Ugly, naked grief

The grief that comes from having lost a child, comes from deep within and turns you inside out. The sound of a soul in agony is raw and gut wrenching. Nothing I have ever experienced is more humbling or leaves me feeling more helpless.

I often feel like my grief is so ugly, I should feel guilty for exposing anyone to it. There is this strong instinct to hide it. I don’t. Obviously. If I do, it snaps back like a rubber band.

Sometimes I need to let it out but I am afraid if I don’t keep it to myself and suffer alone, I’ll be pushed away.

Sometimes I have wanted to yell, “Pardon me for having interrupted your lovely life and beautiful family with my tragedy!” Then I feel shame.

It took me a while to realize that this feeling is not the result of resenting that others get to keep their children. It’s helpless anger.

And that anger is like the love that I still have for my child, it has nowhere to land.

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.

10 thoughts on “Ugly, naked grief”

  1. Hugs to all u mom’s…remember many people don’t know what to say, not because they dont care but just because. We all grieve and recover from our losses in many different time frames…dont ever let someone ‘short change ‘ you..dont let someone tell u you will be better next year…really?…do u have any idea what i have lost?..do u understand the guilt, pain and anguish i am feeling because i lost my child all too soon?…let others know how you r feeling..tell them it is ok to talk about ur child and to ask how they r doing. ..when we give them permission to discuss this disease, talk about suicide we give others the opportunity to open up and begin the process of healing the shame and stigma surrounding substance abuse and the resultant suicide often associated with it..

  2. Struggling today, overwhelming sadness, and lethargy. Your post about ugly naked grief was consoling. We lost our precious son, February 10th, 2013. It just doesn’t make sense to lose a child, who had such goodness in him, to be driven to suicide. We were so helpless in navigating, a broken, archaic mental health system. No one could believe a kind, gentle, funny universally accepting of all kinds of people, could do this to himself. I say, my Curt was gone, taken over by darkness, and voices in his head.
    Sorry to go on. Anyway, recently a friend who shared that horrible morning we lost Curt, told me how affected she was by my raw, wailing, weeping, inconsolable wanting God to take me. I never meant to burden her with this, and now I feel so alone again. How do you explain the surreal emptiness of your heart, soul, and mind, in that horror, you’re praying, it isn’t real, but you know deep inside , it really happened, this time.

    1. So beautifully said Jan. Your ugly, naked grief is so welcome and appreciated here. Your friend should not see it as a burden but as a gift that you’d trust her enough to share your soul. But not everyone sees it that way. I am, however, honored you shared here and it’s not too long at all. I am sorry you lost kurt like I lost child. We just never think the worst enemy is in their own head. So hard to fathom.

      1. Thank you for understanding, your blog helps me accept, the unacceptable. You get it. So sorry for the loss of your talented, funny, compassionate, kind, musical, people loving son, Charles.

  3. I was so there. I go back and read posts and things I wrote in public and can’t believe I was that honest. But NOBODY GETS IT UNLESS THEY ARE SLAMMED IN THE FACE WITH IT….and even then of course they can’t get it. Then this became my mantra…”Say” by John Mayer…. And I did have the resentment as well as the helplessness. I just went to an annual Christmas gathering of my “closest” friends, and they talked about their kids all night long. Never mind I no longer have mine. Not once did they ask how I was doing. I just sat and smiled and felt a little sick when I drove home. But they don’t know how to talk about anything else. It’s always been that way. It’s like if they really try to imagine my life – it’s too close to home for them and scares the crap out of them. So they don’t.
    And you are right when you say the love has no where to land. You keep saying what you need to say. People are listening. And I’ll let you know when I get my blog going.

  4. That is so true Anne Moss. It has no where to go. It’s been 2 yrs 7 months and 3 days since Daniel’s death and this year seems to be the worse so far. It creeps up on me without notice and I can’t push it away. So when I can, I stay home and let it run it’s course. Fortunately my family is close and we can talk about it together.
    Thank you for being so Bold and doing something positive with yourself. It helps to read your posts each day and know that you will not rest until there is more being done for mental illness and addiction.

    1. Teri, you are right in the thick of it. I would say I hit rock bottom around 18 months. And then stayed there for another year. And then slowly, slowly, it started to soften a tiny bit at a time. You hang in there and you say what you need to say.

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