Grief Ambush

That’s when you have a grief attack. In short, it’s a day that sucks. It sneaks up behind you and bam, ambushes you out of nowhere. It takes you down to your knees, it hurts like the devil, it doesn’t ask forgiveness nor does it apologize. You can’t function worth squat and you are confused and weepy.

Just when you think you can’t take another minute, hour or day, it subsides just a bit and then a little more and then some more until finally you see a sliver of light and you rush to open it wider because you … Read more...

Suicide. The coulda, woulda conversation in my head goes something like this

My coulda woulda shoulda is that last phone call I had with Charles. Here’s how it goes.

Alter Ego: You missed that last conversation, the one where he texted you, “Please pick up the f@#$%& phone, there is something I need to tell you.”

(my mind usually whines here)

Me: We had already been on the phone for two hours. He was shouting, incoherent and argumentative. I didn’t know where he was. I couldn’t understand him. I said, “I have to go. Bye, bye, I love you.” Then he called again and we talked again.

Alter Ego: But that third phone call, the one that Read more...

Looking for hope and joy after my son’s suicide

I am standing somewhere noisy when all of a sudden a memory hits me and my heart freezes, breathing all but stops. The crowd becomes this surreal din of noise and I physically shrink in size while the colors of the room smudge together as the grief wave settles in. Lonely is the best way to describe it because right then, I am sure no one could feel such pain in their heart–right down to my muscles and bones.

It will subside but sometimes I want to hold onto it longer because it makes me feel closer to the child Read more...

Grieving is healing

When grieving, you feel very alone, very isolated. But do know if you are grieving, you are not alone. It’s simply that the nature of grieving has a component of pain so deep, you shut down temporarily to give yourself space to absorb the emotional tsunami that often takes you down to your knees or inspires you to scream at the car dashboard. The part where you feel your worst is where it’s the most isolating. You can’t share that part with anyone else. It’s simply too personal and a painful part of the process.

I do know that

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Today, I was done at the start

Some days are tougher than others. You keep pulling yourself up over and over and by the end of the day, you’re just exhausted. And done. Just done. Usually, running lifts my spirits but this morning I kept having to force myself to keep it up. This was one of those days. Feels like this song. Funny, how his words are so relevant to my grief journey.

“This world is crushing me but I lift the weight
Look at star with a different face you’ll see tomorrow
The world will be a better place”—Charles RogersRead more...

Suicide shirts that are not funny

Cannot believe Amazon is or was selling these shirts. I get that people have different brands of humor. But suicide jokes, humor making fun of those with disabilities or dwarf jokes is just not creative. It’s a cop out for those who lack the real skills to be creative. To a mom whose child died by hanging himself, this is a slap in the face. Add to that, it’s suggestive in a frightening way.… Read more...

You never stop missing the child you lost

I remember a trip I took to my grandmother’s when I was around 9 or 10 years old.

Usually, I’d stay in the room with twin beds with my grandmother when we visited and one morning I woke up and saw my grandmother standing up in front of her dresser crying and looking at a picture. Curious and worried, I asked my grandmother what was the matter. She told me that it was Lou Maddy’s birthday and she would have been 40 years old that day. I asked her who Lou Maddy was and she said she was her Read more...

This new year, take the taboo out of suicide by talking about it

Those of us who have lost a child CRAVE pictures and memories about our child more than ANYTHING in the world because it’s all we have. One of the things people will tell you is that once someone dies, you find out all these things about your loved one that you never knew and it makes you smile.

But I have to tell you that those of us who have lost a child by suicide from stigmatized illnesses like addiction and depression, just don’t hear as much. We hear a lot of silence, awkwardness and change of subject and we Read more...

Surviving the first holidays after my son’s suicide

So the grief is like a tidal wave. When it hits, it hits hard. It can last a day or about a day and a half. Or sometimes shorter. But over the holidays the periods have stretched back out. They had gotten shorter and I know they will again. It maybe my journey but I’m not always the captain of it.

After a big hit of grief, you can have a “grief hangover” where you just feel sort of lethargic and shell shocked but relieved that the worst of it is over. Then you have to kick your own butt … Read more...

The 4 G’s of Grief

Grief:

Feeling heavy of heart

Gratitude:

Thankful to have spent a lot of time with Charles so I have a lot of memories. Thankful for friends who have reached out and supported me

Grace:

Understanding that he suffered from an illness and it was not a lifestyle choice

Giving Back:

Forging ahead with my promise not to be silent about suicide and mental health at Beacon Tree Foundation

And today, acknowledging the loss of others’ loved ones and that the holidays are also rough for them. My heart goes out to Amiya Moses‘ family today. She was only 12 … Read more...