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.

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.

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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