Would I do it all over again?

charles-aubrey-rogers
Charles, the one who died, on the left. Richard on the right.

“Let go, emotions flow, let it show and dissipate
This world is crushing me but I lift the weight
Look at star with a different face you’ll see tomorrow
The world will be a better place”
–Charles Aubrey Rogers, 1995-2015

Would I spend the money that we spent, upwards of $250k, again to try to save Charles life?

Without hesitation.

Would I have had Charles if I knew I’d only get him for 20 years?

You bet.

He was a handful. And a joy.

He was a creative genius. … Read more...

So you are contemplating suicide…

Photo credit Italian photographer Giorgio Cravero

I want to scream, “Don’t do it!”

I want to beg you not to.

I want to tell you how utterly devastating it is to lose a child and reveal all my naked, agonizing grief over my loss.

Really what I need to do is just listen and let you know you matter.

You think you don’t matter. You might even be scoffing at this letter saying, “This woman doesn’t know me!”

What you don’t know is that you are the center of someone’s universe. Your brain won’t let you believe that right now.

I know … Read more...

Fundraiser for a 15 year old suicidal girl asks for help

 

Help this child

She came to her mom and told her that she was thinking of ways to die. Imagine your daughter telling you that.

Then imagine trying to think of a way to help her, knowing you had exhausted all local resources and that financially the next step would likely bankrupt you.

I’ve been there. Right there. No help. No loans. No support. And my child did die by suicide.

I don’t want this family to suffer that. Anything but that. This young lady is currently in treatment now. It couldn’t wait.

I want us to be as … Read more...

My alter ego talks to me when I want to give up

push-uphill

Me: Some days I just want to give up. I just feel like I’ll never be heard

Alter Ego: But you are being heard

Me: Why don’t I feel it?

Alter Ego: You can’t really expect that every day you’ll feel it

Me: I feel sure people are so tired of me. Want me to just shut up about it

Alter Ego: Why do you feel that way?

Me: Suicide is a dour subject that people want to tune out

Alter Ego:  And you think you should shut up because of that? 

Me: No

Alter Ego:  What are you expecting Read more...

T-Shirt Stories

Several times I have run this campaign for Beacon Tree Foundation. The deal is you run the “campaign,” it ends and then they ship out the shirts. There is a minimum that has to be met for the shirts to be printed so it’s not ongoing.

What’s cool is that the shirts are conversation starters.

It really warms my heart that both of these friends felt comfortable enough to wear the shirt and have that conversation–to reach out to help another human being in pain.

Thank you Liz and Melissa for sharing your stories with me. You know how much … Read more...

Worthless

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” –Robert Schuller

There are times during this grief journey that I feel small and worthless. I don’t normally suffer from lack of self esteem so the intensity of this feeling is foreign to me.

Not that I have never felt this way. Everybody does at some point. But since Charles’ suicide, it has, at times, been paralyzing and more persistent.

My normally tough exoskeleton is soft and pliable during these episodes that I can only assume are triggered by the vulnerability of grief. I have moments when I think if I screamed … Read more...

Talk20 video on my story of suicide loss and the #griefheart project

Talk20 in Richmond VA invited me to speak on the topic of losing my son Charles Rogers, 20, to suicide in June of 2015 and how it inspired the #griefheart project. This a conversational style event so it’s not a formal presentation. The Coalition Theatre was a challenging place to have video taken so there may be some times where sound or steadiness are an issue.

Despite the venue challenges, I think Mark at BES did a great job and I wanted to reach out and thank them for this video.

Need to book Anne Moss as a speaker, … Read more...

Let’s talk about it: Life after loss of a loved one by suicide or overdose

I have been thinking about doing a Facebook Live event, say 30 minutes on the subject of life after the loss of a loved one who died from a stigmatized illness, specifically addiction or mental illness.

Talking points below. This is my first LIVE event and this is not a presentation, it’s an event where I want to hear from you. How it works is below. I will be limiting this to 30 minutes.

What else are you going to do in one hundred degree weather? (That’s for those on the east coast)

When?

Sunday, July 24 at 6:30pm EST… Read more...

Let it go

At some point, you have to ask yourself, what is that baggage doing for me?

To move forward after Charles’ suicide, I had to let things go.

Like anger. Guilt. Shame.

Unlike other suicide loss survivors, I never felt a lot of shame. When we first started seeing signs of drug use, I did feel shame but as I educated myself, I came to realize addiction was an illness.

So I let it go.

I had some flashes of anger after Charles killed himself but I never thought he died by suicide to hurt me. I never felt anger at … Read more...

Why are so many girls dying by suicide?

statistics

updated 11/2017

Suicide is the leading cause of death for girls 15-19* worldwide and suicide rates for females 10-14 have tripled since 1999, the most alarming increase.

We have to ask ourselves why.

Some say social media. Others site early puberty. While those factors might be part of it, I think that it’s a combination of things.

Teens, by nature, want to fit in. At this age, their peers are the most important relationships. They don’t want to be rejected or ostracized.

I think technology is a major reason

With computers, smartphones, social media and texting combined, teens have a … Read more...