At the height of her corporate career, Debbie Gisonni's personal life was shattered when four family members died in four years!

"My mother was sick for about ten years.    During that time, she got a brain tumor and became permanently disabled.  My younger sister committed suicide.  My father contracted bone cancer.  Then my aunt got breast cancer."

Debbie was emotionally frozen.  "I started feeling another kind of death and that was the death of my spirit.  I started getting sick all the time.   The job didn't have any more meaning.  I just decided I needed to get off the tread mill and take care of myself.  I quit without knowing what I was going to do."

In spite of it all, Debbie was determined to learn from the adversities that were dragging her down.  "What out of this experience can I make positive?  I'm not the only one who has experienced difficulties.  It certainly is not the worst thing anybody has gone through.  So, what I ended up doing when I quit the corporate job, I started writing a book about my family experiences and how I coped with them.  That was my first book!  It totally changed my career into personal growth and development.  Three books later, I recreated my career based on my family tragedies."

If you're going through tough times and don't feel that life is worth living, Debbie has a suggestion. "Talk it over with someone you feel comfortable with.  Bottling up all that emotion is not healthy.  You need to get it off your chest."

While in the grips of life's toughest battles, Debbie says humor is your greatest asset.  "Somehow we found moments to laugh.  What that does it lightens the load---on you and it allows you to accept the situation.  It also allows you to have some lightness in your life."

With Debbie Gisonni, author of Vita's Will: Real Life Lessons About Life, Death, I'm Jerry Dahmen, KXRB.