Why didn’t I ask, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?’

I wish I had asked charles this question. Why didn’t I?

One, because honestly, it didn’t occur to me to ask it.

Given the number of evaluations he had that indicated he was “high risk” I should have. But again, no one defined what that meant exactly and I am guilty of never asking for specific clarification. Fear of the answer?

If I had the opportunity for a replay how would I ask this question?

I am not a mental health professional and this blog post is a personal reflection on what I wish I had done

• If you

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Cradled heart – #griefheart number 61

Coming to terms with Charles’ suicide–heartbreaking.  Figuring out how to move forward without him? The biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. For the rest of my life, I’ll carry his heart with me. And that will have to be enough.

Thank you Mary Don Shumaker for this gift.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.

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Has a loved one’s suicide made you angry?

anger blinds and burns strong suicide

I do understand anger as it relates to suicide.

I didn’t feel very angry but I do know that Richard, my oldest son did.

I wrote this article on The Mighty and in one of the comments, Marie states how angry she is that her husband killed himself and left her to raise two children.

suicide-anger

I would never try and invalidate her feelings and I can understand why she feels the way she does.

Then Diane, one of the followers here, sent me a note about being angry that her mom killed herself when she was 8. She is currently in her 50s and … Read more...

Martin Heart- #griefheart number 60

Just 3 weeks after Charles died by suicide, there was a family less than a mile away that also died by suicide. The same way. Death by hanging. His name was Drew Martin and at that time, I didn’t know his mom, Pat. But I know her now. We don’t think it was a copy cat incident for a number of reasons. Just a horrible coincidence.  

From Pat Martin:

“I saw this carved in the sidewalk while walking around Lake Michigan. Not only did the initials stop me in my tracks because they were Drew’s, but the handwriting is so … Read more...

Grief: Going all ‘hallmark’ on you

grief quote

Grief and I have gone from not knowing each other at all to knowing each other well. What I thought it was compared with what it really is, are so far apart, I have to laugh. But then did I really want to know?

I thought it was only about sadness.

But it’s so much more.

The hair loss, hot flashes, memory losses, sleeplessness, shock, numbness, tiredness, daydreaming, memories, helplessness, pain, isolation, fear, heaviness and waves of despair are part of it.

Then there is that craving for just one more something from the one you love — the unfinished business that a suicide … Read more...

Next speaking engagement about the #griefheart project!

Talk20 -15th Edition

My Topic: The #griefheart Project
When: Tuesday June 14, 2016, 6pm
Where: 201 W 7th St, Richmond, VA 23224
Phone: (434) 906-0374
REGISTER

Description: Talk20 is a gathering of creative people showcasing what’s cool, interesting, and creative in Richmond. There are eight presenters and the only rule is that they have 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to tell their creative story.

I’ll be taking my 6 minutes to showcase the#griefheart project. What’s the feeling and purpose behind it, what I have discovered and what it has inspired.

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From the Heart- #griefheart number 59

This lovely #griefheart is from Daisy Meadows from my home town. It’s her garden and in the center is a shell, making this one of my prettier #griefhearts. With it she wrote this poem that brought me to tears.  No one should have to take a grief journey alone and the support has made all the difference. This one is truly heart to heart. Thank you for such a lovely and thoughtful gift to this project.

Awakened those in hiding
Given courage to other’s through your own
Helped other’s unknowingly
Slapped the ignorant to a stunning awakening
Created a movement … Read more...

Yellow Diamond Heart- #griefheart number 58

This #griefheart is one in a pair of earrings I bought while working for an awesome dealer/friend in NY.

I was desperately trying to sell them years later to help pay for the support services we needed for Charles before he died by suicide. Treating mental illness and addiction is not cheap and we had gone through $260k in our efforts to help him.

At some point, your money runs out as it did in our case. I had sold so many things. But these did not sell fast enough. I didn’t want to look desperate even though I … Read more...

Relentless

never-give-up

Guilty as charged. Part of my charm.

This one is for those of you who turn away because the subject of suicide  is too much.

You don’t want to read my posts.

You do sometimes with one eye shut.

They make you squirm.

They make you uncomfortable.

They make you sad.

They make you cry.

They are too raw.

You don’t want to be reminded that this awful thing happened to someone.  It’s your worse nightmare and you fear the same might happen to you.

Or you think it couldn’t possibly happen to you. It doesn’t touch your life so why bother? … Read more...

Pizza Party Heart– #griefheart number 57

We celebrated the life of my son on his death anniversary of June 5 this weekend Charles’ style. With a party. He loved pizza. He loved his friends and family. He loved parties.

This event was hosted by Beacon Tree Foundation VP and board member, Steve Gennett and his neighbors, part of the Pizza Patio in Richmond, VA.

Lovely event and I do so appreciate family visiting and friends who attended.  Made a tough weekend more manageable. This pizza illustrates the love and compassion I received at that event–from people I know and those I don’t know. So so … Read more...