I’ll be inside the car and someone will ask or walk out from inside a store with a curious look on their face. “What’s that mean?” It always takes me a second to realize what they’re talking about since I can’t see the sign from inside the car.
Like when someone says, “I like your earrings,” but you feel your ear because you can’t remember which ones you put on that day.
After my “what are they talking about?” pause, I notice their gaze and I remember the sign.
When Charles was at Wasatch Academy, he carried his rap diaries (as I call them) with him everywhere in his backpack. He wrote rap music in these notebooks. I swear he had at least 20 or more of them.
His Dad and I begged him to let us scan them. But he wouldn’t even let us see them. I know why now. They were very dark and he didn’t want us to know. He did share them with others, however. Funny, no one else was alarmed by these notebooks and their content. They clearly illustrate a struggle with depression, suicide, … Read more...
Charles had a lot of habits that were challenging.
He was a nonconformist to the max, a dreamer to a fault, pushed the envelope non-stop and was the most stubborn person I ever met in my life. When you have a child like this, you learn a lot about rolling with things and setting boundaries early. Not that boundaries ever inspired him to let up. It didn’t. But I held them for the sake of my own sanity.
It’s funny those habits that drove me the craziest are the memories I laugh the hardest about after his death by suicide. … Read more...
I miss that beautiful curly hair and his sense of humor. I miss his tall, skinny hugs and the way he altered his voice when he greeted his dog, Andy, and the dog’s reaction of pure joy. I miss the way he smiled with his eyes.
I miss the conversations we had in my office. Those days he’d come in after school, sit in his Dad’s chair and talk. He would tell me the stories that touched his heart.
To Charles, everybody mattered.
Their stories mattered and he was never too busy to listen and connect. As smart and talented as he was, this … Read more...
I remember when Charles picked this shirt out. It remember him in it. Charles always felt he had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I see a lot of angel/devil/demon references in his music.
Drugs were definitely a demon and made him feel as such. He hated himself for what they made him do. But I’m going to focus on one of his angel references that he wrote for Tiffani when he was at the Family School in NY.
“She’s my angel, so its only appropriate that she stay on my mind like … Read more...
My friend Bonnie’s daughter got a new pooch. She realized after this picture was taken that she had captured a heart on the dog’s rump. And she sent it to me to be part of the #griefheart project. My late son Charles loved, loved dogs. They loved him.
I asked her the new dog’s name. It’s Charlie. Now that’s ironic.
Charles loved his dog. He wanted one forever. He begged in middle school and I felt so guilty for saying no. I knew a dog would require my time no matter what my kids said about “doing everything.”
On his 15th birthday, we finally got Charles a dog. The world rejoiced! We got Andy from my friend Diane’s daughter who had to move to a new apartment that didn’t allow dogs. It was love at first sight.
Andy is still with us. I never thought the dog would outlive our son.
Charles suffered from anxiety but never on stage. He was as comfortable and natural on the stage as any seasoned actor. Charles had the innate gift of timing. You can’t teach that. He always had the audience’s attention. And no one I have ever seen could capture a crowd like he could.
It’s so painful to know the gifts he took with him when he died. He was truly a creative genius that was only getting started. I always told him he had “it.” And what really hurts sometimes is not knowing what he could have become.
In Charles’ obituary, I referenced the fact that he was Peter Pan hence the inspiration behind this #griefheart.
“…A deep, soulful, passionate and sensitive young man, Charles loved and treasured family. He was a true artist, an off-the-cuff comedian who loved to rap, entertain and act. He loved dogs, funky socks, drama, writing and making people laugh. But most of all, he loved people.
As many artists do, Charles lived life on his own terms and ultimately chose how he wanted to end it. He lit up every room he ever walked into. But he also struggled and is … Read more...
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. A dreamer at heart, he cared deeply about all of his friends and family. Nothing was more important than his relationships. This is to my youngest child who died by suicide before I got enough of his sweetness.