Sorry to interrupt your beautiful life with my tragedy

At first, this was my internal visceral response to people who acted as if my grief was an inconvenience to them–an ugly interruption in their beautiful, perfect life.

To be clear, I don’t resent anyone for having living children or a successful life. I do resent how my child was treated by those who were supposed to help him, leaving us broken at times.

Because of our tragedy, I do invade people’s space with my story. Over and over and over again. Even unsuspecting people, minding their own business.

I brazenly push the topic out there and I know it makes people uncomfortable. Hell, it makes me uncomfortable sometimes. Even my marketing presentations are littered with examples of suicide, addiction and mental illness.

Some are just not expecting that assault in a business environment. However, I have found even these audiences surprisingly compassionate and receptive after they recover from their initial shock.

I hear from other parents about how they want to talk about their loved who died by suicide or overdose but relatives cut them off and refuse to have a conversation about it. Part of why I do what I do is to give these family members a voice and permission to talk about the one they lost without shame.

I don’t want my child forgotten and dismissed because of how he died.

I don’t want to be dismissed as a human being and a mother because Charles didn’t become the thriving adult we hoped he would.

I want to see change. That means getting people comfortable with the topics of mental illness, addiction and suicide by talking. And sometimes leaking into and invading people’s space.

I would never have chosen this path. It happened and I can’t undo it.

But when  tragedy interrupted my life, something beautiful did happen.

I found my voice. I found purpose and people I would not have otherwise gotten to know. And despite moments of utter devastation, grief and despair, I have found hope and healing in your stories and friendship.

Interruption inspires change. And I won’t apologize for that.

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.

10 thoughts on “Sorry to interrupt your beautiful life with my tragedy”

  1. You always make my day .. Anne.
    I lost my Beautiful Daughter that meant the world to my husband and I on March 25th, 2016.. it was the worst day of our lives to get that call that our daughter was gone. It will be five years this month and it still seems like yesterday to us. We miss her every single day of our lives.

  2. No apologies needed Anne! The phrase “there but for the grace of God…” was running through my mind as I read this. Never feel belittled as a mother or have anyone make Charles “less than important” because of how he died. And shame on anyone who makes you and others touched by suicide judged and made to feel less than worthy. Keep speaking out! You are helping so many people!

  3. I smile to myself reading this entry. It is you, Anne Moss, that fierce Lion mother, protecting your and all our Cubs. I am proud to call you friend, Anne Moss, though all of us would rather it be for any other reason on this Earth than that of Angel moms.

  4. The “interruption” is so desperately needed and I thank you and your family for waking us up. Keep up the good work. Lives are being changed and saved!

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