I hope the Y is OK with my taking logo liberty for the benefit of this project. So visited the YMCA in Midlothian today. They are hosting Leader’s Club retreat with teens from Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida. I talked about mental illness, suicide, addiction, grief and the #umatterchallenge. Looking forward to delivering a short keynote tomorrow morning. I just love this club and the young lady who introduced me to it in the first place, Alex.
This heart in memory of all the friends of the kids at today’s retreat who have lost a friend … Read more...
Since losing my son to suicide, I realize I feel every emotion more fully.
At first, I thought it was only pain I felt more acutely. Eventually, I noticed I felt everything, including joy, times one hundred. As strange as it sounds, this loss has given me the capacity to carry more love in my heart.
My husband and I shared the love when our hearts where whole and then when they were shredded.
On June 5, 2015, the night we were devastated with the shocking news that Charles had killed himself, we made a pact that the last chapter of our youngest son’s life was a new chapter for our own. We were going to survive this somehow and we were going to do it together. Because no one else would carry on the legacy of our youngest son.
A toast to our healing, grieving hearts. I’m so grateful I don’t have … Read more...
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and my sister-in-law, Jenny, with her daughter-in-law Sam (my niece by marriage), are preparing their football feast. This deviation of nature, a red potato no less, was going to be sacrificed for potato salad. And Jenny rocks at potato salad. But no! Samantha to the rescue! Not this precious baby. It needed to be held on this pedestal as a symbol for the #griefheart project in memory of my son, Charles.
So Sam dove in and rescued the potato from his fate before a single mark could be made on it’s precious surface. And then … Read more...
Even though Emotionally Naked is two years old, in Google years I’m middle aged. The good part about that is that at two years, if you’ve blogged consistently, Google gives you precedence in the search engine world. All week I’ve seen their little bots indexing pages for search like mad. Your stories, my stories have greater potential to reach more people, save lives and offer community and support to those who need it. Without judgment. Without shame.
It was two years ago, that I realized that I needed a space to write … Read more...
My friends and I joined the Women’s March in Richmond Virginia today. It was a lively event with chants and singing. The signs were great. And funny. I parked at a friend’s house in the fan museum district and when I got out of the car, this was right in my face. A sign?
As we were walking in Cary Town I thought about how Charles loved protests and marches. And how much he loved Cary Town. Other than the James River, it was his favorite area in Richmond, a city he loved so much and told … Read more...
My niece, Aurora, sent me some soaps she made for Christmas. One of them was a heart. Charles and Aurora didn’t see each other that often, but I know she adored her older cousin and he loved her.
When Charles died, Aurora and her mom drove down from upstate New York to the memorial service and to offer me comfort. I so needed my family and friends after Charles’ suicide. I was out of my mind with grief. It meant so much they came.
Randy, my husband, spotted this one. It’s a heart made of stainless steel so it looked more like a “guy” heart if there is such a thing. He wanted a picture of it, so it’s only fitting that he own this one. The heart says, “Through thick and thin, we remain one.”
We saw it in Los Angeles while visiting Richard over the holidays. We toasted Charles. Missed him. Told stories about him.
Billy and I are in our second year since our son, Sammy Spott, died by suicide. Like last Christmas, we chose to have an early and small gathering with our other two children and then left town.
Last year, we hiked and camped in the Grayson Highlands and barely saw another soul on Christmas Day. Today, we hiked again, to the Sand Cave and White Rocks in Ewing, VA. I saw so many heart shaped rocks on the trail and left them all where they lay.
Even before reading your posts, and before Sammy died, I … Read more...
When I started the #griefheart project, it had been my hope that more people would honor their loved ones with this project. To give permission to loved ones to honor the memory of those who died by stigmatized illness such as suicide or overdose. (See examples below)
But few have taken me up on it. And I would love for more to honor the memory of their loved ones. So if you could spread the word.
This one has an interesting story behind it. We sold our Chesterfield county home to a family of 6 back in late 2015. When we were considering which offer to take, one of the real estate agents told our agent that the couple they were representing was so easy to work with. Now at this point, Charles had not died yet but we were definitely in crisis and having someone easy to work with was pretty attractive. So we took their offer.
We sold the house on a Sunday and 4 days later, Charles killed himself. Part of … Read more...
So many hearts have been shared and sent to me for this #griefheart project.
These are just a few of the ones I could find in my inbox. They are texted to me, sent to me by email, through facebook private message and posted to my wall. Messaged through linkedin, twitter and even sent as presents. I don’t think this is even 25% of them because I can’t keep up with all of them. But it doesn’t matter. The sentiment is there as is the feeling of support.
The tribe here has embraced this project in memory of my son … Read more...
From Anne Moss: Michael is a thoughtful young man who attended a special needs school. He has mood disorder, sleep disorder a learning disability and has suffered from suicidal thoughts. With a lot of perseverance, he has worked his way up to being a manager at a restaurant and he sent this picture and a the narrative.
by Michael Widuch
On Monday October 30th, 2017, I started to come back to emotionally naked after drifting away for some time. I started on the article where I last read which was “CareTalks Presentation Video.”