ladyjustice;
  • “Ladyjustice” on mundane complaints versus the hard truths…
  • “Ladyjustice” on Susan’s ability to bring things down to their essence;
  • Delilah on the “layers of the onion” and the core truth;
  • The truth is very difficult to handle… for victims and the general public…. The true believers;
  • Delilah on training versus instincts and being open to what the universe has to offer and giving it back to others;
  • HMHTH – A book filled with her love by revealing and facing the truth… it will help and save so many more lives;
  • It’s unbelievable….  HMHTH – Three years in the making;
  • “Time’s Up” book,  “Saving our Lives”, “Moving Up, Moving On” book;
  • A testament to God’s powers… those pebbles in the path…
  • The virtual tour- What’s it about? Who’s included?
  • A list of the participants….
  • Thank-yous

“It’s Bad Enough…”

Life is a crap shoot… When we arrive at the pearly gates, Ladyjustice imagines that each of us will have an inventory list.  That list will include: regrets, things we should have done differently, perhaps even a few things we are not proud of. .. Other items will undoubtedly be those things at which we excelled, and our proudest moments and accomplishments.  Even if we show up a bit tarnished, we are human after all…

And then there’s Susan Murphy –Milano… That one of a kind woman… The beautiful, fiery Susan Murphy-Milano. That image was recently overshadowed by the horror of her ordeal yesterday, (July 10, 2012). Ladyjustice was shocked, horrified and dismayed at the latest seemingly impossible problem confronting her….

The horror of this ordeal…  It’s bad enough… that she is a homicide survivor, a survivor of family “intimate partner” violence,  sexual assault …and now multiple organ Stage IV cancer.

It’s bad enough…that she dedicated some of the best years of her life to a cause that does nothing but “bring you down,”  forces you into crisis mode, while delivering safety and her brand of justice to virtual strangers  without room for personal investment.

It’s bad enough… that Susan has had to fight tooth and nail for respect in judicial and law enforcement circles, gaining her expertise literally through “hard knocks “ versus the often cold and hallowed halls of academia;

It’s bad enough … that expertise, with little to no financial compensation, takes its toll on the mind, body and spirit;

It’s bad enough… that through it all, Susan could not save her beloved mother… But she did save the life of thousands of others over the years!

It’s bad enough… that she now suffers the new routine of being poked and prodded with needles and IVs, at times cannot eat, feels pain and sickness…and is  discouraged on the “not so good days.”

It’s bad enough …that she has limited energy and must push herself to do “the simple things;”

It’s bad enough… that the tumors remain her constant companions…although maybe not so vigorously as before;

However, it is UNCONSCIONABLE that pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists can dictate and play Russian Roulette with people’s lives by charging their exorbitant fees, thus destroying citizen’s livelihoods, their shelter, security, health and sustenance!

Susan Murphy-Milano,Holding My Hand Through Hell

On the good side of things ….Susan has learned by trial and error to change her priorities, to make a new plan, forge a new path, to make peace with God and to embrace life according to what’s good for her health, her soul and her mind according to God’s new Master plan.
What could be better……  To kill the vile cancer for good… and maybe a million dollars… but, who’s counting when you have so much from the heart that costs nothing?Susan is surrounded by her many supporters and most especially, her unsung heroes/sheroes, who embrace her with love, patience and understanding beyond all expectations.

Written with Much Love,

Donna XXX000