This is not my son’s first birthday. It’s the first birthday since he died. He would have been 21.
Years ago, I dreamed we would be in a better place with Charles–with his depression and addiction. His sleep disorder, his anxiety, his ADHD. We worked so hard at it.
Instead we are grappling with his suicide. I still can’t believe it some days.
As I look back, I see things I didn’t see before.
I can’t even tell you how much I miss him. How much this hurts. I know you know that.
His birthday is my connection to him and his memory. He was my baby. I carried him, fed him, taught him how to read when he was 3. All that has to mean something.
Charles was such a light in life. Such a creative genius. I am still reading his rap diary. Such an amazing body of work.
It just blows me away all that talent is lost to us. He touched the lives of so many others–reached out when few others had the the guts to do so.
We must figure out a way to help kids with mental illness and addiction. We can’t just accept that if they are on drugs and suicidal they have no place to go. The places available to send a 20 year old are so few. We are losing so many creative people this way. Those with mental illness and addiction are gifted people.
Imagine trying to manage cancer on your own. We have to do the human thing not brush this under the rug hoping it will go away. We have to treat this as a dual diagnosis illness.
The people we love will go away and we are left to grapple with the agony of losing them. Like I am today.