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Sometimes it still doesn’t seem real to me that he’s gone

Tattoo in memory of Charles Aubrey Rogers who went by the name Reezin the Revolutionary as an artist

By Daniel Latham

Is am not normally one for long, emotional posts but there’s a lot on my mind when it comes to this. It’s been just over a year and a half since we lost Charles.

Sometimes it still doesn’t seem real to me that he’s gone. Someone with so much life, so many jokes, and so many positive things to offer is just gone. Charles was one of my best friends…I have memories from over the years with him that … Read more...

Timeboy1408 and Madeline

My name is Madeline. I’m a 19 year old girl from Massachusetts.

I sat down at a computer the other day, and suddenly I thought about a YouTube channel name that I frequented as a kid when I was 12 years old or so.

Timeboy1408. It was your son’s channel.

I remember spending many nights laughing and enjoying his videos. He got me through some really tough times. And though I never met your son, I had a huge crush on him.

Eventually he had stopped using that channel and I figured he had just quit YouTube. I mentioned … Read more...

My letter to God

Dear God,

For decades, I waited to find my purpose. I kept looking but it just didn’t happen. I had faith it would find me. I just didn’t know when. Or what.

When it did, I realized what I had to lose in order to find it. My child.

That price tag is so high and so painful. I was so mad at you. Like Charles was in his letter to you.

Then I didn’t want to accept it. His life was so short. He had so much to offer. This couldn’t be it. It can’t be real. How was all of it going to … Read more...

The invisible kid

Picture courtesy of Jessica-Art
Picture courtesy of Jessica-Art

From Anne Moss: This is from a young man who attempted suicide in February 2016.

It so happened my article in the Richmond Times Dispatch ran during that time and his mom read it and reached out to me. Fast forward 9 months and that suicide attempt survivor asked if he could post this on my blog.

As human beings we want to be loved and accepted. It’s a human emotion at the core of our very being. And when that doesn’t happen, despair sets in. As many as 30% of kids who attend a school, go weeks without another human being Read more...

The letter from heaven I wish I would get

Dear Mom,

heavensentI bet you are surprised to get this letter from me. I tried sending a dove to carry it but they are not as cooperative as you might think.

Guess what? I met John Belushi and Tupac, the rap artist. Tupac and I have been freestyling together. I am much better than he is by far. Belushi is as funny as you said he was.

I am sorry I made the exit I did. But you have my music which I hope helps you understand why I had to kill myself. In that moment, the depression and withdrawal … Read more...

Heroin writes me a letter back

falling-powder

Dear Anne Moss,

I got your letter. You said you f-ing hated me but I could care less.

I am heroin, the most powerful drug in the world.

I am so entrenched in your culture, it will take decades to undo the damage. Your son was just another casualty. I don’t even remember him. How could I? I’ve killed millions, ruined millions of lives and torn apart families.

I have more control over your loved ones than you ever had. You have no control over me and it’s so pathetic to watch you try.

What’s more, I keep changing in both form and … Read more...

Dear high and mighty parent

How did you get such perfect kids? No wonder you are bursting with pride. You raised your children right!

Clearly those of us who are struggling with our children are at a loss for what to do. We didn’t spank them enough, hire enough tutors, take away enough or show them who is boss.

If only we had listened to you, we, too would have straight A students, doctors and soccer champions. Oh wait. No we wouldn’t because your precious children are a direct reflection of you! Great genes and great parenting. You have the recipe for success!

Our only regret? We missed out on

Read more...

A letter I wrote Charles in 1999 that was opened in 2010

o1LPlTH

On the eve of the millennium, I wrote both my children a letter that I ended up giving to them on their 16th birthday. 

Charles kept his letter and the creases and letter were well worn which indicated he had opened it and read it often in the 4 years before he died at 20. 

After his suicide, we got his backpack back and in it he had every single card or letter I had written him while he was away at boarding school, every family picture he could find and have printed out– and this letter.  

I don’t know Read more...

Response to ‘The Final 48 Hours’

This is an excerpt from a blog post from a young lady in her early 20s in response to “The Final 48 Hours.”  She is a suicide attempt survivor. This portion is republished with her permission.

….I read an article today that my friend’s mother wrote about when she heard of her son’s death and it was like all of a sudden my heart was being ripped open.

I couldn’t tell you why or how but starting from in between my lungs, everything in me felt like it was being pushed to either side of my ribs … Read more...

Hold onto hope

hold-hope

From a young lady, 26, a suicide survivor who attended my recent presentation at Coalition Theater Talk20 in Richmond, Virginia on the #griefheart project.

She came home and posted this on her Facebook page. Made me cry. So very brave.  And I can’t help but cry again as I post it. This is the generation that will inspire change in mental illness, addiction and suicide. I hope it touches you as much as it did me. 

“Just left a very powerful ‪#‎Talk20‬ at the Coalition Theater. I was most inspired by Anne Moss’ bravery to share her very personal story of her … Read more...

My dad was an addict because I wasn’t the ideal daughter

Self blame. Confusion. Loss of self esteem. Those are the results of silence. This letter is from a friend of a friend who is about 20 years old. Young people do want to talk about mental illness, addiction and suicide. But they won’t if you don’t. 

original

My best friend growing up was Jaimie Smith.* I’ll consider her my sister always. So I see you on her page often and read your blog here and there because I know how much your son’s death affected her.

I just wanna reach out and thank you for posting what you do because most people don’t talk about … Read more...

To Charles: Letter to a Fellow Goon – by Jay Skinner

jay-and-charles
Jay Skinner and Charles in the production of Hairspray

I want to laugh
I’ve heard the news
(and I heard it was you)
So I’m waiting for the punchline

I’m stifling certain giggles until the curtain drops
and we take one last bow together;
Cracking on the lines we jumbled,
the cues we missed
(I’ve got a feeling there’s a big one I should have seen)

You are Charles
(I chew the name like bubblegum; sweet)
but life isn’t a stage, or even an act
You are no one’s son
no one’s brother
no one’s shadow

You are not adjectives, … Read more...

How many lives can you save?

Lauren is in her early 20s. After she sent this note to me she reached out to her parents. She asked me to post her message here so you could see it and share it so that it would help others.

“On May 10th at 2:09pm, I thought about taking my life….Reading an article from a mother who has felt such devastating pain, you helped change my perception of life. Your article gave me the strength to share with my own mother/father what I’ve been meaning to say to them for four years.”

Lauren

Note from Lauren:

I came across … Read more...

What do those suicide notes look like?

Not everyone leaves a last letter.

But we mothers have found things tucked away and balled up in the trash. Maybe not an official suicide note, but they do reflect what the sufferer is feeling in their darkest hour.

Usually, they are not thinking of you. They are thinking you’d be better off without them. Most at this point are in agony.

People suffering from depression don’t want to tell you they hurt. One, that’s the nature of the illness. Two, they don’t want to reveal that darkness their souls. They’d rather die that feel the rejection from those they love … Read more...

This is what I live for. It doesn’t get better than this

charles-gift

It’s letters like these that make my life worth living since Charles’ suicide. Warning. It will make you cry. A good cry. It is so thoughtful and well written. If the author is out there, thank you. This truly defines my purpose. I have removed identifying information to protect the sender’s identity. 

Mrs. Rogers,

I have tried writing to you many times, but have felt like it may be inappropriate for me to reach out to you because I had so little interaction with Charles, but I’ve been keeping up with your blog and after reading about how Charles was always willing … Read more...