I am that mom ‘whose child killed himself’

Randy, Anne Moss, Richard, Charles

When I decided to go public about Charles‘ drug addiction and suicide, I was terrified. Would he become the “poster child” for those ugly topics? Would everyone think that’s all he stood for? And would I become that mom that no one saw any other way–a mom whose child killed himself?

The voices inside my head encouraging me to speak out overwhelmed the ones trying to make me quiet.

Was I up to living a brand of being emotionally naked? Would I regret it?

Not once did I regret it. But regret reared it’s ugly head when it came to my son and questioning myself as a parent. Who wouldn’t?

Talking and writing about it helped me keep the memory of my son alive,  introduce his illnesses but also share his gifts. What’s more, it offered me the opportunity to create a platform and connect with others in our shared pain.

Instead of shunning me, you all supported me and your encouragement helped me find my voice. None of that was planned.

So yeah. I’m the mom whose son killed himself. But I’m also pretty normal as moms go. As are many of you. We are good moms and good dads to whom something terrible has happened.

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.

6 thoughts on “I am that mom ‘whose child killed himself’”

  1. Oh Anne, your articles as such a GOOD read for me every time. I am not lucky to be close to you otherwise I would love to meet you. But thank you for all you have done. Love, 🤗

  2. And our children are good kids who had an illness that killed them. There is so much more to them than that. My daughter was a loving, kind, and thoughtful person who was always ready for an adventure and full of clever insights – a pure joy to be around. Thank you Anne Moss for sharing Charles with us, and for creating this space for us to feel normal. It means everything.

  3. Anne Moss I don’t remember where we first met, but I remember you asking me to lunch. We met at Coopers Hawk and shared our stories of our beautiful boys. I vividly remember us holding hands on the table, while we each cried. You modeled for me, transparency, grace, strength, tenderness and love. Your gifts and what you’ve given to so many others may not be fully recognized or visible to you. But they are plentiful. 💙

    1. I guess I don’t see it. I worry that I’m running a big pity party sometimes and it’s only your perspective that helps me talk myself out of that mentality. But I remember that lunch. And crying with you. And I can’t tell you how good that feels sometimes to be with you and let it out without apologizing. Because we both get it.

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