I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide 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, 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.
For whatever reason I’m wondering about clouds and heavens today. Thinking about Charles running around on them. So thinking about heaven as an 8-year-old might. I think the image is inspired by the Run Free song Charles wrote where he talks about leaving earth.
I wonder if that’s the fantasy many have when contemplating suicide. It has to be better than here where everything hurts so much. He is at peace now. No longer hurting.
Part of that Run Free song.
“I am sick of all the hurt and the burn
Ima runaway runaway and never return.
Never COMIN’ back… Read more...
Granbobby used to make my card disappear,
and pull a quarter out of my ear,
Momma how’d I end up here?
Life was so different,
I was so innocent,
Who knew I’d ever act like a criminal,
My love for you is far from minimal
Daddy was my hero,
He’s who I wanted to be like,
Taught me how to ride a bike,
Taught me how to live my life.
But you know me,
I never listen to advice.
I write this for family,
The ones I see on holidays annually,
I’m grateful for everything … Read more...
“I found my place amongst these beats And my passion with these stanzas.” –Charles Aubrey Rogers, 1995-2015
This one is inspired by two songs I thought were lost forever. Charles loved his rap music. He was rarely spotted without those earphones around his neck or earbuds in his ears.
The iPod pictured is one we got for him in 8th grade. He loved it. It held tens of thousands of songs. These are what helped him cope and inspired his writing. You might think of rap music as “bad” but I think without it, Charles would have exited a long … Read more...
For months, I have mourned not having this song, “Family Matters.” Charles wanted to record that rap song and publish it to iTunes through Imperial Alliance Media, but he died before that happened. I believe he wrote this one about 10 months before he died. So I pick up his backpack and turn to a page and there it is! I have been looking and looking. And it was here the whole time. What a gift.
Charles died by suicide June 5, 2015 and I think he wrote it in May of 2014 before he was addicted to anything. … Read more...
Sometimes I just can’t believe I’m the one that lost a child. That was something that happened to other people. Not me. And not only did my child die, he died by suicide.
I could argue that I know my purpose now
But this “purpose” has such a high price tag.
Some days I feel like I am barely able to scrape myself together. I wake up and just can’t believe I am in this place. I have to endure it, shape it, live it. It’s so much work. There’s no magic pill, no “fixing” it. It just is.
I had wondered at one point, “How do I show grateful heart?”
This group of friends added a bright spot to my life in my darkest hour. And they continue to do so. Before Charles died, they listened. Since his death, they listen.
You should see all the contortions we went through to get this right. We tried all kinds of complex moves. But in the end, simplicity won. This one in particular means a lot to me. The group effort a part of that love. 🙂 See the outtakes below.
There have been other special friends (BFFs) in my … Read more...
David Letterman did it, why can’t I?
I was just curious regarding which posts were the most popular. So I thought I’d share the results. These were chosen by you guys, by the number of visitors to the page.
Charles wore his heart on his sleeve. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve now. So this is only fitting as to how I feel today.
This heart is made out of his clothing. His skinny, tall sweet-smelling shirts.
One of the hallmarks of depression is how the sufferer absorbs every one else’s problems and makes them his/her own. I see that in Charles’ music. How he talks over and over about people being hungry and the holocaust. He just couldn’t bear all that. This one is for you my love and for all the others people out there that … Read more...