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My heart weighs ten thousand pounds

Richard is far right. This is from a visit 2 years ago.

My oldest, Richard, graduated in May of 2015 from University of NC School of the Arts with a degree in Filmmaking. Two weeks later his brother died by suicide. Obviously at that time, he was not ready to leave North Carolina for Los Angeles.

He is moving to LA today. Driving across country from Tennessee to Kansas to Colorado to Las Vegas to California.

I know he needs to do this. You have to spend some time in LA if you are going to make it as a filmmaker.

I’m excited for him and feeling sad at the same time.

Yeah I know there is such thing as planes. Yeah I know I can go out there and visit. But it won’t be once a month like it has been. Popping up here for a weekend from North Carolina to Virginia won’t be happening any more.

As a parent, you can’t help but project. What if he gets married out there? Starts a family out there? He laughs and tells me that’s not what he’s going for but we all know that can happen.

If that happens, we might just retire where he is.

I knew this would happen some day and I’ll adjust. But I’m struggling right now.

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.

19 thoughts on “My heart weighs ten thousand pounds”

  1. Anne, I’m sorry Richard is going so far away. It has to be so hard after losing a child to have the other move so far away. I know how valuable his support and unconditional love has been for you.

  2. I get it. Hang in there Anne Moss. You will do great. And there is a lot of filmmaking in VA and NC these days…

  3. Here’s some perspective. Daniel left the nest and moved to LA with a job that was a starting point to fulfill his dreams. Seven months later he hanged himself from his bedroom closet in LA. Had absolutely everything going for him with all the support from us. At least from the outside. Obviously his undiagnosed and untreated anxiety disorder and probably hidden clinical depression got the best of him. Before that I struggled (and hid) mightily with my anticipatory empty nest grief. Then i read a Dr. Phil post that said “Stop being morbid. They’re not dead”.

    I have a new perspective with his soon-to-be 20 year old sister leaving home after attending local college (or sooner). I will still suffer the sadness that comes with that phase in my life ending. But then I always remember what the good doctor said.

    1. I so remember your story and of course I have thought about it. Richard is a planner and he has things mapped out pretty well for a 24-year-old. But I know to always listen for red flags.

      1. I didn’t mean to worry about him. I just meant we get so sad about our children leaving and being away from us. But I now realize my selfish empty nest “grief” (or them moving away) is so silly when compared to them dying. The first is goodbye we’ll see you later. The latter is goodbye.

          1. Still not my point. 🙂 This post of yours was primarily about sadness of a child moving away. I’m just saying Daniel’s death will help me get a better grip when my daughter leaves. It could be worse. She could be dead. Hence the Dr. Phil reference. That’s all. Just say “I can dig it”.

            1. I understand you David. Honestly. It’s better to have them happy and following their dream even if they are far away than not have them here at all. Your story simply came to mind at some point in my thought process.

  4. Although you would have it any other way (you want him to fulfill his dreams) it still hurts. Best of luck to Richard as his fulfills his dreams. Best of luck to you mamma as you fill you time without him. His success will bring you joy! Can’t wait to see what he will accomplish.

  5. We can fly out together! My oldest is moving to San Diego at the end of July. It’s tearing me apart but you have to let them soar!! Already looking at flights. I have to see my Granddaughter grow!!! Hang in there. I’m shedding those tears with you.

  6. Bittersweet. Proud of him no doubt! But another loss. We know he needs to do this and we are happy for him but still……I’m sorry ….🦋

  7. Oh anne moss. Shew. I have to imagine the bittersweet feelings this envokes. Pride of course. Happy for him too. But another loss in a way. I am sending you big love. And safe travels for your boy and all the 🙌🏼🙌🏼 to him for following his passion and dreams. Xoxo

  8. Sending love, Anne Moss. I know this is so hard, and yet you are so proud of the young man Richard has become and excited for his future. Your tribe can’t wait to hear updates on how he is doing. Please update us regularly. 😊

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