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Grieving and rosemary

When I first lost my son Charles to suicide I would go downstairs and take my hand and run it over the rosemary from the herbal basket my friend Preston sent. I would bend over, breathe in the scent and slowly exhale.

They say lavender is the grief herb. But for me, it was rosemary. I can’t really explain what it did for me other than I experienced a moment that hit the pause button on my grief and offered me a rare moment of peace. and comfort.

I often walk in the morning with my friend Virginia. And we walk by a rosemary plant in our neighborhood that hangs over the sidewalk. I often snag one of the orphaned limbs, rub my hand over it and take in the scent.

Virginia used to flinch just a bit because, well, the plant is not mine. No one asked me to prune it. However, every time we walk by, you can’t tell where I got the last sprig. And I noticed today that there were spots on the plant that now had multiple sprigs instead of a single spire. No doubt my “pruning” had resulted in a fuller plant.

That’s how I justify it.

What would I say if they came outdoors and asked me why I was snapping off branches of their rosemary? I’d tell them the truth.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health 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 addiction 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 mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, 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. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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