Year three since Charles died by suicide

So what was year three like compared to the previous ones? I will say that the loss has softened some. The edges of my grief are not as jagged and it’s more of a dull ache.

Cries are most often softer compared to the violent break downs, screaming at windows and fist pounding that characterized my initial grief. The ugly, raw, new grief. Now it just sort of settles over me like a lazy dark cloud.

When I think back, it’s hard to believe I had the wherewithal to plan a funeral (with help), write an obituary, pack up my belongings, and move into a new house. How on earth did we do that? Any of it?

I went through the guest book from Charles’ memorial service this week. So many people I didn’t even get to speak to that day. I do remember that day because it was the first time I truly felt supported. How I had craved that and relished it that day and didn’t want it to end.

June 5 is a melancholy day of remembering my youngest boy on the anniversary of the worst news of our lives. In looking at years and years of soccer pictures, baseball pictures, school pictures, I’m reminded of just how “normal” we were. And how blindsided we were that someone like Charles, a person whom we thought loved life, had been plagued by thoughts of suicide for so many years.

You think you know your own child. The truth is, we don’t really. And we can’t make another human being happy. I could not make Charles love himself, see his talents, or stop doing drugs. That was not within my power.

All I could really do is love him. That I did, and I still do.

Reflecting on the first 2 years after losing Charles to suicide

Author: Anne Moss Rogers

I am the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am President of Beacon Tree Foundation, advocates for youth mental health as well as a writer and public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. I was a marketing professional for years prior to losing my son and co-owned a digital marketing firm.

21 thoughts on “Year three since Charles died by suicide”

  1. Oh Anne your words are so beautiful and yet heartbreaking. As in any death, the grief lessens slightly but the reality of losing your child will never change. You are so brave and generous to share his story and the stories of others. To hopefully comfort someone or help another who is struggling. Charles I’m sure is smiling down with pride. Hugs!

  2. I’m sorry, Anne, but thankful to you for sharing your thoughts. They give me hope that this pain may subside or at least soften its grip.
    Thinking of you – and remembering our beautiful boys. xoxo

  3. Year 3 is different isn’t it. My grieving season starts with July 6 bday then Sept 16 death day then of course that holiday thing. The grief has become more kept at bay, as it were. But forever there. And I’m sure will always come back with intensity. Like the tattoo my daughter got after Daniel’s suicide with the Doors’ Jim Morrison’s saying ” This is the strangest life I’ve ever lived”. Here’s to you Anne Moss survivor.

  4. Oh Anne, I feel like we have had so many commonalities around the loss of our sons. I also did all of those things, including starting in a new job after many years out of the workforce. How? I don’t really know. I don’t really remember much of the last year. It was the most traumatic year of my 52 years and I feel as though it still trudging on. If you saw me and visited with me, you might not be able to tell I’d been through all that, but those who know me well, know that I’m eternally different. My joy isn’t as pure and my sadness has marked me with gray and lines and mediocrity that I’ve never known before. The anniversaries are tough. I’ve only had the one, but the build up to it, the dread, that was awful. I hope you can find some joy in your memories of Charles today. At least the rain stopped and sun showed up today for you.

    1. The rain did stop. I will say that you will get to a place where you’ll experience joy more than before. You’ll feel it deeper. You’ll also feel sadness a different way. It takes time to get there. But I grab those moments without guilt. And I no longer avoid sadness-my own or someone else’s. Sometimes I find great joy with the person with whom I cried.

  5. Hugs to you Anne. I pray you experience continued comfort and support in your grief journey. You are doing a good thing in the midst. Much love to you.

  6. I started my day thinking of my family & remembered the date as the anniversary of your loss of Charles. My heart ached for you & then gave thanks for your courage & strength in continuing this important work.
    You have enabled so many to know him , rejoice in his life & realize he is still with us & impacting our world. He is a light & so are you Anne. Xox 💕🦋

  7. (((Hugs))) today and everyday. You put into words, what too many feel. Thank you for sharing your grief journey and your larger than life son, Charles.

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