Imagine living with a premonition that your child is going to die?

I can’t predict things. But I do get premonitions. They just hit me like a lightening bolt. Most the time it’s just random stuff. Usually not a death although those are the ones I remember the most. I’ve actually had only three death ones and one of those was Charles.

I had no clue how he would die. That wasn’t part of the premonition. The suicide was a complete shock. Often my premonitions are mundane enough–like I am going to win a prize or a friend is going to have a flat tire. My mom used to call me the “witch”– but not in a mean way. The premonition about Charles dying started stalking me in January of 2014.

Prior to the full blown premonition,  I had flashes about him that were unnerving and disturbing but not really very clear from about 5th grade on. I’m not sure what these would be called. Pre-premonitions? They were very fuzzy and foggy and I simply couldn’t see Charles being an adult. I had this awful undefined moment of fear and I can even remember where I was standing when I had the first one.


When they started as premonitions they just got stronger and more real feeling. Many of you heard me say that I didn’t think he would make it. Some of you might think this would prepare me for his death. I can tell you it did not. At all.

So how did I live with this? Of course you talk yourself out of them. Surely this one can’t be true. But once they came to me often, I had to do something. Because losing hope is just about the most devastating feeling of all. It is second only to losing a child.

What did I do?

I made a list of three things. At the top was a wish. That wish was that he wouldn’t die between moves. Of course, that is exactly when it did happen.

That list you ask? Number one was to call family. Number two was to call Martha, my friend for the last 40+ years. Number three was to ask Mary Jo if we could have the memorial service at Grace & Holy Trinity.

The purpose of this “list” was to make it so I could put it out of my mind. Sort of like if you carry an umbrella, it won’t rain.

When I made the list around February of 2015, it did provide some relief. And guilt, too. So confusing.  Then I felt as if a weight had been lifted.

But then it happened

We were at Brio Tuscan Grille when my husband got the call on his cell phone from the police on June 5, 2015. The Richmond Police just said they were at our house and nothing more. Then they said they’d come meet us at the parking lot at Brio.

The sudden realization that it had come true was the absolute worst feeling I have ever had. I knew before they got there and I have never felt so cold and frightened in my life. Your world just stops and you just go numb.

Why did that one have to come true? How did I know? And why the F#@% did I have to know?

I can’t answer that. But I’m due a good premonition, that’s for sure.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. 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. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

5 thoughts on “Imagine living with a premonition that your child is going to die?”

  1. How awful for you to be carrying that thought with you for so long. But we never ever imagine it will come true. I wish I could understand why to offer you some words of comfort. But I know they don’t exist. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us. I hope that by doing this you feel our love coming your way.

  2. On the Weds that we learned Billy had died but before we were able to confirm it I found a reading called Anticipatory Grief. I read it at my meeting that night while filled with the worst feeling of dread. I knew. I am not sure that was a premonition but I certainly felt he was gone. 💙

  3. Yes, yes…you are. I pray for you and your heart all of the time. I can’t imagine what you’ve experienced but I do know loss…and grieving. I don’t wish that on anyone. It is a process and I appreciate your writing and showing up for all of us who grieve…who are depressed. Your voice, your experiences and especially your life matters.
    Thank you Anne Moss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.