When I started this blog, I had no idea where it was going. I just knew I hurt like crazy and had no idea what the grief journey after a suicide loss might be.
I had to write and I didn’t expect anyone would want to be exposed to my ugly, naked grief. After all we tried to do for Charles, suicide was the worst possible ending I could imagine. In fact, I never imagined it. It was never even on my radar.
Then someone asked, “How do I subscribe to your blog?” I was shocked and I still didn’t know exactly what this would be. I had not thought like a marketer. But I added a subscribe feature. All I knew was that I had a lot to say and I was tired of being quiet. Tired of suffering alone. Tired of judgement and implied shame.
And a funny thing happened. You guys showed up. Day after day. Week after week. We made a sort of ragtag tribe and you guys starting sharing the posts and other people who had lost a child, lost someone to suicide or addiction and those still suffering with mental illness came, too. And they starting talking.
From there it blossomed into a true grassroots effort and thanks to you, our voices carried further so that we reached over a quarter million people in the first 18 months. People are finding these posts from google now. From Facebook. And from you.
Seven years ago when I started speaking about mental health, drug abuse and addiction, no one wanted me. I had to beg to get any speaking gigs. I could not dynamite a door down. And now people are inviting me to speak on those subjects, including suicide.
I did want to be public about what was happening with my family when it was happening. I was angry at the broken mental health system that ultimately failed my son and my family. Charles didn’t want me to talk out loud. Out of respect for him, I didn’t. Well, I did once. But he didn’t like it so I stopped.
I know that being emotionally naked made people uncomfortable right at first. I didn’t care because I had lost one of the most precious people in the world to me, my child. I had nothing to lose.
I want you to know, I wouldn’t have the reach I do without your support and sharing.
Alone, I was not effective. Together, we are. Let’s kick ass in 2018.