On June 5, 2015, my son died by suicide. With him, all the hopes and dreams I had of who he would become evaporated in an instant.
Your kids are your life. And when one of them is taken away, part of your life goes with him. Part of my soul died that day and my grief journey meant finding new hopes and dreams, all while mourning the loss of the ones that would never come true.
Charles had “it.” He wanted to be famous. Wanted his music to be famous. And he had all the ingredients although I don’t think he had the resilience one needs to handle fame.
Because he connected with people on such a deep emotional level, they instantly took to him. He loved being on stage and his audience loved him there. That was the only time he didn’t feel depressed or anxious. He was a natural entertainer with a gift of timing unmatched by anyone I have ever seen.
From Winnie, his drama teacher at Wasatch.
I did a production of Alice in Wonderland and cast Charles as the Caterpillar. At first I was trying to direct him in this way or that then one day it occurred to me to just let him do it his way. It was stunning and everyone in the room knew they were in the presence of genius.
We took this piece to Regional and State Drama Competition and Charles also entered a Humorous Monologue of his own invention. He became an instant sensation at the competition. Girls were following him everywhere and we all felt like we had brought Elvis to a Kindergarten picnic.
All of his gifts left with him. I had to pick up where he left off and carry his legacy forward.
Never did I think I would choose to talk about suicide every day of my life. Immerse myself in it. Make it my cause until the day I died. I would have thought it too depressing and that all the stories would bring me down.
I have found a new purpose and found hope for the kids still struggling.
I never knew why someone would become an oncologist or a hospice nurse. I know now. They want their lives to have meaning even if that means a frequent brush with death. I feel the same way.
At first I thought it was enough to save one life. But it’s not. I have to keep going. And this village needs to keep growing to make that happen.
Thank you to my most loyal village members–you know who you are.