About Me

I am a writer–and have been since I learned to write my name with a crayon. I’ve grown more sophisticated (and older) but no less in love with language and communication. I’ve also begun to draw, and am working on a series of illustrations about relationships. Meanwhile, when I think of it, I will share some creative work here. Enjoy–and please comment if you do.

At the Cosmos Club

15 thoughts on “About Me

  1. What a true and beautiful story about Chad. He was beautiful and such a kind soul. He stayed with us for a week once and I had not seen him in several years. I wish addiction couldn’t have claimed such a wonderful young man. I will always remember him and lift prayers to him.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Are you related to Fred? I always assumed he’d somehow pull through. I didn’t understand the full extent of what was happening, or I’d have done more. Regret is a terrible thing. I thought he’d make it and work with kids. The true beauty of his soul was clear whenever children were around and thronged to him. I miss him terribly. Every so often, I catch him out of the corner of my eye. Thank you for this message.–Janice

  2. Hi,
    I’m working on a new book – Bruce Springsteen – I Was There.

    I came across your accounts of seeing Bruce in concert and I was hoping you would grant me permission to use some of these in the book. Or would you like to write w fresh account of maybe the first time you saw Bruce in concert?

  3. Dear Ms. Schuster. I read your piece in the Washington Post, and I am very sorry for your loss. I know that finding the words to give voice to your loss cannot erase it, but I hope you find some genuine solace in writing about your son. My parents lost a son at a young age from addiction, my brother, and I know this is a hard lot. I hope you take comfort in your loved ones and your memories.

    • Hello:

      You are right, it is a terrible lot to face. I find comfort in knowing that others can name what they have endured through my ability to describe what I have experienced. I hope your family found comfort over time. It is never easy to lose a child, and it is a hard and heavy burden to carry all one’s life.


  4. Not sure if this is the right place to send this but I felt I had to contact you after reading the piece you wrote about your island of grief. My son James, forever 30, died 9/26/17. I can relate to it all. On one hand I feel like I should “do something “ and on the other hand it’s a feat that I show up for my two teenage daughters and my husband. I feel abandoned by “friends”, church, family and colleagues. I’m saddened that the experts know as much or less than I do about what works for those with SUD. Even grief FB groups are trying- look for signs, find comfort in the afterlife. Anyway, thanks again. I found comfort in your writing.

    • Hello:

      Surely getting up and showing up for your daughters and husband is “doing” enough. It is so much, and takes so much. I find comfort in language, art, and connecting with others who have traveled this terrible road. Please do not judge yourself, and know that many of us are on a similar path, trying out best to find a way that opens, somewhere, to the light.


  5. I just read your writing, Addiction Killed my Son, in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer. I have only one life experience with substance abuse and death but your stunning article touched me on a level I can’t explain. Thank you, my perspective is altered. My heart breaks for you, Chad had everything but the core ability to heal. Bless you

  6. I have words. But not
    Enough to heal the despair
    You bear as a mom.

    Janice – Tonight stumbled across your writings on chronic pain from 2014 (I’ve suffered for more than 10 of my 37 years). I decided to google your name, in hopes that I would encounter a story of a happy ending, a life free from pain…

    Unortunately, I discovered that you’re now struggling with the unimaginable loss of your son Chad.

    I send you love, peace, and gratitude for your writing.

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