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The emotional roller coaster

Those big family gatherings are great–the times when all the cousins are together laughing and telling jokes. We are all together celebrating my in law’s 60th anniversary. I am enjoying the noise and then all of a sudden it hits, that sadness of the one that’s not here anymore.

I have that ache and disbelief that he’s gone. “Oh how much he would have loved this,” I think. Has he been forgotten? My mother in law makes sure he is not forgotten and hands me a donation to a mental health organization in his name.

He’s in pictures of the past but none of the new ones. No new memories. No new Charles jokes. God this hurts. How can you feel amazing joy one moment and despair the next? That old familiar feeling of complete isolation in a crowd of laughing, joyous people surrounds me like a blanket. That’s grief.

I know I’m not the only one who’s suffered a loss. I am, however, the only one who has suffered the loss of a child or a loss by suicide. I know no one here has no earthly idea how this feels and they don’t want to know. I hope they never experience it.

I know now what my friend Dan, who lost his 18 month old son Alexander, meant when he said that tears just come more easily now. They are always so close to the surface. Although I think the pain will soften over time, I think I will always cry more easily.

The grandchildren all make their toasts for their grandparents’ 60th anniversary. Richard, Charles’ brother, makes his. He starts by acknowledging the loss of his brother by suicide just 18 months ago before he makes his remarks. He is making his toast for the two of them although Charles is not here physically.

Everyone is quiet and I am shocked– but so proud of Richard. This time I cry because I am so grateful that he is remembered and that he had the guts to publicly say what he did. This is such a gift.

Feeling thankful today.

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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.

5 thoughts on “The emotional roller coaster”

  1. I have just had those same feelings at our Christmas gatherings. And since Whitten left 5 days before Christmas, it is just below the surface more so than usual. I wish I had another child to give a toast to Whitten. To concentrate on. Somewhere for the love to go. A wedding or a grandchild. The best I can do is a new puppy. Stay strong Anne Moss…

  2. Five months after Daniel died by overdose, his brother got married. Daniel was supposed to be the best man. We were surrounded by family and friends and I was supposed to be happy. I thought I was going to pass out. I love my family. They are my happy place. And now, they are also where I feel that empty place the most. Grief sucks! But, we will continue and we will fight.

    Thank you Anne Moss for this outlet, every day, where we can remember.

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