Beat up heart – #griefheart number 86

There are times your grieving heart feels beat up. Other times when you want to beat up inanimate objects to find relief.

You know what?  Punching objects is way underrated for managing personal pain associated with the loss of a child. I highly recommend it. I think that will be my grief gift. Big, fat pillows instead of flowers.

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.

Get updates to this project by subscribing


Does losing a child by suicide hurt more?


It would be unfair to other moms and dads who have lost a child to say that my “hurt” was worse than theirs.

It hurts to lose a child. Period.

I also can’t compare because I’ve only had a child die one way and that’s by suicide. And besides that, grief journeys are very personal experiences.

Loss from suicide is like no other loss

That I can say.

What’s different about suicide is that on some visceral level, I feel it’s a choice–that my son chose to leave this earth even though I was in it.

Intellectually, I know Charles killed himself because he felt the world would be … 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...

My suicide prevention program for middle and high school students

The #umatterchallenge program Feb 21, 2017.

Around August of 2015, two months after Charles’ suicide, I got the idea that I needed to develop a program for middle and high school students.


Of course, it didn’t come to me then. I was too overwhelmed with grief and my thoughts were too scrambled and unorganized.

By February 2016, I was frustrated that I couldn’t make it come together. I had more ideas but they didn’t fit together right.

Then I decided that I just didn’t need to worry about it. I needed to let go and trust that the idea would develop and … Read more...

Forgiving myself

We have sketchy information on the last two weeks of Charles’ life.

And at one point he insists he’s not doing drugs and wants to come home. But we have had multiple drug tests that say otherwise.

We tell him he has rent paid up at the sober house and he needs to stay there first. All he has to do is three days in detox and then he can go back to the sober house.  That’s the path to home.

If he’s not doing drugs, it will be a piece of cake. And we are not entirely certain of … Read more...

Weeping Heart – #griefheart 76

The car is second only to the shower when it comes to best places to cry. Sometimes it’s a memory that triggers the tears. Sometimes it’s a song on the radio that reminds me of Charles. I am not afraid of them nor am I ashamed of them.

Letting them out brings relief and reminds me how much I loved my boy.

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.

Get updates to this project by subscribing


The last lunch

This is #2 follow up to this article:

Saturday Charles

We arrive at the sober house to pick Charles up for lunch, anxious to see the bubbly fun “Saturday Charles” again. It was intoxicating the previous day.

The house is neat and quite nice.  The house manager doesn’t know where Charles is.

Charles had texted that he went to the river and got lost. He had zero sense of direction and like me, can’t find his way out of a paper bag. He should have been back by now though.

We are texting and calling and he’s not answering. I … Read more...

Saturday Charles

Charles sent this to a friend while in detox
Charles sent this to a friend while in detox

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

Charles wasn’t living at home at the time of his suicide.

Not because we had thrown him out or asked to leave the house due to his drug use. He had been stealing from us (almost all my silver was gone) and we sent him to his grandparents so we could figure out our next step. It was their idea and it sounded like a good one.

So we put him on a plane to see his grandparents in Georgia. (We live … Read more...

Stop the pain in my heart – #griefheart 71

There are times I feel boxed in a room with no exit– the hurt and ache surrounding me so completely I can’t breathe. I don’t even want to move. How long does this last? When will it stop? Make it stop!

Even now, I have that same feeling of wanting to escape, of feeling smothered and screaming, “Let me out damn it!” The waves are not as long and not as often as they were a year ago. But it still hurts so much sometimes. You never imagined your child would die by suicide.

Punching pillows, screaming, yelling at the …

Hold onto hope

hold-hopeFrom 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 … Read more...