by Laurie Pettit
My son Dawson, my first child, was born February 13, 1988. He was such a happy baby and he grew up in the Wyndham area of Short Pump. He loved school, his friends, his pets and his family–especially his cousin Grayson.
Dawson played little league baseball, YMCA basketball, travel soccer with Richmond Strikers, and he was a brown belt in Karate. He later played Lacrosse, and tennis and golf through High school. Dawson did well in school and was accepted into Deep Run’s Center for Information Technology, his home school and where his friends were.
When the … Read more...
by Alyssa Ward, Phd, LCP
I’ve been thinking about Chris Cornell’s suicide a lot. I had a conversation with one of my best friends about this yesterday and I felt the urge to share. Let me say first, I don’t know if Cornell was depressed–we don’t know what was going on or all the drivers, but my friend was asking why people want to die.
As I tell the teenagers suffering with depression every week–depression is a trickster. Depression is a narcissist. When depression takes residence it’s like the person is inhabited by someone who is not their … Read more...
From Anne Moss: If someone tells you something about suicide, please take it seriously. Do not keep it “secret.” This is not to shed blame. We all overlook signs of suicide. What I’m asking you to do is to pay attention and be there. Make the call and warn a mom, a friend, a relative.
I met Neico Hayden (pronounced NEEKO) at the James River Out of the Darkness walk in May 2017. I saw him and his family in the parking lot and walked over to them. I had no idea he was a recent suicide survivor until his … Read more...
Note from Anne Moss: I am continuing in a series of posts from my most engaged readers. Like many who suffer, a strong faith can help. As an advocate, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that a good support system, whether that includes faith, friendship, family, therapy, or even medication, can also work well. It depends on the individual. This one from Michael, who has lived experience.
by Michael Widuch
I suffered suicidal thoughts first when I was 12 years old in the school year of 2003-2004 due to an unstable special needs school environment and unhealthy family … Read more...
By Diane Fielder McCormick
Note from Anne Moss: I sent an email to my most engaged readers and asked if they wanted to share their story. Diane responded right away and has shared with all of us the final videos from her son. They are a gift. And they are heartbreaking. But they are also something else. It shows that even in the darkest hour, your loved one loved you.
Suicide, addiction, and depression have a very close relationship. More than 90% of people who fall victim to suicide suffer from depression, have or substance abuse disorder, or both. Depression … Read more...
Note from Anne Moss: Jule is a 16-year-old from Germany who contacted me a while back to post this #griefheart for her friend Christian who died by suicide. This is her third contribution to this site.
(Major spoilers for the S-Town podcast ahead)
I read the “13 Reasons Why” book in 2011 and so naturally I watched the 13RW show right after it came out, ignoring all the trigger warnings concerning people who have been suicidal and having a trauma connected to suicide (because I have both).
Luckily for me, it worked fine and did not trigger … Read more...
From Anne Moss: Allie is a senior in high school from Chapel Hill, NC who has struggled with managing mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Here’s what she said about the show, ’13 Reasons Why’ on Netflix. She and her mother have given permission for it to be posted here.
“At first I liked the show, I read the book a few times in middle school and I liked it then–when I was first really starting to struggle with mental illness.
As I began watching the show this week [April 9, 2017] I found myself starting to feel a … Read more...
This from a 21 year old feeling the despair of suicidal thoughts. He gave permission for me to post it here. He commented on my You Tube page and I saw it. The emotional pain of these thoughts that attack someone’s brain is so naked and so painful. Your worst day times 100. Fortunately, this young man survived by sticking it out and talking. He told me Charles’ Video saved his life.
When I was just 15 years old I was attacked and stabbed in the head and neck area twice by a random man (I was walking … Read more...
Jule is 15 years old and from Germany. She submitted this #griefheart and I asked her if she wanted to do a post about herself. So many who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses find relief in music. I know for Charles it was also a lifeline. I think this shows an incredible sense of hope, self awareness and maturity.
Like many others, it started with school bullying
I have always been rather worrisome, nervous and thoughtful, but I was ten years old when things started to get bad.
I was in sixth grade and one of the best … Read more...
I know you will never receive this but I hope you see this from heaven. Your loss has impacted me tremendously.
I’m sitting here crying because I once too, actually numerous times, thought about and tried to take my life. But I never thoroughly thought of all of the aftermath, or the pain it would have brought upon everyone who loves you.
I remember when we were just in middle school. You were one of my best friends including Jacob, Sam, Lexi, Vania, and Samantha.
We went to the movies and I remember you stood up for us when another … Read more...