Art heart – #griefheart number 101

3-d-heart
I commissioned this artwork in a shadowbox to feature Charles’ words.

From the artist, Summer DeCoste: This has various labors of thought. The brokenness, yet the thoughtful love he had. The straight pins…the pain in his addiction.

The love in his heart for his family and the spaces read more

Let’s talk about it: Life after loss of a loved one by suicide or overdose

I have been thinking about doing a Facebook Live event, say 30 minutes on the subject of life after the loss of a loved one who died from a stigmatized illness, specifically addiction or mental illness.

Talking points below. This is my first LIVE event and this is not a presentation, it’s read more

Let it go

At some point, you have to ask yourself, what is that baggage doing for me?

To move forward after Charles’ suicide, I had to let things go.

Like anger. Guilt. Shame.

Unlike other suicide loss survivors, I never felt a lot of shame. When we first started seeing signs of drug use, I did feel read more

Quotas are for salesmen not cops

Why should policemen have to meet a certain quota for arrests and traffic stops?

Not only is it fundamentally counterproductive for the purpose of “protect and defend,” it’s counterproductive to the balance of community. It creates an “us versus them” kind of culture.

Quotas are about generating revenue, not keeping peace

For read more

Love you oodles, piles and truckloads – #griefheart number 99

Love you oodles, piles and truckloads
Love you oodles, piles and truckloads

I used to say this to Charles all the time. He just loved it. And when he’d get upset at a young age, he’d pat me on the back and I’d tell him, “I love you oodles, piles and truckloads.”

Even at an early age, Charles just felt deeper than others. He was a dreamer and nothing read more

How much does mental health and addiction cost families?

13669245_10208929725094684_2994485252132121856_nMental health costs our country over 314 billion dollars per year.

Overall, it cost us $275,000+ trying to help our son, Charles.

None of the organizations communicated with each other and the mayhem of mental health and addiction services is overwhelming and disjointed at best.

And scandalously read more

Bottomless heart – #griefheart number 98

Bottomless love
Bottomless love

Dear Charles,

My love for you is bottomless–forever and ever. Thank you for loving your friends, watching over them, coming to them in their dreams and giving them hope and inspiration. Thank you for continuing to inspire me even though you are only with us in spirit.

Love you from the bottom read more

Why are so many girls dying by suicide?

statistics

updated 11/2017

Suicide is the leading cause of death for girls 15-19* worldwide and suicide rates for females 10-14 have tripled since 1999, the most alarming increase.

We have to ask ourselves why.

Some say social media. Others site early puberty. While those factors might be part of it, I read more

Sweet heart – #griefheart number 97

Sweet heart
Sweet heart

Every one that knew Charles knew about his love of sugar. In all honesty, I believe it was his first addiction. He loved candy, sweet, over-processed cereals and sugary coffee drinks, donuts and sports drinks. He even went trick or treating at the age of 19.

Charles was also a very sweet person. read more