Grief: My alter ego and I argue on what to say

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Alter Ego:  A lot of new people at this party

Me: I love meeting new people

Alter Ego: What will you say if they ask how many kids you have?

Me: Maybe I will just mention Richard

Alter Ego: What about Charles?  

Me: I don’t know. Just saying I have one sort of makes me feel like I don’t honor his memory

Alter Ego: Saying he died is such a conversation killer

Me: Well I’m not going to say “Hi my name is Anne Moss, I had a child die by suicide” 

Alter Ego: Let’s hope not

Me: If it comes up…

Alter Ego: And if it comes up, what do you say?

Me: I say I raised two boys– one of them graduated from college and living in NC and we lost our youngest who died by suicide in 2015. He suffered from depression and addiction

Alter Ego: Do you have to say suicide? Can’t you just skip the triple stigma?

Me: No, I can’t. It’s important to talk about it

Alter Ego: People don’t want to talk about it

Me: That’s why kids don’t open up. I’m not going to force an entire conversation about it. But I have found when I do say it, others open up.

Alter Ego: It will make you uncomfortable

Me: I’ll get used to it. I need to say it like it is

Alter Ego:  Aren’t you worried what people might think?

Me: I don’t. That’s the special privilege you get when you lose a child.

Alter Ego: Charles was so sweet. So loving.

Me: And he deserves to be acknowledged.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

6 thoughts on “Grief: My alter ego and I argue on what to say”

  1. I’m approaching the first anniversary of my sons siucide. I’m still struggling to believe this is my life. He was strong, beautiful and smart. But never happy. He made it to his 27th birthday, had finished college, married and bought his first home. All looked perfect from the outside. But he was anxious, worried about everything, the slightest situation through him into emotional unbalance. He struggled to please everyone, while not necessary, causing undue pressure on himself. We were a close family, it’s not supposed to happen to good families, right. Wrong, there I no one excluded from the pressures of the world, anxiety or depression. Our hearts are broken, he didn’t love us enough to stay? I can’t believe that is true either. We are still so very lost, but better today than yesterday.

    1. At first I thought, “How shitty a mom do I have to be for my child to check out on me?” Then I realized it was not about me. We can’t make another person happy. We just can’t. We can make them laugh or show them a fun time, but happiness and finding it is up to the person. And some simply cannot see that.

      That first year is BRUTAL. The second year is hard, too. I will say the third year is when you start to be able to talk memories. It does soften over time. It’s less intense and ugly. I have a lot on here about grief. First year, second year and third year so people can see there is progress if you can call it that. At first you are sure you will not survive this loss. But you do and you will and what’s more you will laugh and find joy and it will be deeper and more special than ever before.Because you have changed. Let me know if you are ready to write a post about your son. Contact > Submit a story. It’s our stories that people find on google and decide not to kill themselves. It also keeps their memory alive and by sharing your post on Facebook, most parents get more stories they’ve not heard before. And that’s pure gold. When you are ready.

      Don’t listen to people who say, “it will always be bad.” Believe it will, find your voice, apply yourself to that passion and you will learn to live without the one in your heart. How grief matures- https://annemoss.com/2017/06/08/how-grief-matures/

      Thank you for posting your story and sharing. We have a lot of support here. And I am so sorry you, too, are suffering this loss. But it will never be as bad as when you found him or got the news.

  2. I think we all struggle with showing up and being honest about how this disease has effected us all…I want to enjoy life but somedays really have to struggle with putting ourselves out there..as much as I hate to we go, briefly talk about our son and then change the subject..i save my down times for those who truly understand because of their own loss or because they have known us for a very long time and are not judgemental about how things have turned out for our child..perhaps when addiction is accepted much like diabetes or heart disease we will feel freer to talk about what we r dealing with..there are still many forums to speak up and about this disease and we should..

  3. My answer depends on if I feel strong enough to get the words out without crying. I guess a lot like Michelle if I feel brave that day. I lost my son Matthew December 17, 2013. He was 20 and started showing signs of anxiety at 15 after his dad and I divorced. The Doctors said he could have ptsd from our divorce. From there it was dr after dr and stays in hospital until he shot himself. I’m so grateful for what you are doing to get the word out. This is truly a sickness and parents and family’s need help. Matthews mom Anita

  4. This is such a tough question to answer. I still have trouble with it. The answer depends on my mood, how many people are involved and whether I think I’ll see the person/people again. Sometimes I say 2. For most people, it will stop there. Other times I say, we only have one at home. Then, there are those times when I feel brave and I’ll say, ‘We have two children. Our older son died x number of years ago’. If the person wants to know more, I’m happy to share.

    Daniel has begun to talk about Alexander alot. I haven’t had to answer the question in a while and not in front of Daniel. I’m sure he would correct me if I dared to say I only have one child.

    1. It is so hard to figure out how to answer. Thank you for sharing Michelle. Funny that Daniel would correct you. I bet he’s a sweetheart

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