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 currently working on getting a book published. 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.
I feel like I’ve gotten weird and I know some of you might think that my experiences are desperation by a grieving mom. Maybe they are. But I don’t really know how to explain some of them especially this one.
So here goes.
I’m walking the dog on Wednesday around noon this week, and it’s like 80 degrees F and suddenly out of the blue I feel this very cold, concentrated breeze for lack of a better description. Probably more like a blast. And then it’s gone.
Since Charles’ death June 5, 2015, I am a different person. With a different life. And a different purpose.
I have always been passionate. But I am propelled forward now in a different way than ever before.
For years we suffered with Charles through his struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction and the sleep disorder. And I wondered what my purpose was. I always had faith there was one, I simply didn’t know what it was.
I wondered if it was to get this young man to adulthood as a stable adult who could take care of himself.
I made a pact that I was not going to get upset with people regarding what they said after Charles’ suicide. After all, it’s hard to know what to say and I was thankful when someone said anything. However, there are some classic zingers you should know to avoid.
1. Say nothing
I think this is the worst. If your child had stigmatized illnesses, you are used to nothing. No emotional support. No conversation. No resources. Saying nothing appears as though you are erasing this child because mention of him/her makes you uncomfortable. Many times people make excuses like, “I … Read more...