This one sent to me by Alex and it immediately sparked a memory.
Charles would always ask them at any fast food place to “hold the pickle.” His favorite was the Chick-fil-A sandwich with no pickle. And he’d open it and check his sandwich to see if they followed his directions. He was pickle prejudiced.
This heart is made with some small shells and has RIP written inside. Someone else lost a loved one and memorialized them with this temporary heart on the beach. But since Esther took a picture and sent it to me, it’s now a forever #griefheart.
Thinking it’s an act of selfishness is a lack of understanding of what suicide is.
Even before Charles died by suicide, I did not subscribe to the “selfish” notion. I even remember him walking into my office and telling me that a friend’s dad had died by suicide and Charles said he thought it was selfish.
Then he asked what I thought.
Now I’m not sure whether he actually thought it was selfish or was testing me. Seeing what I thought. I don’t know that I will ever know for sure. My gut tells me he wanted to know whether … Read more...
I was walking the dog today and saw the leaves turning and it made me think about the fact that I am witnessing another season change which makes me feel just a little farther from my child that died by suicide.
The world keeps turning, lives keep moving forward but his has stopped and that concept is so hard to accept sometimes.
I was honored this evening to present my story and my social media based suicide prevention program to the Swift Creek YMCA group in Chesterfield County. Before my very eyes, I saw stigma leave the building. Tosha Frye, fellow Beacon Tree board member, joined me and told her personal story and delivered her message of hope.
I met teens willing to reach out to others. Some of them spoke up and told their stories. We cried and we laughed. They are a very special and diverse group with great leadership. It’s a service club that takes their role very seriously.… Read more...
Randy makes these hash brown potatoes. The boys have always loved them. Charles loved these. And french fries that Randy would make.
I smelled them the other night cooking and it brought back that memory. Charles often cooked late at night because he slept so poorly. And because that’s when he got hungry. He would warm these up in the toaster oven. If I got up to go to the bathroom I would smell them being reheated.
During the course of this opiate and drug epidemic, I’ve heard several opinions on whose to blame. Here are the arguments and my take on them.
In all honesty, this epidemic is the result of a perfect storm of many factors that came together and allowed it to explode into the tragedy it is today. It will take decades to unwind from it. My son Charles was a casualty of this epidemic–a young man that suffered from depression and addiction and ultimately died by suicide.
Argument: The doctors started using that chart for patients to rate pain and giving pain medication like … Read more...
Charles favorite restaurant was Taco Bell. And his job there was the only real one he ever had. Customers loved him and it made him feel good. He would often hand out his CDs there, too. Not sure if management knew that one. But young customers would come back and tell him they loved his music.
Charles always told me Mexican food made him ill. When I pointed out that Taco Bell was a Mexican restaurant he’d tell me it was not. Nothing there made him ill apparently. Since Charles’ suicide, I still can’t drive past at Taco Bell without … Read more...
Hear what Dr. Abernathy and Dr. Keel say about the test.
Dr. Ted Abernathy and Dr. Scott Keel of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners (PAHP) talk about the 5-question suicide screening test through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that has shown remarkable results, identified preteens and teens with suicidal thoughts and referred them for life-saving mental health services. They have been using the screening test for over a year.
This screening had previously been used in Emergency Rooms to identify teens at risk for suicide and showed efficacy in doing so.
This incredible work of art is by me, a non-illustrator. If I could have stretched the arms to the edges of the universe, I would have. This is how much I still love my child. Until he died by suicide, I had no idea how much you could love someone that was no longer alive.
But that’s what grief is. The price you pay for having loved someone with all your heart.