Melancholy and sentimental

Facebook post back when Charles was still alive. Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving day 2019 was beautiful and started with a hike in the mountains. Dinner was amazing and festive.

There’s a familiar dull ache and heavy feeling that comes over me. I see our family together and know how much Charles would have enjoyed it. More than anything, that child loved family and the get togethers that brought us all together.

He’d have been outside today with those kids playing badminton and he would have orchestrated a corn hole game after. He’d have insisted we all go outside and build a fire and would have loved on the new puppy my nephew and his girlfriend now have.

No matter how many years it has been from the death of my child to the family event where I find myself, there are tears and that ache of grief–the future I was cheated of. No one asks, “So what is Charles up to these days?” Why would they? To everyone else he’s already a yellowed photograph and distant memory.

I see him in my mind so clearly today. My imagination inserts him in the scene and plays movies of him wrestling with the dogs, laughing at the table, making jokes and laughing, those loose brown curls framing his boyish face. In those thoughts, he’s forever frozen at age 20.

I should be sitting back and enjoying what he had become. Instead the sharp nick of regret on my soul burns a little more and that familiar replay of his last phone call prior to his suicide tugs on my conscious. I won’t let it stay and torture me having learned long ago how to pull myself from that dark cave. It only occasionally nags at me now but always hurts the same.

This is the last holiday my in-laws will host family in this house, a home where Charles spent in summer, a place where he found joy, peace, love, and lizards.

Published by

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.

4 thoughts on “Melancholy and sentimental”

  1. I understand as well. I miss the joking and teasing between siblings. Jilly would have shared in the cooking. We would have played music and sang together. She would have loved the 5 family dogs in attendance.
    We always made a bonfire in the backyard but she absolutely loved. We made a small one this year but it’s just not the same💔
    She never met Ani, the mixed lab we got the day she was to have flown home.
    I couldn’t do a big family gathering this year. Just couldn’t. It was hard to set the “empty chair” place and I couldn’t make it through saying grace.
    I have hope the pain won’t be as raw in 4 years. Your blog and others give me that faint hope for now.

  2. Always love reading your blogs Anne. I “get” everything you say about picturing Charles in events and the haunting of your last phone call. You have come so far…….you are strong 💪 xx

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