Did Charles show signs of mental illness earlier in his life?

“I’m the last piece in a broken puzzle
 To a broken puzzle
 Never fittin’
 I’m just sittin’ near the trouble
 It’s difficult findin’ air to breathe concealed within a bubble
 Can’t sleep
 Death is the only way to keep peace from the struggle”
Charles Aubrey Rogers

Charles never slept well, even as a toddler. He was “always on, never off”. If that is an official indicator of something to come, I am not aware of it but lack of sleep definitely contributed to all of his issues and his creativity peaked at night.

Sleep is so precious and it … Read more...

Things I no longer give a rat’s ass about since Charles’ death

It’s actually liberating to ditch things and basically spring clean my brain.

  1. What others think. I have never been one to worry a lot about this. But once I lost a child by suicide to depression and addiction, I totally let go of caring what others thought of me personally. You either take me as I am or you don’t. And conversely I’m not going to be passing judgement on others either. It’s probably why I feel so bold about the mental health cause. I’m on a tear now and I will stop the day I die. liberation

2. The small Read more...

Suicide. The silent serial killer

Grief is painful and heavy. But it can also inspire you to go in a direction you would have never gone and inspire a new sense of passion. To honor Charles’ memory, I will no longer be silent about suicide. Silence kills.

I have submitted this video in my application for a TedXRVA talk. If you want to help, please nominate. Description is below.

Thank you Melanie Murray for suggesting this title: Suicide, the silent serial killer

Short description of the topic would be:

Suicide. The silent serial killer

Title: Co-Owner, Impression Marketing. Board member, Beacon Tree FoundationRead more...

Did I ever think he might be better off dead?

I know Charles thought this. He wrote it. And my wondering it is not the same as wishing it. I never wished it. But I did have this as a fleeting thought after a particularly difficult crisis. Was my intuition trying to warm me what was to come?

When you have struggled with a child’s mental health issues combined with drug abuse problems for many years –and you’ve watched that struggle, at some point, you wonder if they are going to make it.

The lack of support and search for resources is utterly and completely exhausting. You advocate and advocate … Read more...

A hug from heaven?

randy-charles-FFS
Last night I had an unusual experience. I woke up from a series of short scary dreams. Not necessarily nightmares but the sort of stories Charles used to tell to spook me. When I woke up, I was verbally talking, telling Charles to quit pranking me because the dreams were messing up my sleep.

I was lying on my left side. Then I get this odd but pleasant tingly feeling all over and feel gentle pressure everywhere on my body like I’m being wrapped up in something warm and cozy.Truthfully it was the most surreal experience I have ever had.… Read more...

If you have a bereaved parent in your life

Guest post by Kimberly Gardner, North Carolina

If you have a bereaved parent in your life, remember that she/he is most likely choking down sobs in the quiet of their house. The silence of where their child’s voice should be, is deafening. They likely sob in the shower. In the car. Behind their computer screen….anywhere.

grief

Show them in tangible ways that you care.

Show them you have not forgotten their child, no matter how many years have passed.

And for the love of everyone, remember to say our child’s name over and over again. It is music to our ears. … Read more...

Did Charles show warning signs for teen suicide?

Looking back after my son Charles Aubrey Rogers’ death, I see that he did exhibit signs of being suicidal. Of course I have often asked myself what I missed.charles rogers I had been a mental health advocate and board member at Beacon Tree Foundation for several years prior to his suicide. Although I had been to one suicide symposium, I still did not connect the dots when it came to my own child. 

Frankly, he didn’t check that many of the boxes on the list of suicide risks they presented that day.

His father and I have been married 30 … Read more...

Grief: Letting go of bitterness to find hope and joy

I am more hypersensitive to the bitterness of others than I ever have been. If ever anyone is entitled to bitterness, I feel it would be those of us who have lost a child. Frankly, I don’t want to live my life feeling that way. It would be a disservice to my son that died as well as the one that lived.

I think the key to leaving bitterness behind is finding my direction and purpose in the most devastating tragedy of my life. My purpose as a mother was to raise my two boys to be thriving adults. To … Read more...

How could I resent your child’s cancer fundraiser?

Part of my grief process is to let go of such insane resentments and just do something about it instead.

It sounds crazy. It sounds inhuman. But there were times when I felt jealous that others got such overwhelming financial and even emotional support in their struggles to get medical help for a child who was ill. My resentment was never directed at a specific family. It was resentment that society could turn their backs on mental health while embracing physical health so passionately.

card-ear
Send a card, reach out, listen w/o judgement

The outpouring of support when your child has a physical ailment … Read more...

Why did he kill himself? Answering the why

charles-wilderness-04-23-12-CR

Charles in Wilderness Program for troubled teens. It was here that we finally got a great diagnosis. He did embrace the program after 4 weeks or so.

I learned a lot about Charles after his death by suicide from his RAP diary where he wrote his songs. You can see his notebook in his hands in the picture on this page. Many of his friends know what I’m talking about since he carried them with him. They were his lifeline.

It’s in those pages I saw just how much he hurt. Every single day.

And why he ultimately gravitated to … Read more...