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

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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 hurts sometimes. Well, a lot of times. But there is a release of pain after I hit publish. I also feel free to do it now–to say what I want. No one is stopping me because I started my own … Read more...

Heart Full of Love – #griefheart number 2

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.… Read more...

Charles always reached out

Charles at Wasatch Academy in Utah

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.

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 … Read more...

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 categoryRead more...

What did Charles say prior to suicide to indicate his intentions?

I’m going to go through the process of what he said in various places to various people so you know what someone contemplating suicide might say.

This is a super hard post to write. Extremely, exceptionally, impossibly painful. I’d not do it if I didn’t think it would help others avoid standing in the shoes I am in now.

Honestly, really and truly. Do not ever think that it cannot happen to you.

Charles’ notebooks revealed a lot but we did not have access to those. His last phone call was cryptic and I was an emotional basket case during … Read more...

Addiction and Recovery: A fateful friendship

aaI am at an AA/NA meeting at The Healing Place in Richmond, VA. One eloquent speaker says, “By the grace of God, those of us here are not wearing toe tags.” Just hearing him talk is worth my time.

I start to cry because my son was one of those that did not make it. His addiction and depression having moved him to suicide.

The young man sitting next to me looks at me. I see his tears, too. He feels the loss and the pain. He and Charles’ paths have been so similar.

He was with Charles those … Read more...

The #imnotashamed how to

Starting Thursday, April 7, 2016, support mental health with the hashtag #imnotashamed. You can post a picture or post a message and a quote you found. But say WHY you are not ashamed. It doesn’t work if you just post the hashtag and don’t say why.

The purpose is to say something. The purpose is to talk so we can get rid of stigma. And that has to start with all of us. Examples below.

Share it!

Share it with @BeaconTreeFoundation on Facebook or @Beacon_Tree on Twitter, beacontreeorg on Pinterest. Or share with whatever organization you want to … Read more...

10 new traits I’ve adopted since my son’s suicide

There is nothing like the suicide of your child to inspire you to look at life differently than before. Life is now defined by “before Charles died” and “after Charles died.” Recently I’ve noticed myself adopting new behaviors. Below are the ones that stand out.

life after suicide

1. I tell my friends I love them

And I tell kids that were friends of Charles’ that I love them. I’ve always said this to my husband, family and children but expressing that to my friends is new. I want them to know.

2. I reach out to others more

It’s like I’ve become … Read more...

To those still struggling with a child’s mental illness

This is probably a familiar scenario. You are with a group of friends who know you’ve been struggling with a child’s mental illness or drug abuse–and absolutely no one asks about your child.

You’ve been through hell and back. You are emotionally spent and wrung out trying to maintain some level of functioning.

You hope someone will ask. But they don’t

asking-for-help-is-the-human-thing-to-doIt hurts. It hurts so much, you want to cry. You want to break down. You feel so isolated and alone like no one in the world cares.

Then you feel very very small all of a sudden. It’s … Read more...

9 Things I no longer tolerate since my son’s suicide

Ahhhh. It feels so good to let go of that baggage, simplify my life and bond with those who are genuine. While some of these have always grated on my nerves, now I cannot bear to be around it. Here goes, stuff I can no longer tolerate.there-are-three-things-i-cant-stand-1-liars-2-spiders-3-poorly-blended-eyeshadow-a41c5

  1. I can’t tolerate judgmental people – If you have not walked in someone else’s shoes, you have no right to judge. I can be polite but those who are critical of others due to lack of experience or just plain “judgy” types have no room in my life.

2. People who veil prejudices Read more...