My son with Asperger’s grieved his brother’s death differently than me

by Ginger Germani

There are an infinite number of ways I miss my son. Today one of those thoughts hit me harder than most….because it is about his brother.

I am the mother of two handsome, witty and funny, young men. You look at them and there is no visual indication of their illness or disability. No reason you would think that either of these two have struggled or continue to. Yet, Austin suffered with depression and anxiety, while Colton fights to find his place in the world with Asperger’s.

As a society, we learn to immediately show compassion for … Read more...

And my grieving season begins

This is Charles’ birthday month. My baby would have been 23 on the twenty sixth of this month. Then there’s mother’s day in May, the death anniversary June 5. This is my grieving season.

Already, I have the grief rash peaking from under my eyebrow. I’m short tempered and weepier. My heart aches and I’m staring off into space in a trance more often than usual.

Many of his friends have graduated from college, some of them are already applying to graduate school. I still have them stuck at 20 sometimes–shocked when I realize they had the audacity to grow … Read more...

Grieving parents no longer have these worries

by Tamara Rollison

Logan and his mom, Tamara

Paying a huge college tuition bill.

He never made it to college.

Getting complaints from neighbors of loud noise and craziness.

He did have some humdingers of parties in his day.

Wondering where he is…messing with drugs…receiving a call from jail to bail him out…hooking up with bad people who could take advantage of him…driving recklessly…and all those other nightmarish thoughts that haunt every parent, at one time or another, in middle of the night.

He’s not here to get in trouble.

Becoming deathly ill…struggling with depression and anxiety.

He’s not here … Read more...

Love locks— #griefheart number 257

For several years now, love locks have been considered one of Cologne’s most charming traditions. As proof of their love, couples fix padlocks to the railings on the Hohenzollern Bridge; to ensure everlasting love, they then throw the key into the Rhein river below.

The padlocks collectively weigh over 2 tons. And if you think this picture is a lot, you should see the other side. There is no room at all on the other side of the bridge.

We were in Cologne (known as Köln to the locals and to me) on a Rhein River Cruise and I … Read more...

Reflecting on the first 2 years after losing Charles to suicide

the first 2 years after my sons suicide

The first year

Shock. Numbness. Tears. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to live through this. But I made a bet with myself to move forward with my life. If I give up, who carries Charles’ legacy? Who fights for change?

It was frustrating how no one mentioned my child’s name for fear of “reminding” me. Like that’s something I could forget. Did any of us ever think that when we were on the other side? The side that was before our child died?

Probably. Maybe. Hard to remember.

It sort of made me feel like no one … Read more...

Bonfire heart— #griefheart number 239

Charles loved having people over for a bonfire. And I loved it when we had all his friends over. I always felt better when he and all the kids were at my house then I could catch up with them, too.

One time he decided to bring the fire pit onto the deck. By the time, I came out to do my “friend check,” some of the deck boards had burned. We kept our eye on these parties, too. That’s what a child with impulse control issues can do in 5 minutes flat. Start a blazing fire in a fire … Read more...

Cookie cutter heart— #griefheart number 238

Charles was the farthest thing from “cookie cutter” and he hated the phrase “politically correct.”  He could be pretty out there in terms of his point of view. He was a crazy idealist who had a perfect solution on how to fix social injustice. It was part of his charm.

I loved watching him debate and pace around the room while he made his argument. It was like he could make you believe just about anything no matter how illogical or impractical it was.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so … Read more...

Purple heart– #griefheart number 209

So most of you have heard of a purple heart for war veterans.

This is a pretty purple heart for the wounds I bear for having lost my son to suicide. I will have the battle scars of that loss until the day I depart this earth. But until then, I am going to make the most of this life while I am here and carry on the legacy of love that my son stood for.

Thank you to Kathy for this one. I knew immediately what it would be.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart projectRead more...