Grief: Going all ‘hallmark’ on you

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.grief quote

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 need to give in order to help fill that hurt and that hole in … Read more...

Anticipation of the first death anniversary

Me: I don’t know yet which is worse. The anticipation of June 5, Charles’ death anniversary, or the actual daycal_june5

Alter Ego: I’ve noticed you are sleeping restlessly again and the hot flashes are worse 

Me: And the heaviness in my limbs. It feels like the death anniversary will mean he is farther away from me

Alter Ego:  You’ll have to learn to carry him in your heart

Me: Sometimes I know what that means. Other times I don’t and I feel if I cling to my grief I’m closer to him and he won’t fade away

Alter Ego:  Did Read more...

To those who need it now, don’t let that pilot light of hope burn out

through all the terror i can find beauty and a glimpse of hope

Suicide is loss of hope.

And certainly after you lose a child by suicide, your sense of hope is hard to find.  What do you do after you lose one of the people that gives your life meaning?

The pain of losing my child by suicide was relentless at first until I just went numb and catatonic. That numbness is your body’s only defense to the onslaught of unbearable agony.

Yet through all that despair, I desperately held onto that tiny shred of hope that was going to keep me alive, keep me moving forward. I held onto it with … Read more...

Top 10 posts in the last 6 weeks on annemoss.com

This is from April 16 until May 28. I started the blog at the very end of January.to 10 taboo posts

Here is the list from last time.

These are ranked by the number of visits from Google analytics so it’s basically your top ten.  I added a bonus #11 because although it’s Charles’ work which is important to me.

The one that ranks #1 is the one I thought no one would ever read or want to read. It was so cleansing for me to let go of it and not have it swirl around in my head all the time.… Read more...

To Charles: Letter to a Fellow Goon – by Jay Skinner

I want to laugh
I’ve heard the news
(and I heard it was you)
So I’m waiting for the punchline

I’m stifling certain giggles until the curtain drops
and we take one last bow together;
Cracking on the lines we jumbled,
the cues we missed
(I’ve got a feeling there’s a big one I should have seen)

You are Charles
(I chew the name like bubblegum; sweet)
but life isn’t a stage, or even an act
You are no one’s son
no one’s brother
no one’s shadow

You are not adjectives, or accomplishments
roles or reversals,
potential rap albums, or … Read more...

Grief: Finding joy where I can, when I can

When Richard, oldest son, was here for the Richmond Film Festival early in March, we got some time to spend together. (His film Cottonmouth got in the festival.)

One day I took him and his roommate out to lunch. While we sat there eating, Richard said, “Hey Mom, do you want to go to the screenings with us this afternoon?” I said,”Yes I can. No plans!”

Whatever plans I had, poof, they were gone. Fortunately I had taken the day off and cannot even remember what my plans might have been.

In the car before we got to Bow Tie Read more...

The final 48 hours

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

This is one of the last photos of Charles before he died
This is one of the last photos of Charles before he died

Charles, who suffered from anxiety and depression and ultimately addiction had been from detox to rehab to a sober house. After rehab he looked great. I call this “Saturday Charles.” He then went to the sober house but relapsed the next morning by walking downtown and buying heroin. We can only imagine he got money from his room at home on the way to the recovery house. The policy at the sober house was that if you went to Read more...

My alter ego talks me through my first Mother’s Day

Alter Ego:  It’s Mother’s Day today. Your first

Me: Now that’s a new definition of the first Mother’s Day

Alter Ego: It’s the first since his suicide

Me: I just want to die

Alter Ego: Really? 

Me: No, not really. I planned the birthday and death anniversary but there so many occasions. I just failed to plan for this one. 

Alter Ego: What would you have done? 

Me: Planned a surgery that lasted all day 

Alter Ego:  Well you don’t need surgery

Me: No. I just need the anesthesia

Alter Ego:  It’s just one day

Me: I know, I know. Read more...

Men get little support in grief

greatest-struggleI was recently talking with a Dad who lost his son. He mentioned that his best friend was often by his side but never openly spoke about the death of his son, leaving him no real options for talking about the devastating loss other than his wife and the occasional chance meetings with someone like me.

I talked with him about the fact that for the most part, men do not get the support that women do. About the fact that as awkward as the subject is to most people, the men in particular have a hard time discussing it … Read more...

Redefining the meaning of ‘the first birthday’

This is not my son’s first birthday. It’s the first birthday since he died. He would have been 21.

Years ago, I dreamed we would be in a better place with Charles–with his depression and addiction. His sleep disorder, his anxiety, his ADHD. We worked so hard at it.

Instead we are grappling with his suicide. I still can’t believe it some days.

As I look back, I see things I didn’t see before.

I can’t even tell you how much I miss him. How much this hurts. I know you know that.

His birthday is my connection to him … Read more...