4 grief phrases that make your journey more painful

griefThese might also apply to a death of a loved one that is not a suicide.

However, my grief experience is with the suicide of my son, Charles so I wrote from that point of view.

quote-leftI will never get over it

A suicide, or any untimely death, is not something you “get over.” It’s a journey that changes over time. You’ll always miss your loved one but you learn to carry them with you. Saying something as dour as “I’ll never get over it” merely brings you down emotionally. It shatters your hope of having a life and finding … Read more...

We need to make suicide a household word

You’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to make a dour, gloomy, depressing subject like suicide a household word?”

Talking about suicide does not give someone the idea.conversation-about-suicide

The idea is already in their heads.

By repeating it, taking it out of the dark and putting it in the spotlight, we give people permission to reach out, we remove the secrecy and stigma and make the idea look like a less logical solution.

Just as important as talking about it, is the listening part

Listening is a skill we don’t do enough of. We tend to lecture our teens for … Read more...

Not exactly a suicide note

escape-cloudsHere’s how I understand the why of his suicide. His brain telling him he wanted to go, had to go. It would be better somewhere else. It was too painful here.

It is through these songs, as painful as they are to read, that I understand his depression. I wish he would’ve given life here another shot.

Run Free

Problems just pilin’ all around me
Wish I could just wilin’ in Hawaiian islands
Taking shots of crown
Let the alcohol drown
Take a look around
All this bullshit surround got me down
Wish I could just run free fun free, … Read more...

Grief and Suicide: It was not my choice to reinvent myself

Since Charles’ death June 5, 2015, I am a different person. With a different life. And a different purpose.

I have always been passionate. But I am propelled forward now in a different way than ever before.

For years we suffered with Charles through his struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction and the sleep disorder. And I wondered what my purpose was. I always had faith there was one, I simply didn’t know what it was.

I wondered if it was to get this young man to adulthood as a stable adult who could take care of himself.

Unfortunately, that … Read more...

The lollipop land of shiny faces and perfect families is a dangerous facade

perfect-family

We have created a fake world presenting only the best side of our families and friends and rarely sharing pain or struggle.

We created it in social media, in person and at social events.

I’m not proposing we go all newspaperish by being negative and presenting only bad news. But it’s time to strike a balance.

We are a society obsessed with accomplishments

We are quick to pass judgement on those whose children are not currently succeeding by our standards. And our current fast-paced society breeds anxiety, depression and dysfunction.

We are a sharing society. Only we choose to share only that which is … Read more...

Upcoming speaking, workshop or panel events

microphone_318-50712Scheduled speaking events are now located on this page.

If you know of someone looking for a speaker for mental health and suicide prevention, contact me.

My speaker proposal is here

Read more...

Young people, you are not alone. Here’s what you have been sending me

feedbackHere is what I am hearing from young people 17-25 about what I am writing and you are sharing from Emotionally Naked.

The fact is these young people have suffered through a system so broken and in a society so unaccepting of their struggles, is heartbreaking. And reading these brings tears to my eyes.

It’s utterly amazing they have done as well as they have. So proud of all of you. One day you will get support and acceptance. Help me work on that by sharing these posts.

I am honored you wrote me and I thought you’d be … Read more...

To all who have lost a loved one to suicide or overdose

use-your-voice

I’ve made a commitment.

I need one from you.

On behalf of my son Charles who died by suicide, I am carrying on a tradition he handed down to me and that is to reach out.

Survivors of suicide loss and those who have lost a child or loved one to overdose need to say the words suicide, mental illness, addiction and drug overdose.

Don’t soften it, sugar coat it or hide behind it

If we do, we carry on a tradition of shame instead of acknowledging our loved ones struggled from an illness. Those illnesses will continue to carry stigma if we don’t … Read more...

Should you talk to your children or friends about suicide?

Yes.

Of course there is probably an age at which it needs to be handled differently. I will leave that to those experts but I would think that 11 and under is where you might seek guidance from a professional on how to approach the subject.

Suicide will continue to stalk our kids, our teens and our young adults if we keep turning our backs on it.

Already, it is the number one cause of death for college students in the US. It’s the number 2 cause of death for those 15-25.

So how did suicide get such a promotion?

Read more...

The long arm of the law reaches down Charles’ pants

1-arresterfield

Supporting Files:

  1. Mp4 – Internal Affairs interview -This has the most accurate account of what happened from Charles’ point of view. Just hearing him on the tape triggers a crying episode of despair.
  2. Word Doc- Transcript of police stop above on the Mp4
  3. Word Doc – Charles account of the original arrest
  4. Mp4 – Police stop with Charles and 6 officers 
  5. PDF – Breathalyzer

One of the incidents I have had a hard time with was one that happened in late February 2015 in Chesterfield County Virginia, just 4 months before Charles died by suicide.

Charles was driving home and was stopped by … Read more...