letter of gratitude to my son who died by suicide

Gratitude letter

Dear Charles,

I’m grateful you were part of my life. If I had known from the beginning about your suicide at age 20, would I have chosen to have you as my child?

I’d like to think so. Knowing me, I would have thought I could have changed the course of destiny. Nevertheless, your life, as short as it was, transformed mine. And your death transformed it again. Everything is now categorized as before or after your death.

You helped me see outside of myself. You made me laugh and see the world from a whole different perspective. No one could give love so freely and graciously. And every time you hugged me, it took my heart hostage. It’s from you that I learned the importance of a hug, that ability to listen with empathy and sit with other’s pain.

After your death. I learned more about you than I had ever known. Your song lyrics gave me an inside perspective of your pain that I had never been introduced to. The guilt wrapped me like a blanket for knowing you better in death than I had in life. Thanks to you I worked through that, too, hearing your words, what you’d say to me to if you were here.

I miss you still. I miss you always. But I no longer resent those moments of intense grief but instead cuddle with them. Because it’s my only link to you. And it’s become something I treasure. I’m grateful for having had you in my life. My life is richer because you were in it.

Love Always, Your Mom

This letter was written as part of an exercise at a workshop offered by Susan E. Casey at the Bereaved Parent USA workshop on writing a gratitude letter after someone dies. It can be to anyone who you feel offered you a lot of support or your loved one.

Charles at Wasatch Academy in Utah

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.

2 thoughts on “Gratitude letter”

  1. It was so good to spend time with you (twice) in the Zoom room at BPUSA! You are truly a hero and I am honored to know you and learn from you.

    I’m loving memory of my son, Ray Carey, forever 39.

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