Grieving is healing

When grieving, you feel very alone, very isolated. But do know if you are grieving, you are not alone. It’s simply that the nature of grieving has a component of pain so deep, you shut down temporarily to give yourself space to absorb the emotional tsunami that often takes you down to your knees or inspires you to scream at the car dashboard. The part where you feel your worst is where it’s the most isolating. You can’t share that part with anyone else. It’s simply too personal and a painful part of the process.

I do know that

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Today, I was done at the start

Some days are tougher than others. You keep pulling yourself up over and over and by the end of the day, you’re just exhausted. And done. Just done. Usually, running lifts my spirits but this morning I kept having to force myself to keep it up. This was one of those days. Feels like this song. Funny, how his words are so relevant to my grief journey.

“This world is crushing me but I lift the weight
Look at star with a different face you’ll see tomorrow
The world will be a better place”—Charles Rogers

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You never stop missing the child you lost

I remember a trip I took to my grandmother’s when I was around 9 or 10 years old.

Usually, I’d stay in the room with twin beds with my grandmother when we visited and one morning I woke up and saw my grandmother standing up in front of her dresser crying and looking at a picture. Curious and worried, I asked my grandmother what was the matter. She told me that it was Lou Maddy’s birthday and she would have been 40 years old that day. I asked her who Lou Maddy was and she said she was her Read more...

This new year, take the taboo out of suicide by talking about it

Those of us who have lost a child CRAVE pictures and memories about our child more than ANYTHING in the world because it’s all we have. One of the things people will tell you is that once someone dies, you find out all these things about your loved one that you never knew and it makes you smile.

But I have to tell you that those of us who have lost a child by suicide from stigmatized illnesses like addiction and depression, just don’t hear as much. We hear a lot of silence, awkwardness and change of subject and we Read more...

Grief Dementia

The weird things about grief I never knew.

So both my husband and I are absent minded, we’re both losing everything we touch and forgetting what we wanted to say mid-sentence. I’m getting lost leaving my house and putting all kinds of engagements on the wrong day. Yesterday, I apparently had a lunch scheduled at 11:45pm and again on 11:45am Tuesday and 11:45am Wednesday with the same person. Tuesday was the right day but I had to email my lunch date to figure out which day and time was right. So logistically, I am all out of whack. Thank God … Read more...

Does grief have a silver lining?

There are actually good things about grief. Believe it or not. You realize along life’s path, you can only control one person, yourself. And in grief, you realize you can’t always do that. You have to let the journey lead you and there are times you simply can’t fix yourself but you can guide yourself.

In this journey that absolutely no one wants to be on, you simply see more things than you saw before, let things go that are not important and reach out and touch people you would have never thought to connect with. You also learn other … Read more...

Educating a child with mental health issues is a challenge

charles-aubrey-rogers-wasatch-academy

Those of you who have a child with special needs, mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities know how hard it is for that child to earn a high school degree. There are countless road blocks, problems, run ins with teachers over homework etc. Providing Charles with the support to finish high school was so difficult and expensive, it was a full time job in and of itself.

We enlisted the help of an educational consultant, Martha Kolbe who has since passed away. I would highly recommend that step. While we ultimately had to choose a boarding school, there … Read more...

What to say to someone who has lost a child

I know so many don’t know what to say to those who’ve suffered a loss, particularly that of a child and in the case of suicide.

Unfortunately, I can check both those boxes.

Suggestions on what to say

I made a pact to welcome any and all comments and never pass judgement on what someone has asked or said because it takes guts to speak up. After so many years of suffering in silence since he had such stigmatized illnesses, it’s a relief to let it out.

Figuring out what someone else in the same shoes wants is tough.

If … Read more...

Grief support comes from strangers, too

 

I loved the Harry Potter Tour in London. But once they opened the doors to the studio, it hit me how much Charles Rogers would have loved this tour. I lost it and it was dark so I thought it was enough to hide my grief and my tears. Sometimes it just hits me like a punch to the heart.

So I find a seat in the crowd and as I am struggling to pull it together, a concerned Warner Brothers staff member comes up to me and asks me if I’m OK.

I said I was having a … Read more...