The story of Charles’s little toddler cast

I’m thinking about having a memory quilt made which required a visit to the box of my son’s last belongings. Two boxes actually. It’s still hard to believe a whole 20-year life is reduced to two boxes.

My plan is to look through all the clothing to determine which shirts and pants might make good quilt pieces. I smother my face in his little blankie, his scent long gone but the softness of him still wrapped in its essence.

Visits to the boxes can be like knives to the heart, or it can feel like a link to my youngest … Read more...

I didn’t really know my son

demons up against me drugs

It wasn’t until after my son Charles died by suicide that I knew about my son’s agony. How could I have missed pain so monumental? I thought I knew my child reasonably well. His music lyrics revealed I knew little. And his struggles with suicidal thoughts went back years.

This was part of my struggle. All that I missed. The questions I never asked. The pain he kept to himself while he wore the mask of a clown to conceal it. I thought he loved life too much to leave it. But I also know he didn’t want to leave … Read more...

Audio version of Diary of a Broken Mind

Voice by Lisa Williams. It took a while but the audio version of the book is out. And of course, paperback and kindle as well. Audible audiobook is on Amazon.

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You’ve helped me give away 63 books

It all started with Ryan. He is a young man, a student, studying in the funeral director’s track and had lost his dad. While I have donated books, it’s usually in person at events and I can’t afford to lose money on it. Buying my own books and then shipping them gets costly. But it got me to thinking.

How many who were not able to afford it right now, want it? I figured no one would be interested in gifting someone else a book or getting one. I don’t know why. And I feel awful for underestimating your generosity … Read more...

Grief is making me angry and irritated

Charles is in the middle wearing a white shirt.

I am not accustomed to angry, irritable grief. It’s visited a few times but lately, that’s the emotion that has taken up residence. I’m not a pure joy to be around. Imagine that. Covid-19 has been, if not solely responsible, at least partly so. Because I am sick of it. I know everyone else is, too. But right now I don’t care how anyone else feels about it. I just want my two minutes to complain.

It feels as if I am a bumper car running into obstacles in a limited … Read more...

Book Club Questions for Diary of a Broken Mind

New York Book Award Winner-MemoirInternational Book Award Finalist, 2020 Library of Virginia Literary Award Nominee, and Reader’s Favorite Award Winner.

After many requests, I finally wrote up these questions for book clubs. If you want me to attend your club (by zoom right now). Use this contact form.

The download is at the end of all the questions.

Book Club Questions for Diary of a Broken Mind: A Mother’s Story, a Son’s Suicide and the Haunting Lyrics He Left Behind?

  1. What were your impressions on the writing style of this memoir? Was it
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My book won a New York Book Festival Award!

Woo hoo, woo hoo! I won this award from the New York Book Festival. This is the third one.

It’s Charles’s songs that differentiate this book from anything out there. Charles was a gifted writer. No one can read the book and not feel how he felt. They really helped me understand depression, addiction, and suicide. They helped me get to know him in a way I’d never known him before. And for that, I’m very grateful. They are a gift to me. And now they are a gift to you, too. Thank you for all your support, book buys, … Read more...

Was that scent a sign?

signs from the deceased

There are a lot of people who would think I was crazy to look for signs from my son who killed himself. I don’t care. While we all have beliefs about what it’s like after we die, no one really knows even though they think they do. So I’m going to go all kumbaya on you all.

Last week, I woke up from a Charles dream, the details of which faded like an old photo as soon as I was fully conscious. I had not had a dream about him in a long time and I crave them because that’s … Read more...