This is my acknowledgment page from my book. It’s who helped me get it published.
This is my first book and was both a labor of love and therapy for my grieving soul. Writing it was agony at times but growth and self-discovery was more than worth the tears invested. I began writing it in my head the day after my son killed himself because the story stalked me and wouldn’t let go. Prior to typing the first word, my tribe at Emotionally Naked (EmotionallyNaked.com) encouraged me to write a book; it was one thousand blog posts and two and a half years after my son’s death before I typed the first words in January of 2018.
I owe my biggest thank you for my writing friend and beta reader, Susan E. Casey, a fellow author whom I met by phone before starting this memoir who said, “I was meant to help you with this book.” For a grieving mother and publishing virgin taking on a project of this magnitude, those were the sweet words I desperately needed to hear. I had no idea where to start, and she advised me to get that first draft down on paper first and edit later, which I promptly did. Her encouragement and gentle, but straightforward, advice is why this got done and got done well.
I want to thank publisher Ray McAllister, who believed this story needed to be told and offered patient, steadfast guidance, and to Lori Ross for making the connection. I must add Karen Owen for her expert editing touch and suggestions and my proofreader, Kelly Browning.
Thank you to my family, including my in-laws, Myra and Richard Rogers, and my parents, Anne and Bobby Nimocks, who weathered the tough years of Charles’ drug abuse, addiction, and diagnoses of depression and addiction, and read the early drafts of the manuscript and offered feedback.
To my son, Richard, a talented writer and film editor, who was there for comfort when I thought I would not survive another day with the suffocating pain of losing a child to suicide. He dove into one of my early drafts of this book and declared it a blockbuster, worthy of a later film. (I have to love that enthusiasm and support.)
Not all marriages survive the death of a child and I’m thankful my husband, Randy, and I had each other, and didn’t resort to blame but instead supported one another. He has backed me financially through the writing of this book after the sale of my business and supported my passion for dragging taboo topics into the spotlight through speaking and writing. He was one-hundred percent behind this project even though reading it in manuscript form took him several months.
My love to my niece Aurora who drove with her mother, Kristy, to Charles’ funeral, adored her cousin, still grieves the loss, and started a mental wellness club at her high school. She has wholeheartedly supported my effort to write this book.
Huge thanks to childhood friend Martha, who was at my house as fast as she could make it the day after Charles died, and helped me pack up his room because our house had sold before he died. She never stopped supporting my advocacy and had the intuition to call whenever this project was overwhelming me. To my book club and the ancillary members, who held up the world when it was too heavy and encouraged me to keep writing my way through grief.
To Robert, Sam, Jacob, Daniel, Alex, Scottie, William, Joslin, Courtney, and the rest of the crew for being there on Charles’ birthdays and death anniversaries, and telling me who was whom in some of the photos. A special shout-out goes out to Rowan for keeping in touch along the way and to Max for helping me figure out the syntax and words of Charles’ rap songs.
To Louis King, who believed in Charles’ talent: He opened up his studio and his heart, and helped me fill in some blanks regarding Charles’ movements prior to his death.
And finally, I am extending a special thanks to agents Wendy L and Anna L, for opening my proposal and reading it. Although they didn’t represent it for publishing, their guidance and feedback helped me to make more informed decisions.