Sometimes I feel relief instead of grief

relief instead of grief

When we first sent my youngest son, Charles, away to wilderness and then therapeutic boarding school, the grief from having lost what I considered a normal high school experience left me feeling cheated. No home-town plays with Charles in them, no chaperoning the homecoming dances that he’d attend with a date.

We sent him away to save his life. And it was a last resort.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also find relief after he left.

I wrestled with the agony of sending him away against his will while also welcoming the warm blanket of safety and hope that surrounded me after we did.

While he was at home, my heart would sprint out of my chest every time the phone rang.

But after he left, we were no longer awakened at 2 am by a glassy-eyed son I didn’t recognize. No more surprise vomit in random places around the house or suspicious prescription pill bottles from names I was vaguely familiar with. I no longer hid my handbag or had to set the alarm to keep him inside instead of keeping criminals out.

It was peaceful for the first time in three years and I pushed away the guilt that stalked me for enjoying it.

Later when he he was in jail or in rehab, again, I would feel relieved. Because I knew where he was and that he was alive.

After his death, the crushing news of his suicide left me wondering whether I would survive. But a part of me, at times, was relieved. My adrenalin wasn’t standing at constant attention and I could let go of some of the toxic worry that had kept my nerves hostage for years.

I miss him. I always will. But I don’t miss the worry, chaos, financial strain, and constant fear of losing him.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

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