Not one mention

I attended a funeral today.  The director leading the service mentioned the man’s  biological daughter and his step children. There was no mention of his son who died fifteen years ago, although he was in the obituary. That grief takes a of space in a parent’s life and can’t simply be carved out of a life because it doesn’t make a good end-of-life story.

How does one accidentally forget to mention the son of the deceased? Standing there confused, the gravity of the omission wormed its way into my conscious.  This wasn’t an oversight but a purposeful omission.

Had his son died of cancer, I feel sure he would have been mentioned. But he died by suicide so therefore, erased from the family tree. Now in all fairness, that wasn’t the feeling of all the attendees but probably reflected the wishes of one. The wife and son of the one who had died by suicide fifteen year’s earlier were at the service.

As a mother of a son who also died by suicide, the feeling that some might think my son’s life didn’t count because of how he died reminded me of how far we have to go. In my little bubble here, it’s easy to forget how dense the stigma and shame are as it relates to suicide.

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I am that mom ‘whose child killed himself’

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. 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.

9 thoughts on “Not one mention”

  1. That is sad that his son wasn’t mentioned. Our committee for the Amelia Schools Campus Walk held a rock painting yesterday. It was well attended and raised awareness and $200.00 towards the walk goal of $20,000.

    The more we spread awareness, the more the stigma will go away. I see it living in our tiny town of Amelia already in one year of being involved.

    I appreciate all that you are doing Anne.

    1. Karen- That is excellent. I think the young people are going to be the change and it’s people like you, supporting and promoting the cause that will make the difference. Thank you for what you do

  2. This breaks my heart. We do have a long way to go. But Anne Moss you continue to bare your heart and share and I know it’s opening eyes. 💙

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