Peg Staley | The Sun Magazine

Peg Staley

Peg Staley died peacefully at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, December 3, 1979. She was a psychotherapist who lived in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

For the letter upon her death from Peg’s husband Andrew and the rest of her family, click here.

— From January 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Excerpts From Peg Staley’s Letters

I’m not even going to try to sort out how I can be the source of my universe and at the same time know that God holds me eternally in love. I just know both things are true. And in this Easter season I am deeply moved by the events in the Bible and their parallel in my life. Christ’s willingness to experience humanity as I do seems especially precious. And I have history and knowledge on my side as I go through the events of Holy week, knowing that Easter will come. Death itself cannot obliterate me.

January 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing Cancer

Still Looking For The Key

I am involved in a process that is most similar to my experience of giving birth. Whether I live or die, I am in a transition. I want competent professional helpers, who do not lose sight of me as a person. I want to be respected as an intelligent participant in my own process. Time will eventually pass and the results of transition will be evident. Until then, patience and trust are required.

December 1979
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing Cancer

Do Doctors Do More Harm Than Good?

It angers me that he can share that ambivalence about the value of treatment with a surgeon and get enraged when I, not only a patient but also a woman, question his recommendation.

November 1979
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing The Struggle


Fear need not be enemy, a means of control and manipulation, but rather an integral part of being human to be experienced and even enjoyed.

August 1979
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing The Struggle

(Part Two)

Fear of annihilation, I’ve tripped over you for years and now I see you clear. I had not realized before the grip and subtlety of your tentacles.

July 1979
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing The Struggle

(Part One)

I find myself angry and determined. I do want to know why so much money is poured into trying to discover the cause of cancer and so little into experimentation with other forms of treatment which give more responsibility to the patient, and which help the patient to believe in her own ability to mend disease.

March 1979
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