I didn’t get to tell Charles his lyrics were brilliant

Charles’s senior picture at Wasatch Academy. This is from his twitter acount

So many saw them. Read them. But I never got to see his notebooks.

Some days I feel sort of left out because he didn’t share his work with me. I know why because I would have been alarmed. But he had to know I would have also been impressed.

I think he started writing raps in middle school. He must have kept them hidden. I think it was when he was at wilderness that I found out he had a lot of them and it was a coping exercise for him.

When he was at Wasatch Academy in Utah, he’d carry all of them with him. Every single day. And it was not just one or two of them. He had at least 15-20 of those composition books. I’m not sure he carried his school books but he had his notebooks and I worried how heavy they were on his skinny back.

I wonder if he wanted them with him at all times for comfort.

Or he was afraid someone would read them and take them like they did at the therapeutic boarding school where he’d been previously (The Family School).

I wonder if he carried all of them with him every day? Or just when a depressive episode hit?

He was suffering a depressive episode when we were visiting that October. Although he denied it. Why didn’t I push a bit more?

While we were at parent’s weekend in October of 2013 his senior year,  Randy and I tried to talk him into letting me scan those songs. But he would not hear of it. I so regret we didn’t get to scan them since the ones he had there are now gone.  I honestly remember feeling desperate to preserve his work. Like it was very important but I didn’t know why. His creative genius was obvious in other things he did and I knew they’d be good. I ached for him to share them with us but I didn’t insist. Would he if I had pushed for it?

I’ve spent the most time ever with his notebooks, only six of them now, while writing my book–particularly last week.They are heartbreaking yet brilliant. I would love to have told him that.

We were close and always talked a lot. Maybe less so as he became addicted but he’d still come in my office and chat like he always had. What gets me though is that I really know him now after reading his rap diaries. I get what he was about and why he did some of the things he did.

How come I didn’t really get to know my child well until he was dead?

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, 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. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “I didn’t get to tell Charles his lyrics were brilliant”

  1. Your blog is amazing, It’s been 18 years since my son died, the raw emotions, the forgetfulness, the exhaustion, frustration, and many others sound so familiar …slowly as the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months became years, I have learned to cope with the loss, but the lonely ache is always there….

    1. Thank you so much Brenda. And I know what you mean. I realized about nine months into it that I would always hurt. For some reason I thought I’d get to a place where I didn’t think about him daily. How wrong I was!

      And I’m so sorry you are in this club, too. I know we rather not be.

  2. We can only know what people allow us to know, right? I’m sorry you don’t have all Charles’ lyric notebooks but I’m thankful you have those six. I’m looking forward to reading your book, Anne Moss, and getting to know your sweet boy better. ❤️

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