Dear Mike, I know you’ve joined Charles

Michael Alexander Berges Stewart
Michael Alexander Berges Stewart

When I saw 12:48am on my phone with your mom’s name on it, I knew there had been a tragedy.  She was one of the first people to call me after Charles’ suicide three years ago and I never wanted her to be in this club, too.

Mike, I would have thought when you wore “Charles socks” or one of his shirts I shipped to you after his death, those things would have protected you from this ending. But that’s not how it works, is it?

You meant so much to my boy and even inked that on your skin. Charles suicide, then Blake’s overdose, and now your drug-related death, too.  Man, I was rooting for you, son. We don’t even know if your accident was because you were high or if it was intentional. Given that we have a choice, I’m going to go with accidental death. I could go on about how you are feeling no pain and have found peace and all that bullshit but instead I’m just pissed, sad, and want to break plates and kick some walls.

You fought, though, didn’t you? Your mom told me how much you wanted recovery and how hard you worked for it. But recovery can be like a mud slide. You’re doing great and then you slip and find yourself in the bottom of an ugly well and don’t even know how you got there again. Addiction just hovers over the whole family and we never know when it will swoop in and take one of our babies.

This one has hit hard and it’s taken me two days to even write you this letter. Besides that, it’s the worst f-ing letter ever because I can hardly see for all the water in my eyes. You Family School guys are together again. Do get back to me somehow. I’ll be watching for signs.

Love, Anne Moss, Charles’ mom

Mike Stewart’s Obituary

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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.

8 thoughts on “Dear Mike, I know you’ve joined Charles”

  1. Anne, it is purely beautiful the way that you use your passion and your gifts to keep the memories of these young men alive. Please know how much I admire you. Charles, Blake, Mike, Thomas, and others were bright, creative, talented, funny young people…ones who bonded with others and truly cared. It is tragic that they suffered from a disease, and one with a very high mortality rate. May their gifts to the world live on in all who knew them, and may their grieving families receive peace and comfort this blessed holiday season.

  2. I am so sad and sorry for Mike, his family and friends. Just crushing. Sending love to all these beautiful young men from FFS: Charles, Blake, Mike, and Thomas.

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