My alter ego soothes my fear of fading memories


Me: Some days I feel like his memory will fade and I will not remember all that I want to remember

Alter Ego: You won’t forget the really important things

Me: But I want to remember everything

Alter Ego: Even with the ones who are living, you forget things. It’s not possible to remember everything

Me: Sometimes when I think about this, my breathing is shallow and I feel panicky. The memories are all I have

Alter Ego: It’s that feeling that it can’t be real. His death, I mean

Me: Exactly. I feel like if I move forward, I leave Charles further behind. Like he’ll be some picture that is frayed at the edges

Alter Ego: The world can’t stop because Charles died

Me: I know. My world stopped when he did. I mean at first. But sometimes I ache that I’m moving forward and he’s not

Alter Ego: But you are carrying him with you. Forward. You will carry his legacy 

Me: I remember his beautiful curly hair–how it would blow in the wind at the beach 

Alter Ego: You’ll never forget that memory, you know 

Me: I know. I won’t

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.

12 thoughts on “My alter ego soothes my fear of fading memories”

  1. Patrick’s death occured 10.10.12 and my wife and oldest daughter and I were discussing the pain we still feel today. We are visiting her family in Birmingham and brought P’s two young sons with us (ages 11 and 8). They are not yet quite old enough to understand all the ramifications of his being gone. Their mom has remarried and they call Wes dad…so that’s good. Life does go on but for many of us, his absence is HUGE. Often I find myself talking to him, dreaming about him and going over the same “what ifs”. My work at a recovery center and time spent on the book, The Road to Recovery, is a godsend. Many blessings remain. Thank you God. And thank you for Heaven, can’t wait for a glorious reunion!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story of your son, Patrick. It’s so surprising the intensity of loss sometimes. And then other days, not as much. Life does go on. And sometimes that’s hard to accept.

  2. Anne Moss, Recently I’ve been having such sweet memories of my Tyler. But I’m so afraid I’m going to forget them. Things that are so special & especially treasured by a mother. His random acts of kindness, his favorite music to sing & play, his favorite restaurants & foods. I intend to write them down but keep procrastinating. Cleaning yesterday I found much of his artwork from preschool & a particularly heartbreaking letter he had written to his dad & me; he apologized for what he perceived as his shortcomings & expressed his deep love for us. Mental illnesses & addictions are cruel diseases that no one is immune to.

    1. Oh wow that letter! I know you are so glad you found that. What a treasure. I would love to tell your story when you are ready Tjwanna. Charles was a “random acts of kindness” kind of kid, too.

  3. Brought tears to my eyes my friend…while did all these sweet left sided creative types have to struggle with this d…n dz….
    Skim boarding at the beach, ice hockey, snowboarding..all those adrenalin raising sports that made them feel better
    He lives inside you Anne and in what you are doing everyday
    Cant begin to imagine the confusing feelings of pain, angst, grief, sadness
    I have said many times…you can get ‘rid’ of a sibling, parent or spouse…a mother cannot and should not lose her child..peace..keep paying it forward

    1. Thank you Connie. True we can’t give up on our family, especially a child. And you are in a tough place too and have experienced the grief process of a child that is still using. But I am holding out hope for him.

  4. I felt the same way about moving forward without Josh as if I were leaving him behind. Then I realized he’s already arrived at his destination and we are left behind!
    It is hard not being able to share the changes in my life and when I moved a month ago there was this irrational fear that he ‘wouldnt be able to find me’ and that I had ‘left him behind’. Agonizing heartache even if irrational…. I try to remember I’m the one left behind, he’s arrived at his destination !!!

    1. I love that!!!
      I struggle to with all the milestones he’s missing and how the world didn’t stop when he died like I expected it to.
      Thank u for sharing that thought. I will definitely remind myself that every time I feel I’m leaving him behind❤

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