Charles died six years ago

Charles Aubrey Rogers, April 26, 1995-June 5-2015

The ache in my chest is so acute, I gasp for air. I tell myself that the intensity won’t last long. I can do this. How many times have I done this before?

Those bursts of grief are shorter now, the intensity still sharp but less something.

I no longer hold myself hostage for the what-ifs or blame myself for parenting errors. I left that in its wake years ago. What good would it do? Moments of guilt do happen still but it’s a short sting and then I remember that I have forgiven myself.

The ache that seizes me so many years later is different. The drugs and suicide were part of the story but at this point, it’s not the cause of death, I just miss my child. I miss seeing my son’s head full of beautiful curls bobbing in the wind. The hugs that took my heart prisoner. The fits of laughter in response to something he said so violent I thought my ribs would break.

He’ll never get wrinkles and look older, forever frozen at age 20 in photographs that will one day look dated and already feel like it was a long time ago. I now know healing isn’t a destination but a continuous journey. I have learned to move forward. I have learned to live with grief. And I’ve learned to love a child that no longer lives in the same world as I do.

Forgive me Momma

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 “Charles died six years ago”

  1. Anne, you are tucked in the corner but surrounded by Love. Love that was intertwined with Charles and his friends. They all have “their pain” and it is different for each of them but they all came together to be together for Charles. How precious to have all “their Love” surrounding you!

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