I never thought of this website as a matchmaking site. But apparently it is.
Once upon a time, I met a lady named Tamara who became my friend when I reached out to her after her son, Logan, died in a truck crash. Logan suffered from mental illness including a binge eating disorder and lived in the neighborhood Charles grew up in.
So she understood my frustration with the mental health system. And the expense. Even more coincidental, Logan went to the same boarding school in Utah as Charles.
Our daughter, Claire, was a bright, seemingly healthy teenager who had a zest for life and was always using the phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once).
However, by the age of 14 we started noticing changes. We didn’t realize at the time they were some of the key warning signs of depression: personality change, agitation, withdrawal. We attributed them all to normal teenage angst.
We had no idea of the catastrophic storm that was brewing inside her. Claire ended her life the last night of ninth grade at the age of 15, June 5, 2014. We … Read more...
Today my boy would be 24 years old. What would he look like? How would he have changed or not changed?
He’ll never get wrinkles, have arthritis, worry about getting a cancer diagnosis. He’ll never graduate from college, get married or have my grandchildren.
Instead, he is forever frozen at the age of 20 in pictures and memories. Forever young. Forever tragic due to his addiction to heroin and death by suicide. Charles was supposed to be famous by now. He was supposed to be making me laugh.
I crack morbid jokes sometimes which make me laugh … Read more...
After my son Charles died by suicide, I had to learn to accept the loss –a brutal and agonizing process. I wondered where all that love I had for my child was going to go since he was no longer with me as a living being.
Somehow I thought I would redistribute that love elsewhere. I do share it more now as a salve to the ache that loss has left. But I have never stopped loving or talking to Charles, which if you saw me, would look a lot like I was talking to the air.
It was our virgin voyage of our Coping Strategies for Grief & Loss Workshop at Ellwood Thompson’s The Beet. You think I would have removed the geeky voice amplifier. The room was packed with 50 or more attendees. The sharing was awesome and we got great feedback from the group so we can adjust as we go forward.
We had people who came suffering all kinds of losses and just being in the room together, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying together was part of what I loved.
Just making the effort to come out was huge. And Karla and I especially … Read more...
After my son died by suicide, I kept telling myself I would survive.
I took deep breaths and repeated it to myself several times a day at first. I had no idea how, or when, or what that journey looked like. I honestly didn’t even know if it was true but invested in blind faith that I would. Others had. Why couldn’t I?
That simple phrase was the single most important thing I told myself.
It was a way to offer myself hope at a time when my future looked like it was paved with broken glass and razor wire. … Read more...
This topic is important and praying people, especially Christian people, please note.
I saw a post on social media from a bereaved parent friend yesterday about a movie opening soon called “Breakthrough.” I had heard about this in passing, understanding it to be one of those movies that has an overtly religious, specifically Christian, message.
I generally stay away from those finding them to be trite, or too simplistic, to really address what I think are deep theological and/or social issues. Also, they are generally about pushing their own agenda for conversion. I am not down with … Read more...
Coping with Charles’ birthday month has been different this year (he would have been 24 on April 26). Just a few days in, I’m sad sometimes but more often just plain agitated.
Sleep is weird but I’m following Karla Helbert’s breathing techniques which are helping. I’m doing a lot of my self-talk (alter ego conversations) because I get into destructive negative thinking patterns and I have to tell my other self that there are enough people who will put me down and I don’t need to be one of them. I do follow my own advice on that … Read more...
So many times, I’ve had to take an about face because my life took an abrupt turn in an unexpected direction.
Most of you have had this happen, too.
There are and have been so many things outside my control. My son’s suicide was outside of my control as were the diseases that lead to that cause of death, his depression and addiction. It is was once I faced how powerless I was to stop it, change it or fix it I met humility.
I had no choice but to adjust–adjust to the loss and to my new life after … Read more...
This is such painful news. To have had your child survive a school shooting and then die a year later by suicide is unimaginable. Within the same week, a Sandy Hook mom who lost her daughter in that Connecticut school shooting also lost her husband to suicide.
Calvin Desir, 16, who took his life late Saturday, March 13, 2019, was a second survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to die by suicide in a week. Nineteen-year-old Sydney Aiello, who recently graduated from the school, took her own life only a … Read more...