I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015.
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
It’s letters like these that make my life worth living since Charles’ suicide. Warning. It will make you cry. A good cry. It is so thoughtful and well written. If the author is out there, thank you. This truly defines my purpose. I have removed identifying information to protect the sender’s identity.
I have tried writing to you many times, but have felt like it may be inappropriate for me to reach out to you because I had so little interaction with Charles, but I’ve been keeping up with your blog and after reading about how Charles was … Read more...
We went to the Westover Hills neighborhood picnic and I’m watching the kids play. I turn slightly to the left and there it was, staring me in the face in a big clearing calling my name.
I had been remembering how much Charles loved to play. Loved chalk, the bouncy thing, the balloons, the face painting. All of it. It’s way before he suffered from depression, felt suicidal, or succumbed to the lure of drug addiction. Back to a simpler time when a bad day was having your cake eaten by your dog. He refers to those days here … Read more...
The shower is the best place to cry. The good news is that I don’t cry everyday in the shower like I once did.
Sometimes I just have nice memories in the shower. But when I really want to let loose, I do it here most of the time. It might hurt like crazy but I let it all hang out and it feels good to do so. I often feel better after. You moms who’ve lost a child know what I mean, don’t you? The car and the shower.
Trigger warning: Strong emotional Content and suicide method mentioned briefly.
Charles, who suffered from anxiety and depression and ultimately addiction had been from detox to rehab to a sober house. After rehab he looked great. I call this “Saturday Charles.” He then went to the sober house but relapsed the next morning by walking downtown and buying heroin. We can only imagine he got money from his room at home on the way to the recovery house. The policy at the sober house was that if … Read more...
“Weave the unveiling fabric of God’s word through your heart and mind. It will hold strong, even if the rest of life unravels.” –Gigi Graham Tchividjian
When I lost my brother, Matt Geary, to suicide four years ago, it felt like life had unraveled. The grief process has been like a long string of anger, resentment and hurt all jumbled up an knotted together. Hard to sort out like a ball of string.
But as years have passed, I have learned that you can knit something beautiful out of the passing of a loved one. The perspective that you receive … Read more...
Charles would have loved our new neighborhood. Sadly, he died by suicide just 4 days after we sold the house. He did not even know where we were going to be living.
And the Farmer’s Market? He would have adored it. All that hustle and bustle. All the people and the buzz. Charles loved to be surrounded by people–the more the better. So when we went today, I thought about that, pictured him eating one of those giant home made donuts that most of the market regulars worship. As I was thinking about just that, this t-shirt met my eyeballs. … Read more...
No. And they shouldn’t be drinking in your basement either.
I remember when we caught Charles with marijuana. He insisted he needed it to sleep and to quiet his anxiety. It had been so tough up until then to figure a treatment plan for him.
We said no after listening to his argument and we were firm but we actually did think about it. Trying to find the right medication to help your child is very difficult. So difficult you actually consider things that later you realize is nuts.
There is stigma with medication for mental health even though some … Read more...
Your grief journey is as individual as you are which is why this one is made of fingerprints. There is no timeline and everyone hits different stages at their own pace. There is no rushing it. It has a mind of its own. You can do things to find peace and joy but for the most part, you are along for the ride.