There is no putting lipstick on that thought to make it pretty. And denying it won’t make it not true. I drowned in guilt over this for years. And it has resurfaced after a dream in which the phone rang incessantly and I woke up in a cold sweat that something awful had happened.
It had of course. In 2015, my son had taken his life. Why was this coming up now?
Right after he died, I was obsessed about that last phone call.
My first three psychiatric hospital stays were involuntary.
I was forced in against my will. However, the last seven stays up until 2019 were voluntary. I walked into the emergency rooms, head held high, turned to the intake nurse (with a loved one present) and said, “I need to be here, or I won’t be here. I am thinking of suicide.” Each stay was vastly different while simultaneously feeling the same. The difference festered … Read more...
Late last year, I spoke to a class of high school students locally. The teacher said she had been a friend of Charles’s which shocked me. How did she get to be the teacher? Wasn’t she too young? I couldn’t speak for a few seconds. The teacher even shared old pictures I had not seen.
You see I have Charles frozen at age 20.
All those who went to school with him are kind of frozen in my mind, too. I do see his friends, I get that they’ve graduated from college, some have married and his best friend had … Read more...
Almost everyone can mark the day their innocence walked out the door and harsh reality took its place. It’s that day when your vision of what the world is, where it’s going, and how you are moving through it changes course. Can you remember yours?
Awareness had been stalking me for weeks but had successfully been shoved out of the spotlight by denial, leaving it panting at the periphery of my conscience, anxious to break in and give me news I didn’t want to hear.
My naive mind didn’t want the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place but … Read more...
And success is made up of a bunch of lessons learned from failures.
The screw-ups, break-ups, surgeries, traumas, illnesses, natural disasters, losses, and accidents, are all woven into the tapestry called life. They are not events we want to happen but they do. And the best way to come back after any one of them is to learn and grow from it, not bury the feelings that go with these experiences.
Because if your feelings are covered up and buried, you get stuck in a really raw place for a lot longer than you need to.
This free 20-page eBook is for a parent, guardian, foster parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.It focuses on how you manage the conversations and turmoil of emotions you are experiencing after a child you love has confessed he is suicidal, has attempted suicide, or is coming home after an inpatient hospital stay for suicide risk or attempt. How you react and support does help. Find … Read more...
A trigger is an event, sound, sight, smell, or touch, that elicits an emotional response or prompts the memory of a trauma or unpleasant event.
A red flag is a warning sign of danger ahead.
A friend of mine, Alissa says that whenever she burns something on the stove it reminds her of a time when her mother cooked crack cocaine on the stove, a period in her life when she and her sisters went hungry, felt unloved, and neglected. While it has taken years, she has learned to appreciate that she endured this journey, is no longer in this … Read more...
Explore Two Important Questions for Suicide Prevention
Let’s face it, when it comes to communicating with your kids, you’d probably rather talk about sex than suicide. But as a mom who lost a son to suicide in 2015, it’s a conversation you need to have with a young person – even if everything looks okay on the outside.
My son Charles was the funniest, most popular kid in school and the last person you’d ever expect to take his life. When I looked back later after learning more, I saw obvious signs … Read more...
Whether you are chatting with friends or scrolling through social media, we’ve all paused and had that thought, “must be nice” in response to something someone else has or has posted. Maybe we have that same stab of jealousy when someone has a swanky car or an enviable handbag.
We tend to dive into this mindset when we are feeling low and have a hard time seeing anything great in our lives due to our current situation. (Which, by the way, is the worst time to be scrolling through social media.)
You get a feeling and then you “logic” your way out of believing your gut. Either from fear, denial, disbelief, or something else.
You don’t want to trust something so kumbaya.
So many times in my life, I allowed my brain to talk me out of what I knew to be true. At times the universe had to present hard and fast evidence for me to believe what was happening right under my nose while my gut had been telling me for days or months.
The most difficult episode was when I didn’t answer my son’s last phone call one … Read more...
Several years ago, the pain in my heart from losing my son Charles to suicide was so intense, I needed a way to manage the pain and lessen the suffering. This is a creative exploration of my grieving heart through pictures.
While it didn’t make the pain go away, it helped to have something to scan for daily. From this idea, the #griefheart project was born. That task alone really did give me purpose and meaning.
Here’s what I didn’t expect
Unexpected was the outpouring and sharing of hearts across … Read more...
We are often conditioned to look for the sad person when we think of depression. The above picture is what I saw, a happy-go-lucky kid with a revolving door of friends. When we finally got a depression diagnosis for Charles after a psychological evaluation I was shocked. I had thought about it but he did not seem to fit the criteria I had been reading. People rarely do.