Would Charles be proud of me?

People tell me that. But would he? There are a lot of things I do that I think he’d laugh at. In a good way.

Charles would sometimes make fun of me in a way that was not cruel or mean. It was his way of showing me another side of myself in a funny and entertaining way. And even now when I do some things, I think he is laughing at me like he used to. And then I chuckle and think, “You’re right Charles. I need to get over myself.”

It’s easier to see things from his point of view now that I know more about him. It’s ironic I know him better now that he is dead. His music revealed so much.

I am not so sure he’d like me talking about him so publicly. But then I feel him with me on stage, telling me it’s OK and to keep going. Those emotions conflict and I’m sure my hesitation comes from when he didn’t like me talking about him when he was alive. But then he encouraged me to follow my hear and my passion. And that’s what I am doing.

My fantasy had always been that he’d be the one on stage telling his story about depression and addiction- the poster child of recovery. And now I’m carrying his message of connecting with others forward because he no longer can.

He wanted his music shared, his videos shared because he believed that putting the sadness out there made people feel less isolated and alone. I worried it would make people feel too dark.

I thought I was so progressive. The truth is, I was naive.

Now when I play one of his videos to teens and young adults, they immediately bond with him. It’s like he shined a spotlight on their own feelings and they feel inspired.

So is he proud of me? I don’t know. But I’m proud of him for having the guts to take a stand that was counterintuitive to what most people think.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Would Charles be proud of me?”

  1. Anne, I believe that Charles is completely in beautiful spirit now, which is difficult for our worldly minds to grasp. I truly believe that Charles is celebrating with you every single step of the way on this amazing journey! He’s not thinking nor believing how he did while on this earth but is renewed and so proud of you and the life you’re living dedicated to helping others like him, like so many of us, struggling to make sense of this complicated world. And I bet that he is beyond thrilled that he had a huge part in all of it and you are doing for him what he was not able to do for himself.
    May God continue to richly bless you as you serve your fellow man. ❤️

  2. I am so proud of Charles too. He did the best he could with a brain disease he didn’t ask for and that he fought against in a society that believes tough love and ostracism are the antidotes to addiction and despair. Even while caught in the grips of his disease he knew that he needed empathy, connection, and understanding. Hopefully his life and his voice will be a beacon for change.❣️

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