What These Drugs Do – by Charles Aubrey Rogers

Another of Charles’ raps penned under Reezin’ the Revolutionary. This one nails addiction. It’s not pleasant but neither is the illness. I think once you read it, you start to have an understanding of the self loathing an addict suffers from. 

Warning, it has some language. I pondered whether to put it out there. But I know Charles wanted his music shared. He was hardly a dealer but I am sure he sold to support his habit at times. Depression is an awful illness. But addiction really is the devil. During his last days, he suffered a depressive episode 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. 

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.original

I just wanna reach out and thank you for posting what you do because most … Read more...

Hidden Heart– #griefheart number 34

Blame it on grief brain, but I miscounted. #griefhearts number 34 and 35 got left out. So that there is not a gap, I am sliding in this number 34 after 52.

Mathematicians will hate it. But who says you have to always count in order? It is, after all, a creative project. Charles couldn’t put anything in order either. So it’s perfect.

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 

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Pop Tart Heart– #griefheart number 53

Charles pretty much had the worst diet ever. If it was a processed food, he loved it. And he loved those brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts. Oh how I worried about his teeth.

I didn’t buy pop tarts but Randy would buy them “for the kids.” When I saw these in the pantry today (can’t use that “bought them for the kids excuse any more), it reminded me of Charles and made me smile.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart categoryRead more...

Take Mental Illness and Suicide out of the Silos of Silence

My family suffered the triple stigma with our son – depression, addiction and death by suicide. Stigma can exist only in an environment where judgment and lack of education thrive. Which is precisely why we need to talk about them. Openly and without judgment.

I am stripping away the façade and hitting taboo subjects head on. The death of my son Charles Aubrey Rogers by suicide in June of 2015 taught me that.

Everybody has a story. Everybody has struggles. A visible success does not make any life perfect. And you know by now what can go on behind closed … Read more...

Anticipation of the first death anniversary

Me: I don’t know yet which is worse. The anticipation of June 5, Charles’ death anniversary, or the actual daycal_june5

Alter Ego: I’ve noticed you are sleeping restlessly again and the hot flashes are worse 

Me: And the heaviness in my limbs. It feels like the death anniversary will mean he is farther away from me

Alter Ego:  You’ll have to learn to carry him in your heart

Me: Sometimes I know what that means. Other times I don’t and I feel if I cling to my grief I’m closer to him and he won’t fade away

Alter Ego:  Did Read more...

Camo Heart – #griefheart number 52

On this memorial day, we honor those we’ve lost in battle as well as those we’ve lost to internal battles.

There is no camouflaging the high suicide rate for both active duty troops and veterans which is roughly 50% higher than the national rate. Twenty two veterans every day die by suicide.

Transitioning to life after service is difficult and PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses plague our troops and veterans. Thank you Nancy Smith, Westover Hills neighbor, who invited me into her home to use the military medal and the background.

What is the #griefheart project?

I … Read more...

Beach Heart – #griefheart number 51

I remember the number of beach trips we took as a family–most great and one disastrous (that story coming soon).  The great memories outweigh the bad. If it weren’t for my family during those years when we were paying so much for care related to Charles’ mental illness and drug abuse, we would not have had any vacations at all. Not that I resent spending the money because I’d do it all over again to try and save my child.

Thank you to both sides of my family giving us breaks. And thank you to Debbie Rosenbaum, a champion of … Read more...

To those who need it now, don’t let that pilot light of hope burn out

through all the terror i can find beauty and a glimpse of hope

Suicide is loss of hope.

And certainly after you lose a child by suicide, your sense of hope is hard to find.  What do you do after you lose one of the people that gives your life meaning?

The pain of losing my child by suicide was relentless at first until I just went numb and catatonic. That numbness is your body’s only defense to the onslaught of unbearable agony.

Yet through all that despair, I desperately held onto that tiny shred of hope that was going to keep me alive, keep me moving forward. I held onto it with … Read more...

Love to live for– #griefheart number 50

I told Richard, my oldest son and Charles’ brother, what I wanted to do for my #griefheart. I had a hard time getting my hands high enough for his tall self so he kept squatting. He is stifling a laugh over my lack of being able to make a decent heart with may hands.

Dante, his roommate, is trying to hold the camera behind me and in front of my hands. Even funnier.

Both of them are more interested in the attractive wait staff and hostesses than my project by picture 12. Like two year olds I tell you! But … Read more...