I ache I miss you so much

Dear Charles,

Nothing new here. Nothing earth shattering.  No new revelations.  Just that raw, ugly momma grief.

There’s no new way to frame it or say it.

Images of you flash through my brain like a slide show. Snippets of your life play like an old movie–scenes from when you were a baby, a toddler, a 10 year old, a teen, and since it’s your birthday month, scenes from all those parties and broken piñatas.

And finally, that image of you as “Saturday Charles.” You with that buffalo plaid shirt you loved. That giant grin and your boundless … Read more...

Remembering Jeffrey Scott Maurer II

By Ms. Dawn Burton

My son Jeffrey Scott Maurer II, Jethrow to most, struggled with depression and drug addiction for many years and lost his battle. I always thought I would get “the call” but I thought he would OD.

Never in a million years did I think he would kill himself when he just found out he was having a baby boy–one he had wanted for a long time. He told everyone he was gonna get off the drugs before Lucca came. He picked that name and was so proud.

Jeff was a great uncle and would have made … Read more...

I still struggle

Right after Charles’ suicide, the only way I got through those first few weeks after my family left was to remind myself that it will never hurt as much as it did when we got that unbearable news.

A few months later I thought “getting better” or moving forward would mean I wouldn’t think of him every day. Then that thought would frighten me. But I do think of him every day and now I know I always will.

There are so many times I feel like a kite on a tight string in a high wind flapping furiously in … Read more...

Heart wall— #griefheart number 265

Heart Wall

I recently visited a contact at SCAN, Stop Child Abuse Now, and when I walked back to her office, I saw this wall. A heart wall, all painted by children who have suffered some kind of trauma.

I liked the fact they were all together making a statement, the group of them all bright and colorful. By themselves, they don’t have as much impact. Charles loved being in groups, teams, with neighbors, friends and family. He was stronger in a group. He hated being alone.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all … Read more...

Dangling heart— #griefheart number 262

When I was in Zurich this summer, I looked out my hotel window and spotted this and I immediately thought– “dangling heart.”

It feels that way sometimes. Like my heart is dangling precipitously over a giant hole and in danger of dropping into a crevice and getting buried, never to be revived again. Flat. Lifeless.

But it’s Zurich. And it would most likely fall into a body of water. The heart would swim to the side. Fight for survival. Rise from the body of water to dive in again if it were a hot day. It might even have fun. … Read more...

Virginia is for lovers— #griefheart number 258

This is my husband’s first #griefheart donation. He saw it while walking the dog in the neighborhood. This one resonates because Charles loved Richmond, Virginia.

When we had to send him away for therapeutic boarding school, he was homesick. He wanted to come home to Richmond.

When we sent him to camp, he was homesick. His letters from camp read, “Dear Mom, I hate it here.”

He loved day camp. In Richmond.

Where did he want to go to college? VCU in Richmond, VA.

He used to say, “I love Richmond. I never want to leave.”

What is the #griefheart

Read more...

Connected heart— #griefheart number 242

A new friend in the neighborhood had me and two other ladies for dinner tonight. She had sent me this heart previously, having seen it in Chickahominy which is in Hanover, Virginia. Three of the four of us at dinner lost a child to suicide. It’s always nice to be able to talk openly on the subject although we talked about a lot of other things, too.

Lots of laughter. Some tears. A lot of camaraderie. I had such a good time. Because even if you lose a child to suicide, you can laugh again. You can even laugh on … 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...

Lobster heart— #griefheart number 236

Charles loved lobster and one of his favorite restaurants was Red Lobster. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he came to appreciate it. Both of us were a little freaked out that we’d see the live crustaceans at the entrance that would soon be someone’s dinner.

He didn’t need the salad or vegetables. He was a purist you know, not wanting to confuse his stomach with plant-based foods. The shock to his system would have been too much!

I remember the battles we had as a family trying to find a place the whole family wanted to eat. … Read more...

Grief writes me a love letter

Dear Anne Moss,

I didn’t mean to hurt you. I numbed you at first because I had to protect you. One can take only so much pain and agony at once.

I watched you in your agonizing moments knowing that these would be building blocks to emotional healing. You suffered under my weight and tried unsuccessfully to lift it yourself when you got tired of it. But I do have a mind of my own and just when you thought you couldn’t take another minute, the weight would lift.

At first, you thought getting better meant getting past me. But … Read more...