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Hopes and Dreams

movie-theater-charles

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.

They don’t.

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.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, 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. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “Hopes and Dreams”

  1. While I love you, I hate the circumstances that brought us together. Right?!?! Keep using your voice Anne Moss, change is happening. I will continue to use mine too. Big love to you on this crapiversary 😢💙

  2. Hey Anne Moss!I too am so blessed to have met you and be able to read each day what you write and compare it to the things I am feeling and the things I want to say and I always ,always ,always appreciate your humor , your wisdom and insight, and your bravery but first and foremost your HONESTY!
    Please let me know if you need help for Wednesday!

  3. I’m honored to be a part of the village. You’ve educated me and many others. The ripple effect is at work. Just yesterday, while talking with friends at church, the topic of suicide came up and I was able to use facts I learned here to open eyes as to the epidemic. Keep up the good work, Anne Moss! It’s got to be incredibly painful for you, but you are making a difference. Praying God will give you strength and guidance.

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