Charles’ personality was so big

He was complex, adorable, frustrating, hilarious, effervescent, electric, charming and eccentric. From the time he came into the world to the time he left, his presence was all-consuming. He pushed boundaries past comfortable, questioned everything and was relentless and persistent when he wanted something.

When Charles waltzed in, the fun had arrived

Faces brightened, bodies turned toward him like he brought the sunshine in his pocket and he was there to hand it out. The life of the party, the center of the universe took his own life and in its place is an ocean-sized crater. He was one of those bigger-than-life personalities who exceeded his allotment of space on earth despite his six foot two and 130-pound frame.

Even the latter five years of his life as he struggled with mental illness, drug abuse then addiction and our family was in chaos, it was difficult to not make his problems the center of our own universe. Ninety percent of the time that’s what I focused on in support groups.

I have thought of myself as simply a vessel for his conception and that he was never really mine in the first place. That he had a fate larger than I could imagine and I sat poised on the sidelines in the bleachers with the rest of humanity wondering what he’d become. His early death confused me because I was so sure he had a big destiny before his final bow.

Maybe he still does. Maybe his story has not ended. I still feel poised for something to happen and feel sure it’s there but I can’t fathom what it is. It’s like I’m living in my own mystery. Or am I simply relapsing and not accepting his end? Wishing and pining away that there would be more?

I don’t really know. All I know is that there is more to this story and it’s not just about me writing this blog to remind you he existed.

About Charles

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx 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 substance use disorder 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, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, 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. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “Charles’ personality was so big”

  1. It is like living in a mystery. I wish I could have met Charles. I’m looking forward to reading his lyrics in your book.

  2. Today is 4 yrs since I got the phone call. Just jogged 5 miles and now drinking many beers. Here’s a toast to the pain AM. We’re surviving aren’t we.

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