Charles would be 27 today, April 26, 2022

My son Charles was an artist — an actor, comedian, rap artist, and an amazing writer. In short, he was a creative genius and he would have been 27 years old today. He suffered from depression and addiction and died by suicide seven years ago. And yes we have birthday parties for our son in heaven.

Charles loved birthday parties. When he was little he’d start planning months in advance for his. It drove us crazy. But now I miss what drove me mad even though I did think it was so precious. He didn’t love parties because of the … Read more...

Podcast. L.E.A.P: Listen, Engage, Allow and Process on Your Healing Journey 

See the website here. Susan E. Casey is a grief expert and therapist who wants to help people find the light in grief. In this episode, you can join the conversation with a mother, Rebecca, whose son died from an accidental overdose, and how she is finding a path forward a year after her son’s recovery and shocking overdose.

Susan and I met a few years ago when I was writing Diary of a Broken Mind and she was writing Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief which is about sibling grief. She was my “beta reader” and … Read more...

Are the ‘what ifs’ and ‘coulda woulda shouldas’ stalking you?

Does your brain gets stuck in self-blame mode?

Do the what-ifs and coulda wouldas shouldas stalk you? I have some strategies that won’t magically make the pain vanish but they will lessen your suffering and help you find some peace.

Some examples of ‘what ifs’

Since I lost my son to suicide, my issue was going down that rabbit hole of coulda woulda shouldas which sounded like this–

“Why didn’t I answer the phone that one last time?”

What if I had gone and picked him up when his voice expressed obvious despair?”

“Why didn’t I call him every … Read more...

Podcast: Anne Moss Rogers on Todd Inspires Beliefcast

Todd Inspires Beliefcast with Todd Sylvester is for those looking to get more out of life, move beyond limiting beliefs and overcome addictions, depression, and anxiety. This one is trending as one of the top 1% of mental health podcasts worldwide.

We invite you to be in this interview to laugh, cry, and grow together.

Read more...

The girlfriend

Charles had a girlfriend named Susanna. (Name changed to protect privacy.) Between the two of them, their weight would add up to one average human. So yeah they were both thin people. While he did love her I don’t think he was an awesome boyfriend. Those with substance use disorder rarely are because their addiction makes them desperate and selfish. Deep down that was not who Charles was.

She had gotten clean by the time Charles had relapsed after his first recovery so it was a lopsided relationship at that point with Susanna acting as his primary transportation and everything … Read more...

Transforming pain after your child dies

by Tamara Harvey Braswell

When my 19-year-old son Logan died in a car crash more than five years ago, I soon became engulfed in a new relationship called Grief.  I capitalize the word because I consider Grief more than a word.  Grief is a gut puncher, water-filled lungs, blinding head banging pain that holds a person hostage.

That’s how Grief feels at first.  I am talking about traumatic Grief – the kind of Grief that drowns a parent in sorrow and despair when he or she loses a child, whether the death be from a sudden cause, such as an … Read more...

Coping Strategies from people struggling with different challenges

From grieving a loss of a loved one to mental health or addiction challenges, divorce, or dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis, these are the coping strategies the emotionally naked tribe has shared. I hope you find one that works for you. Because our lives are not perfect.

About Mindfulness

You don’t have to be a Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, sea turtle lover to stay in the present. Which, by the way, is the foundation of mindfulness and working through painful times. Apps like Calm and Headspace help you learn to meditate and there are many free meditations on DoYogaWithMe.com.

Even pausing, … Read more...

Free eKit: Grief Journey in a Jar for Loss Survivors

loss of a friend, sibling, spouse, parent/grandparent, partner and more

This is the second Grief Journey in a Jar. The first one was created for those who’ve lost a child and this one is for anyone who is bereaved. (For the eKit focused on parents who’ve lost a child, go to this page.)

If you want to give someone something more meaningful and more thoughtful than a drugstore card, this is the gift to give. Ninety-six quotes and sayings reflect how we feel when we’ve been devastated by the loss of someone special in our lives. The eKit contains … Read more...

Pain medication leads to an endless cycle of family pain

by Cathy Jo Harper

Jason Brooks Harper

When Jason was 16 years old, he had a car wreck. Six weeks of physical therapy was followed with a new wonder drug for pain, Vicodin…..and a lifetime addiction to opioids.

Through relapses, college, rehab, counseling, the Marines, my life was filled with anxiety over how to help, anger at the situation, and fear; I was losing my son, my firstborn. How would I survive? How would his siblings survive without their big brother, their confidante, and at times their enemy?

Addiction and/or mental illness soon becomes a game the whole family gets … Read more...

How to use DBT skills to manage the pain of grief

Coping Toolbox

There are some self-help strategies in DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) that I used to manage my grief. Now I want to be clear that while I used these skills, I didn’t know at the time that they were actual DBT skills but looking back, I can now identify how I used them in my grief process. I’m going to tell you what those are, and how I used them to help myself through the devastating loss of my son, Charles, to suicide. 

DBT was developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, an American psychologist. This methodology can apply to … Read more...