Grief: Finding joy where I can, when I can

Totally embarrassing video below

When Richard, oldest son, was here for the Richmond Film Festival early in March, we got some time to spend together. (His film Cottonmouth got in the festival.)

One day I took him and his roommate out to lunch. While we sat there eating, Richard said, “Hey Mom, do you want to go to the screenings with us this afternoon?” I said,”Yes I can. No plans!”

Whatever plans I had, poof, they were gone. Fortunately I had taken the day off and cannot even remember what my plans might have been.

In the car before we got to Bow Tie Theatre for the afternoon short film screenings, we were singing in the car. I totally believe in car singing and car dancing. Within safety guidelines of course.

Before we went into the theatre we decided to make a selfie video. My back up singers were not so familiar with the tune despite an entire 2 minutes of intense practice!

I have to snatch moments of joy wherever I can. I have to learn to live with the grief and the loss. I have to redefine myself and figure out my purpose.

For many years that purpose was to usher my children, my youngest especially since he struggled, into adulthood. With that rug unexpectedly snatched from under me after his suicide, finding a new path and purpose has been brutally difficult. It’s like I’ve been dropped in a desert with no compass.

The life moments are the hardest–seeing his friends graduate, get married etc. While I am happy for these families, I can’t help but reflect that I won’t have these moments with my youngest child. And I won’t ever buy “he’s in a better place” because the better place is with his family.

That’s what forces me to find joy in anything I can. To give back whenever I can. Because that hole in my heart hurts and I need to find out ways to fill it.

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.

5 thoughts on “Grief: Finding joy where I can, when I can”

  1. LOL! LOVE that southern drawl, and you carry a nice tune. But….keep the day job. Unless of course you can get better backup singers. And/or a better sound system. In the meantime, I’m with you. The better place is with family. But I do believe his energy surrounds you. No comfort without the body, probably, but your self therapy is helping so many. Be proud of that and rejoice knowing that because of Charles, YOU are able to help so many. Because of Charles taking his life, many others are being saved. Find joy in your purpose. And find joy because he gave that to you (along with other wonderful family moments). I believe that speaking engagement tour is very near in your future. As for the singing career? It’s cute. I know what others say to you are words that may or may not bring you comfort when you need it. I once said to someone that I love dearly that so many become scarred from suicide. Scars last for a lifetime. But they fade and give us character. And one day, hopefully, we can all look at those scars and be thankful (in a weird sort of way to whatever higher powers there might be out there) that we have become who we were meant to be.

    1. Thank you Sean. You are quite the writer yourself. I have no speaking engagements scheduled right now. Working on it. I need one so I can get a video made. It will happen. I just have to chip away at it. Trying to create a new chapter…..

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