Grief: Letting go of bitterness to find hope and joy


If ever anyone is entitled to bitterness, I feel it would be those of us who have lost a child. Frankly, I don’t want to live my life feeling that way. It would be a disservice to my son that died as well as the one that lived.

I think the key to leaving bitterness behind is finding my direction and purpose in the most devastating tragedy of my life. My purpose as a mother was to raise my two boys to be thriving adults. To have one of them die by suicide at age 20 wasn’t part of that plan. With that death, my purpose was yanked right out from under me leaving me disoriented and confused. I feel I have been dropped in a desert with no compass. Where do I go from here?

I have found some clarity in grief, however. Or rather intolerance. For one thing, I know I have to minimize contact with people who hemorrhage bitterness. It’s absolutely poisonous to someone struggling through a suicide loss. It’s so easy to jump on the bandwagon of “why me?” yet I find that is not a healthy journey to achieve the sense of purpose that I want to find. I know that’s just step one. And that’s OK. Gotta start somewhere.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Grief: Letting go of bitterness to find hope and joy”

  1. I’m not proud of it, but I did have a seemingly long bout of bitterness, in 2017. Actually, it surprised me. My motto after losing Curt on February 10th, 2013, was “I’m not going to be bitter, but better.” I guess I had to go through it, because I feel so different now. I accept that, that awful place was where I needed to be for as long as it took. Anne, I totally agree with you about staying away from bitter, toxic people.

    1. I remember your comment that you felt bitter. So you were aware of the feeling. We all visit it. That’s OK. We just don’t want to get stuck there and getting out of that mindset requires a self awareness first. So no shame in that. Or guilt. I think we can visit that. We’ve earned it.

  2. Anne Moss,

    I’ve been reading your blog posts and, while I don’t really know the “right” thing to say here, I did want to let you know that I’m listening and learning from you. I admire your strength and your determination to help others understand and accept loss, grief and mental illness. I suspect you are reaching many others that respect your words and your struggle, but can’t find the proper words to express their condolences and their gratitude for your purpose. Sending you love and light.

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