Pajama jeans love— #griefheart number 282

So there is a story behind these. Pun intended since this is a photo of the back end of my most comfortable jeans. So the denim style now is skin tight. That’s NOT the style of this old pair. These are well worn and soft. Because of that, holes appear in the rear. And when they do, I make a patch out of leftover jean material and sew it on to cover the hole.

These are my book writing jeans. Mondays are my dedicated days for writing my book and I’m currently working on draft number two, having completing draft Read more...

Easter egg heart— #griefheart number 281

On Easter morning, I could not help but remember how much Charles LOVED easter egg hunts. I think he is about seven when we go to the event in my parent’s neighborhood. It was a game, a group activity, and it had candy involved so it had all the ingredients Charles’ loved. What is funny now that was a little embarrassing at the time, was how aggressive Charles was at this Easter egg hunt.

Once Charles’ competitive streak was activated, he was unstoppable. Slower kids were out of luck as he dove in under them grabbing at eggs. Fortunately, there … Read more...

Softened heart— #griefheart number 280

Softened heart

The stabbing pain of grief when we first lost Charles to suicide from depression and addiction was relentless. I didn’t know someone could survive such emotional agony. My soul felt hard and it literally hurt.

Over time, grief has lost its razor sharp edges and my heart has softened. It no longer feels like a dagger but a dull ache with a lot of love and compassion. There are days I get that stab but nothing like the sharpness I experienced the first two years after losing my son. Others told me it would be this way. I … Read more...

YMCA love— #griefheart number 279

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 or loved … Read more...

Carry more love in my heart— #griefheart number 278

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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here. Contact me if you want to honor and remember your loved one who died by suicide or from addiction.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by #griefheart Read more...

Healing heart valentine— #griefheart number 277

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 to go through … Read more...

Sister-in-law Heart— #griefheart number 276

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 she … Read more...

Second Blog Birthday Heart— #griefheart number 275

Happy birthday my blog. Happy birthday my blog.

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...

Women’s March heart— #griefheart number 274

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 me he’d never … Read more...

Cousin love— #griefheart number 274

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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here. Contact me if you want … Read more...