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Heart wall— #griefheart number 265

Heart Wall

I recently visited a contact at SCAN, Stop Child Abuse Now, and when I walked back to her office, I saw this wall. A heart wall, all painted by children who have suffered some kind of trauma.

I liked the fact they were all together making a statement, the group of them all bright and colorful. By themselves, they don’t have as much impact. Charles loved being in groups, teams, with neighbors, friends and family. He was stronger in a group. He hated being alone.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all … Read more...

Chewed up heart— #griefheart number 264

Chewed up and spit out heart. If you’ve lost a child, you know the feeling.

But this is gum. Which is candy. which means that Charles loved it. Walmart? His favorite store. Why? Because on some day during the week, don’t remember which one, they’d run a special on candy at Walmart. Or maybe it was just the cheapest there. Second was WaWa because he could buy candy and get a sub.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Read more...

Love from Santa Fe— #griefheart number 263

Love from Santa Fe

This was taken by my friend Tamara in Colorado from her recent visit to Santa Fe. Tamara lost her son, Logan, and we became friends having shared the morbid tragedy of losing a child.

This heart is so cool. And creative. It pays nice tribute to my creative genius, Charles.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Dangling heart— #griefheart number 262

Dangling heart

When I was in Zurich this summer, I looked out my hotel window and spotted this and I immediately thought– “dangling heart.”

It feels that way sometimes. Like my heart is dangling precipitously over a giant hole and in danger of dropping into a crevice and getting buried, never to be revived again. Flat. Lifeless.

But it’s Zurich. And it would most likely fall into a body of water. The heart would swim to the side. Fight for survival. Rise from the body of water to dive in again if it were a hot day. It might even … Read more...

Lived experience heart— #griefheart number 261

Lived experience heart

My mother-in-law bought this gift for me on her trek across country. She got this on her stop in Nova Scotia, Canada.

She shared the story of this #griefheart project and about Charles. The lady who sold it to her listened. And then she told my mother-in-law her daughter had lost her son to suicide just one week prior.

Lived experience. I wish there were fewer of us with that.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Overdose heart 2017— #griefheart number 260

Overdose heart 2017
Overdose heart 2017

From top right and around: Chaney Corley, died by suicide from overdose; Joshua Hasnas, overdose (possible suicide), Garret Holman; overdose, Billy Derr, overdose; John Henry Watkins, overdose; Marshall Colglazier, overdose; Dawson Pettit, overdose; Josh Kaski, overdose. Center: My first cousin’s second-born, Reece Haigh; overdose, and a friend of Charles’s, Blake Pearce; overdose.

Not pictured as I did this heart in 2017: Mike Stewart; drug-related accident or possible suicide, and DJ Viglis; suicide by overdose.

August 31 is Overdose Awareness Day and this #griefheart is in memory of those who have died from an overdose.

These … Read more...

Love from Buffalo— #griefheart number 259

love from buffalo

Went to Buffalo, NY for a recent brain radiation surgery and on the way to the hospital, I spotted this. I found out Buffalo was the home of the famous chicken wings. Buffalo Wild Wings was Charles’ gourmet restaurant. Randy went to the original Buffalo wing restaurant while I was being carted off to surgery. (I am not a fan of wings.) But Randy always has been as was Charles.

Going to this city I felt my “invisibility” evaporate, the subject of a future blog post as I sort out it’s meaning in my own mind.

But just knowing how … Read more...

#URockProject heart— #griefheart number 258

#URockProject for Team Charles 2017

There is a project in Richmond, VA intended to spread joy in the darkness of struggle or loss called the #URockProject. Anyone who finds one of these rocks and is touched by the message can take it home to keep.

To everyone out there fighting the stigma of mental illness or adjusting to life after a loss to suicide, this project is meant to let you know you are a warrior.

I am adjusting, or trying to adjust, to life after my son’s suicide and Rebecca Farrow from the #URockProject painted this rock in memory … Read more...

Virginia is for lovers— #griefheart number 258

virginia is for lovers
Virginia is for lovers

This is my husband’s first #griefheart donation. He saw it while walking the dog in the neighborhood. This one resonates because Charles loved Richmond, Virginia.

When we had to send him away for therapeutic boarding school, he was homesick. He wanted to come home to Richmond.

When we sent him to camp, he was homesick. His letters from camp read, “Dear Mom, I hate it here.”

He loved day camp. In Richmond.

Where did he want to go to college? VCU in Richmond, VA.

He used to say, “I love Richmond. I never want to leave.”… Read more...

Love locks— #griefheart number 257

For several years now, love locks have been considered one of Cologne’s most charming traditions. As proof of their love, couples fix padlocks to the railings on the Hohenzollern Bridge; to ensure everlasting love, they then throw the key into the Rhein river below.

The padlocks collectively weigh over 2 tons. And if you think this picture is a lot, you should see the other side. There is no room at all on the other side of the bridge.

We were in Cologne (known as Köln to the locals and to me) on a Rhein River Cruise and I … Read more...

Beach glass heart— #griefheart number 256

This heart reminds me of all of our family beach vacations at the Outer Banks. Charles loved being with his cousins there. He didn’t love going in the ocean a whole lot and despite signing him up for swim lessons and more swim lessons, he refused to participate in them and as a result was a terrible swimmer. So I didn’t encourage a lot of ocean swimming.

We live in a river town so I worried he was in danger of drowning. And I always watched him closely at the beach for the same reason. I think back to all … Read more...

Billy Derr’s meatlover heart—#griefheart number 255

Billy Derr’s Meatlover’s heart

From Anne Moss: This #griefheart in memory of Billy Derr. Billy died from an overdose caused by substance use disorder. Jenny didn’t just make pizza. She made memories. 

From Jenny Derr: We made homemade pizza tonight.

Which we made the last weekend Billy was home.  💙 Missing him a lot.

This one is a meatlover’s pizza.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Read more...

Slime heart— #griefheart number 253

Slime heart
Slime heart

One of the cutest #griefhearts I have received! Shared with me by Ren Bell, co-facilitator of a Suicide Loss Support Group in Richmond, Virginia and mother of this cute little boy! Renee lost her sister to suicide. 

This so reminded me of Charles. His favorite past time at this age was creating a mess. Gooey. Slimy. Squishy. Mushy. Sticky. He loved it all. And often wound up wearing most of his mess. Of course, when it was all done, trying to get him to participate in clean up was near impossible.

Those were simpler times. Nice memories.

What

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Paredes’ chipped heart— #griefheart number 252

From Joanna, Joel’s mom– We had a little picnic this weekend with someone that was a very important part of my beloved son Joel’s life.

His uncle on his father’s side was like a father to him. His wife also created many wonderful memories with Joel and took him for picnics and outings all the time.

Joel enjoyed ketchup chips and look what we found in the bag.

We live in Toronto. Joel, Jan 04, 1996 – Dec 10, 2015, went to Richview Collegiate Institute.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #… Read more...

Warm heart— #griefheart number 251

pie heart
Warm heart

Charles had a warm heart. And apple pie reminds me of that. It reminded me of how he was there for others. It’s like after he died, I found out all these new things about him I didn’t know before.

Story after story of how he reached out and knew just what to say to those suffering from depression and to those contemplating suicide. So ironic.

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