Ambivalence meets the new year

As a person who looks forward more than backward, I have always enjoyed the new year. But since Charles died by suicide there is the conflicted feeling I’m leaving him farther behind with each change of the calendar. I want to put on the brakes and stop the year from advancing.

But I can’t stop time no matter how much I deny it’s happening.

This year has been rough. On January 2, six months after radiation for a benign brain tumor, I lost one of my vocal cords and my once robust voice was no longer that.

Trouble swallowing came …

How I forgave myself for not taking Charles’ last call

by Tiffani Borello

Trigger warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

I have so many memories of Charles and 99.9% of them are amazing and most of the memories are of him just trying his best to put a smile on my face and get a little giggle out of me, which he would never fail to do. He was so special and he was my best friend and I loved Charles.

But there is one memory that sticks in my mind and bothers me a lot. I’m slowly learning how to deal with the emotions that come up when I talk … Read more...

Happy holidays from my family to yours

I want to spend time with the fam watching stupid movies and digesting turkey so I went for the easy cliche. That empty seat does hurt but it helps to be surrounded by family. And all during our Charles crises, they were there for us. After, they were there for us. No one in my family blamed anyone else or avoided the subject. For that I can be thankful.

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Halloween was Charles’ favorite holiday

I made my children’s Halloween costumes for the first six years of their lives. Later, when they wanted more mainstream costumes, we bought them or put it together with things we had in our all popular dress up box.

Charles is showcasing a few of the ones I made over the years. They chose what they wanted to be, with the exception of the leopard since Charles was only six months old in that photo.… Read more...

My husband’s reaction to my manuscript

With my husband’s permission, I posted the message he sent after finishing my book. It took him a few months. It was understandably hard for him.

I get it.

Last week there was more editing that needed to be done on the most difficult chapters which involves putting myself in the back of that police car and living it again–hearing the news about Charles’ suicide. The chapters are much better but that came at a cost. The process left me emotionally spent.

Recovery happens more quickly now. And there is healing for having done it. It is my choice to … Read more...

Why would you buy and read my book?

OK. I need your help.  Before you answer that question, I want you to know that you guys are the reason this book got written.

For the last three years, you have been asking me, “So when are you going to write a book?” Or, “Anne Moss, you need to write a book.” So I did. And when I needed encouragement to keep going, you guys were my cheerleaders. You are part of this book.

So while I’m not broadcasting the title, I can at least share the title with my tribe.

I’m calling it:

Diary of a Broken Mind


Mourning the loss of proud momma moments

Once Charles started down the path of drug addiction, I struggled with the loss of normal but even more than that, I grieved those moments in life that are rewards for having raised a child.

Who doesn’t love when a child accomplishes something that makes us feel proud? After all, it’s those highlight reels what still dominate the Facebook feed.

There were moments I can now look back on that make me smile but as the drugs took over my child, they became rarer events.  Slowly, I had to adjust my expectations. With each police run in or failed drug … Read more...

“Mom, I have nothing.”

That phrase weighed heavy on my heart when Charles said it over the phone on Monday, June 1, 2015. The feeling it inspires now is the same–my own despair.

He had pawned his computer and his bike. He especially loved that bike and he never rode with a helmet. Funny, how I worried about a head injury when what I needed to worry about was the enemy living in his head.

The bike was just a possession but it was his last possession and I felt its significance. How desperate do you have to be to sell your last possessions? … Read more...

Emotional scars

light a candle for my child

Over time, the blunt force trauma of a Charles’ suicide has softened. The edges are not as sharp, the searing pain has become a persistent ache. He is still the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. There are repeat episodes of intense pain but they are usually not as long lasting.

The wound is still there. It still aches, sometimes throbs, and even ruptures. Pictures can make me smile. Or they can make me cry. But overall, I have adjusted to my new life without my youngest son

Not …

The stickers that made me cry

Godwin has a club called No Eagle Left Behind (NELB), a group focused on mental wellness.

The group meets weekly and plans different events and projects focused on kindness, inclusiveness and mental health awareness including topics on addiction. They also practice yoga and mindfulness.

It’s a student led group facilitated by a counselor or a teacher. Decisions are made by the group and the club was the brain child of Leigh Dunavant, the principal at Godwin who didn’t want to see another teenager die by suicide or overdose. Not that this is a guarantee to insulate a school from disaster … Read more...