Living the dream heart – #griefheart number 155

My friend Shirley sent me this heart. Living the Dream Foundation an organization started in Culpepper, VA. The foundation and this #griefheart is in memory of Ben Long who suffered from depression and addiction and died by suicide like my son, Charles.

The Foundation works to increase community awareness and education about substance abuse, depression and suicide; provide information on available resources for those in need of services; and raise funds to support local prevention programs.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this … Read more...

Logan’s heart – #griefheart number 153

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This heart is in special remembrance of Logan Neale, a 19-year-old from Midlothian, Virginia who died in a truck crash. Logan was an avid runner who discovered that athletics could help him cope with his anxiety and depression. Logan also struggled with an eating disorder and suicidal ideation.

Like many with depression, Logan was empathetic about others suffering from mental illness and he believed in breaking the stigma that kept people from seeking the care and support they needed.  Like Charles, Logan attended Wasatch Academy in Utah. His mother retrieved this heart from the tree where he died.

The 2016 Read more...

Love and friendship – #griefheart number 145

From Kelly Greer about her granddaughter’s friend, Paris.

“Our granddaughter’s childhood friend took her own life this Spring (2016). She was only 14 years old. Those girls were inseparable. This is handprint art they made with a print from each of their hands. Her name was Paris. She was beautiful and we miss her.”

This is what the #griefheart project is all about. Being able to honor and share memories of those we miss who have died by suicide.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on … Read more...

Mark’s heart – #griefheart number 137

Mark Edmund Moore made this for his mother on Mother’s Day. It represents love for his mother. And love for chocolate. Mark was born January 10, 1991 and died April 28, 2013 from bacterial endocarditis which is an infection causing congestive heart failure.

Mark had been in recovery for 9 months from a heroin addiction. Those with a substance abuse disorder or recovering from one don’t always die from overdose. It can be hepatitis from needles, accidents, suicide and more. The illness can put them at risk for a multitude of other illnesses later on.

This heart in honor of … Read more...

Dreamcatcher heart – #griefheart number 134

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“My brother Jefferson Joseph Blanton-Harris (“Joey”) was 25 years old when he died by suicide on 5/20/13. He is my little “bwudder,” and always will be. I chose the blue color buttons in this photo because he has the most beautiful, striking blue eyes.

He has 7 older sisters, all with brown eyes, so his eyes really stand out. I chose the dream-catcher because I have several times seen him in my dreams. I use the present tense when speaking of him, for I believe in his true presence in my dream-state, not “just dreams.” I believe he lives forever, … Read more...

Puppy love – #griefheart number 127

Eleven months ago  Chaney Corley who was only 13 was pronounced dead. It was a death by suicide overdose and she had been rushed to the hospital. I met her parents online after they read my article about honoring my son Charles who died by suicide. The article published in February of 2016 and their loss was still so raw.

I feel like I know Chaney now. In this picture, she is making a heart with her first boyfriend and they snapped a picture of it. This one in honor of her upcoming death anniversary next month because I can’t … Read more...

Forever in our heart – #griefheart number 120

I love this poem and I love how the angel is right next to the heart.

Don’t ever think you can’t talk about your child or honor his struggle because he died from overdose or by suicide. Addiction is an illness. Depression is an illness.

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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Before and After

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Joshua’s Seagull Heart – #griefheart number 104

This #griefheart is in honor of Joshua Hasnas who died by suicide in 2008.

From Joshua’s mother, Rachelle Hasnas: Bipolar Disorder isn’t “pretty.” To Fly Again- Portrait of a BIPOLAR Life, a memoir I wrote for my son Joshua, isn’t pretty either. What you get is what bipolar disorder “looks like,” no punches pulled. And you also get the beautiful, sensitive soul—seen through his poetry—that was my son, taken too soon by the devastation this brain disease can bring. He lived with mental illness for some 22 years, until his suicide at the age of 38.

The symbol of the … Read more...

Martin Heart- #griefheart number 60

Just 3 weeks after Charles died by suicide, there was a family less than a mile away that also died by suicide. The same way. Death by hanging. His name was Drew Martin and at that time, I didn’t know his mom, Pat. But I know her now. We don’t think it was a copy cat incident for a number of reasons. Just a horrible coincidence.  

From Pat Martin:

“I saw this carved in the sidewalk while walking around Lake Michigan. Not only did the initials stop me in my tracks because they were Drew’s, but the handwriting is so … Read more...

Love from Pie – #griefheart number 47

This heart is in memory of Maggie Moyler who died by suicide at the age of 17 in 2011. Above is her signature.

I knew Maggie as a young child because the Moylers went to the same church we did in Midlothian. She was adorable–an absolute light. She looked like a child right out of a Gap ad and I thought the Moyler’s had the perfect family.

Years later, after Charles died by suicide in June 2015, Charlotte contacted me from their new home in Williamsburg and told me Maggie had died by suicide at 17. I had not heard … Read more...