How did I end up in this f—ing club?

Sometimes I just can’t believe I’m the one that lost a child. That was something that happened to other people. Not me. And not only did my child die, he died by suicide.

I could argue that I know my purpose now
But this “purpose” has such a high price tag.charles-beach

Some days I feel like I am barely able to scrape myself together. I wake up and just can’t believe I am in this ...  read more

Grateful Heart – #griefheart number 6

Grateful Heart
Grateful Heart

I had wondered at one point, “How do I show grateful heart?”

This group of friends added a bright spot to my life in my darkest hour. And they continue to do so. Before Charles died, they listened. Since his death, they listen.

You should see all the contortions we went through to get this ...  read more

Hurting Heart – #griefheart number 5

hurting-heart #griefheart-5
Hurting heart

Been painful this month. I think because his birthday is April 26. He would have been 21.

What is this all about? I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on the blog by #griefheart category.

Grief, suicide, addiction, depression: Top 10 Posts

David Letterman did it, why can’t I?to 10 taboo posts
I was just curious regarding which posts were the most popular. So I thought I’d share the results. These were chosen by you guys, by the number of visitors to the page.

I am not surprised by what ranked #1.


Why  ...  read more

Heart full of memories – #griefheart number 4

#griefheart 4
Heart full of memories –both painful and delightful

My heart is full of memories of Charles today. As a baby, toddler, middle schooler, high schooler. Memories both painful and delightful–the roller coaster of grief.

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

Piece ...  read more

Heart on His Sleeve – #griefheart number 3

#griefheart 3 heart on his sleeve
Heart on his sleeve

Charles wore his heart on his sleeve. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve now. So this is only fitting as to how I feel today.

This heart is made out of his clothing. His skinny, tall sweet-smelling shirts.

One of the hallmarks of depression is how the sufferer absorbs every one else’s ...  read more

9 ways I am coping with the insurmountable grief of suicide loss


I believe that by being open about suicide and sharing coping experiences and ideas, we can learn from each other.

The stigma has kept us clammed up for so long, it’s time we shared.

These work for me. Not to wipe away the pain. But to help me figure out how to live my life with this loss.

1. Writing

Writing ...  read more

Heart Full of Love – #griefheart number 2

Heart full of love

My heart is full today. Full of memories. Full of love for my child that is gone and the one that is here.

What is this all about? I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on the blog by #griefheart category.

Charles always reached out

If there was one consistent theme about Charles, it was that he always reached out. He reached out to kids who were not always visible to others and to ones who were highly visible as well.

Charles at Wasatch Academy in Utah
Charles at Wasatch Academy in Utah

He put himself at risk socially doing this. But unlike other kids his age, he didn’t care.

He’d put himself on the line and stand up for other kids who had no friends at all or had tons of friends. Kids that felt isolated or depressed or were having a hard time with something in their lives. Kids that were unusual, unpopular, different. Kids that were popular and hiding their pain. He would tell me about each and every one of them. He opened his heart for others with mental illness. I am so very proud of that.

Some of these kids are still with us. Others are not.

He saw something others didn’t see.

He saw pain. He felt the suffering.

Because he was a popular kid (although he didn’t really realize that), when he reached out, it was like that child got a social promotion. He did it because he wanted to know more about the person inside. He honestly cared and he couldn’t stand seeing someone else isolated and tossed aside.

He taught everyone around him, kids, teens and adults, what it meant to let another human being know they mattered.

As talented and funny as he was, I really feel this was his greatest gift.

This world misses a human like Charles

He was obviously not perfect. And we were not perfect parents.

I know the hallmark of depression is to feel so deeply that you can truly experience others’ pain.

In his last days, he was a addict in a depressive state and felt completely, utterly worthless.

Like trash. Like he no longer mattered.

In my darkest hours of grief, that’s what hurts the most. That I missed the clue that he was really in a place so dark he didn’t want to live. I wish I had not contributed to that feeling of unworthiness. Not purposely, of course.

He had no idea what an anti-social and isolating drug heroin was. For the first time, Charles felt rejection and he was not in the state of mind to see his way back.

I know I can’t go back to that place. I know I can’t change it. I know his suicide is not singularly my fault. And I know I didn’t know his situation. But I heard the despair in his last phone call and I can’t stand that I didn’t go with my gut.

What I know now is how much he suffered

His lack of motivation was not because he was lazy, it was because every day took so much out of him to live, he had nothing left.

His lack of sleep, his thrill seeking and impulsive behavior were all initial symptoms of childhood depression.

That last year, I didn’t yell at him. I knew he wasn’t doing drugs to hurt me. I knew he was not stable emotionally. I knew his self esteem was low. I knew the addiction was a result of self medication and despair. It was also an obsession which I couldn’t change and I couldn’t force him to accept help.

So many reached out after he died and told me what he meant to them.

There were so many lives he touched I can’t even count. I do so appreciate these stories. They painted a picture that wasn’t complete for me until they added those pieces. I am still getting those pieces.

In a world where no one has time to listen, he did. In a world where people judge others, he didn’t. I think we could all learn something from that. Me included.

Get updates to this blog by subscribing 

What I miss most about Charles

Knife to the heart – #griefheart number 1

Knife to the heart – #griefheart number 1

Heart just hurts today. I know it will subside but tears are close to the surface today and it really does feel like a knife to the heart. Love you Charles.

What is this all about? I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on the blog by #griefheart category