Death Anniversary Heart– #griefheart number 56

Death Anniversary Heart
Death Anniversary Heart

This #griefheart represents all the love and support we have received since Charles’ suicide. It is made up of the grief cards we got after Charles’ death June 5, 2015.

Charles died 4 days after we sold our house, so we moved and I’m not sure this is all of them. But it has to be read more

Escape Heart– #griefheart number 55

cloud-heart
Escape Heart

From Charles’ rap song, Run Free:

“Leanin’ on clouds up in heaven with my rap feelin’ free at last
Floatin’ through the present
I ain’t focused on the past”

I hope he has found peace. Still working on finding mine. Thank you Megan for capturing the sky scene I’ve been read more

Video: Forgive me momma – by Charles Aubrey Rogers

Charles would rather Eminem or Cage be performing this rap. But I don’t know their numbers.

Since 8th grade, rap was Charles’ lifeline. He wrote it, performed it and it helped him deal with his depression and his addiction. I’m not talking about the read more

Cuddle Heart – #griefheart number 54

Cuddle Heart
Cuddle Heart

This was sent to me by another mom, Angel, who lost her daughter to suicide. Their kittens had a litter and three of them were napping and she snapped a picture saying it reminded her of my #griefheart project.

It reminded me what a great cuddler Charles was. More than Richard, Charles needed hugs read more

Tearful Heart– #griefheart number 53

Tearful heart
Tearful heart

I will always have smiles, and tears, for my son Charles. He had no idea how much me meant to us and to others at that last dark moment when he took his own life.

My neighbor Wendy Holt organized things to drop off after he died by suicide. And one of those things was lots of boxes of kleenex which read more

What These Drugs Do – by Charles Aubrey Rogers

This was hidden in Charles' closet when he was 15
This was hidden in Charles’ closet when he was 15

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. 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 read more

Hidden Heart– #griefheart number 34

Hidden Heart
Hidden Heart

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 read more

Pop Tart Heart– #griefheart number 53

Pop Tart Heart
Pop Tart Heart

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 read 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 read more