Eileen Vorbach Collins is a Baltimore native. She has a degree in nursing from the University of Maryland and a master's in pastoral care from Loyola College, where her thesis focused on bereavement by suicide and included developing a bereavement support group.
Through her involvement with an online support group, Parents of Suicides, Eileen discovered while there is no "getting over" her daughter's suicide, finding a community of others who understood was one of the ways she could begin to find the strength to climb out of her despair. She has formed lasting friendships with other suicide loss survivors.
Eileen's story about that experience, "Two Tablespoons of Tim," received the Gabriele Rico Challenge Award, was published in Reed Magazine and later nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Another essay, " Love in the Archives," received the Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction and was published in Lunch Ticket, the Literary Journal of Antioch University Los Angeles.
The essay collection, with the working title, Hold on Till the Sun Goes Down, received a Gold Royal Palm Award and was the 1st Runner-up for unpublished book of the year by the Florida Writers Association in 2022.
That collection, now titled Love in the Archives: A Memoir in Pieces, is forthcoming by Apprentice House Press in 2023.
Not all of Eileen's stories are sad ones. There are some funny moments in these pages because Lydia, despite her depression, had a wonderful sense of humor.
Publication Credits and Awards for Essays in the Collection
Published as "The Worst Dream Ever Dreamed" Dorothy Parker's Ashes, October 2022
Hold You Closer, Tiny Dancer
The Intima, A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Spring 2021
The Mother Plant
Published as "Strong Enough to Withstand the Loss" Barren Magazine, Spring 2022
The Prairie Schooner, Vol.95, No.2, Summer 2021 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award
Published as "When the Cicadas Emerge" Shondaland, Spring 2021
Published as "'ll Still Celebrate Her Birthday" American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Blog, Spring 2021