A morbid list

the listWhen I found out Charles was addicted to heroin and he was out of the house due to having walked out of detox, the fear that he would die overtook my life. I could barely function. I was immobilized by fear. There were times I had trouble breathing. No amount of yoga and running was doing it for me and I had to find some relief to the relentless premonitions, fear and despair.

So I made a list. What if he did die? What would I do first? So it had three things on it which I struggle to remember now but I know it had who I would call first, who I would call to get help with a funeral.

I know. So morbid. Who does this?

It wasn’t that I was trying to be prepared. What I was trying to do was give myself an umbrella. If you take the umbrella with you, it won’t rain, right? I needed some relief. I resisted trying this because I felt like I was writing his death certificate to do it.

Once I did it, I felt the release of thoughts I previously couldn’t get rid of no matter what I did. It was in my brain, why not put it on paper? I was still a basket case but I was able to function. And sleep. I felt guilty about it at first and then quite honestly I forgot all about it until the night he died.

It was a totally radical idea. Unfortunately, I had to use it. That’s the part that sucked. I really thought that by making the list, I was immune and somehow magically he would live. And that was probably why it worked for offering me relief.


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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.

3 thoughts on “A morbid list”

  1. Anne..I have ‘identified ‘ which friend would help me with the funeral, service , pictures of him in a happier place i would choose for the funeral etc…i think all of us have..so sorry you had to follow through on these lists..the incredible pain of having a child who struggles with addiction

  2. You were coping the best that you could, through a desperate and heartbreaking situation. By sharing this, you’re giving others the peace of mind that it’s OK to release these thoughts. The ripple effect will be far reaching. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I have not walked in your shoes, Anne Moss, but I am willing to bet I would have done the exact same thing. I am a list-maker. It’s how I’ve coped with life and stress for years. I can see me doing what you did, feeling the same relief, living in the “umbrella” bubble. Thank you for sharing yet another part of your intimate journey. ❤

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