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...
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.
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...
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.
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 … Read more...
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 … Read more...
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.
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 … Read more...
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 then you learned that … Read more...
This sort of ghostly twilight zone style heart was sent to me by Dani. For whatever reason when she took the picture, her husband’s orange shirt somehow got reflected in the shot when he was not in it.
Neither of us can explain it but it did remind me of something “other worldly” reminding me of Charles.
From Dani- “I was taking pictures on the beautiful back roads of Virginia and uploading to Facebook. I literally had just seen the pictures you posted of the ‘Out of the Darkness’ walk and when I went to crop and upload, this shot … Read more...
We went to the Westover Hills neighborhood picnic and I’m watching the kids play. I turn slightly to the left and there it was, staring me in the face in a big clearing calling my name.
I had been remembering how much Charles loved to play. Loved chalk, the bouncy thing, the balloons, the face painting. All of it. It’s way before he suffered from depression, felt suicidal, or succumbed to the lure of drug addiction. Back to a simpler time when a bad day was having your cake eaten by your dog. He refers to those days here in this song, Family Matters, … Read more...