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How do parents who’ve lost a child survive?

Most will say, “I couldn’t survive that.” Or, “I would never be able to move forward again.”

At first, none of us knows how we are going to survive. When people found out my son Charles died by suicide, faces reflected horror which is similar to my own reaction to the news.

Facing what was an uncertain future fueled my terror. And the simplest activity such as taking a shower would take every ounce of energy I had for the day.

I had to go to work, write an obituary, go to the pharmacy, decide what to do with the ashes, send off death certificates, pick up toilet paper. The normal errands mixed in with death tasks was so surreal, there was a part of me that was sure I would wake up and find out I was living someone else’s life.

Most of us, with support and help, figure out how to move forward while learning to walk beside grief for the rest of our lives.

You don’t think you could survive if it happened to you. Those of you who have just met grief probably think all this is impossible for you, too. But you all have more strength than you know.

It’s worth it to survive. It is.

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 “How do parents who’ve lost a child survive?”

  1. Ann- I find such support in reading your blogs & the comments that are left from suicide loss survivors. Thank you! I am so sorry for your loss & that there is a need of so many of us belonging to the “tribe”. Our son Chris, tragically took his life last October. Chris just turned 30 the day before. As the year anniversary is coming, I totally agree, I am still in numbness & disbelief stage. I am hoping one day to be strong enough to share my journey. For now I will do my part for mental health & suicide awarenss, so maybe another family will not have to endure a devastating loss.
    All in remebering Chris- Forever loved, deeply missed.

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