Grief: Letting go of bitterness to find hope and joy

I am more hypersensitive to the bitterness of others than I ever have been. 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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People move on. I cannot resent that

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker 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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