Wish list


I wish I could have one more hug.

I wish I had known that phone call was my last.

I wish Charles had not died by suicide.

I wish my dreams of his future had not been shattered.

I wish I was not staring at an empty seat at our holiday table.

I wish I had a my own dream of Jeanie.

But I am thankful, too.

Thankful I stayed home with my children and I have those memories.

Thankful that I have the love and support that I do.

Thankful Charles was part of my life.

Thankful for what …

Madalene’s heart — #griefheart number 186

When I started this project, my friend Bonnie sent me this link to Madalene’s Monday Hearts. I admired how artistic hers were. Downright stunning. Well, 7 months later, she found me and my #griefheart project and sent me this book full of stunning, artistic hearts. Her story below as well as her thoughtful words of wisdom.

“My hearts actually started as a little tradition I would do for my love on Monday mornings so she would walk out the door and see a little heart on her doorstep. Thus the name Monday hearts for Madalene.

When she got sick …

Grief: How relationships with friends have changed


A friend and I had a conversation just recently. And we talked about how things have changed with my friends. For one thing, having lost a child doesn’t exactly put you at the top of an invite list for social events.

Once I noticed this, I made the decision not to be bitter but to host more events on my own and reach out more. Start my own party so to speak.

But why was I still feeling left out?

My friend said something interesting in our conversation, “We haven’t changed how we’ve treated you.” And in general, that’s true.… Read more...

Lickinghole Creek heart — #griefheart number 185

My book club took a tour that started at Licking Hole Creek Brewery in Goochland, Va. This symbol is their logo. When you arrive, you’re not real sure it’s an establishment and there is precious little indoor seating. Virginia has so many little surprises tucked away in unusual places. It was fun to spend time with girlfriends on a cold, windy but beautiful day.

My grieving heart needed that going into the holiday season. Missing my son so much. Since I don’t drink beer or any alcohol really, I played designated driver.


What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my …

Horse’s heart — #griefheart number 184

HThis one from Alex, one of the dedicated committee members of the social media suicide prevention program for teens and young adults that will launch in February.

She was in the group at the YMCA when I presented to their Leader’s Club. She’s been so dedicated to the cause of suicide prevention. It is so nice since Charles died to be around young people Alex’s age.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.

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My heart was hacked

map2000This website was hacked. I know many of you noticed because I got so many, “Where is it?” messages.

What I didn’t expect was how devastated and out of sorts I would be. I didn’t realize how attached I was to the village I have cultivated here.

I missed writing. I missed your commentary. And it was only down 38 hours but it felt like a month.

It was then I realized this is my baby.

As you guys know, I post something every day. The attack felt so personal, I literally felt like I was losing my child all … Read more...

The Seuss-ing of suicide

Copyright Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham
Picture copyright Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham

We don’t talk suicide with neighbors or teens.

Not with our friends or with our tweens.

Nothing triggers more fear.

Everyone wants to steer clear!

Never taking the time.

Makes suicide rates climb.

The morning isn’t good.

And neither is the evening

We don’t talk on vacation.

Or in a business situation.

Not at a wedding or on a train.

Not in a car or on a bus.

Not while we’re running or when we’re sitting.

Not in a box.

Not with a fox.

Not in a house.

Not with a mouse.

So when is a good time?

After a …

3 short, easy-read guides to help with a troubled teen

what-do-i-sayThese are all short, easy reads. Number 3 in only 66 pages. The others are glorified booklets.

I know the internet has a wealth of information but at times it felt overwhelming and it helped to be holding one single piece of literature that had been proven to work for tens of thousands of families.

Numbers 1 and 2 apply more to those with a loved one with addiction. Number 3 is great guide for anyone with a teen. It’s not meant for kids with issues but I think it is a template for communicating that can work with any … Read more...

Drained heart – #griefheart number 183

So for the last month, I have passed by this “heart” on the sidewalk when I run. Because I am not tied to anything electronic when I run, I have not had the phone to take a picture of it. But today walking the dog, I had it.

It looks like the heart was turned upside down and drained. That is so precisely how I feel some days. I think recent loss of a 15-year-old girl at James River High who died by suicide has left me feeling helpless and defeated. Which means tomorrow I will wake up to fight … Read more...

The invisible kid

From Anne Moss: This is from a young man who attempted suicide in February 2016.

It so happened my article in the Richmond Times Dispatch ran during that time and his mom read it and reached out to me. Fast forward 9 months and that suicide attempt survivor asked if he could post this on my blog.

As human beings we want to be loved and accepted. It’s a human emotion at the core of our very being. And when that doesn’t happen, despair sets in. As many as 30% of kids who attend a school, go weeks without another Read more...