I celebrated Charles’ birthday at training today and my friend Gray brought a cake in honor of my child who would have been 23. Gray lost her son, Whitten, to suicide. So sweet of her to bring this cake and I had a group with whom to share it.
Meanwhile, my husband went to go retrieve Charles’ ashes. It’s taken us nearly three years to go get them. I’ve remained undecided about what to do with his ashes. I waffle between wanting to take them with me always and ultimately bury them when I die, to wanting that grave site … Read more...
So there is a story behind these. Pun intended since this is a photo of the back end of my most comfortable jeans. So the denim style now is skin tight. That’s NOT the style of this old pair. These are well worn and soft. Because of that, holes appear in the rear. And when they do, I make a patch out of leftover jean material and sew it on to cover the hole.
On Easter morning, I could not help but remember how much Charles LOVED easter egg hunts. I think he is about seven when we go to the event in my parent’s neighborhood. It was a game, a group activity, and it had candy involved so it had all the ingredients Charles’ loved. What is funny now that was a little embarrassing at the time, was how aggressive Charles was at this Easter egg hunt.
Once Charles’ competitive streak was activated, he was unstoppable. Slower kids were out of luck as he dove in under them grabbing at … Read more...
I see references in Charles’ music to his black heart. He felt like he was ashamed because of the darkness in his soul.
I hear that a lot from those with mental illness. They think they are not worthy of friends, of a family’s love, or life. That darkness is part of the disease of depression, bipolar, and other mental illnesses. People who suffer often feel ashamed of it.
So I’m celebrating those who suffer from a black heart, died from a black heart and all the moms and dads out there that love someone with a dark heart. Like … Read more...
I hope the Y is OK with my taking logo liberty for the benefit of this project. So visited the YMCA in Midlothian today. They are hosting Leader’s Club retreat with teens from Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida. I talked about mental illness, suicide, addiction, grief and the #umatterchallenge. Looking forward to delivering a short keynote tomorrow morning. I just love this club and the young lady who introduced me to it in the first place, Alex.
This heart in memory of all the friends of the kids at today’s retreat who have lost a friend … Read more...
Since losing my son to suicide, I realize I feel every emotion more fully.
At first, I thought it was only pain I felt more acutely. Eventually, I noticed I felt everything, including joy, times one hundred. As strange as it sounds, this loss has given me the capacity to carry more love in my heart.
Even though Emotionally Naked is two years old, in Google years I’m middle aged. The good part about that is that at two years, if you’ve blogged consistently, Google gives you precedence in the search engine world. All week I’ve seen their little bots indexing pages for search like mad. Your stories, my stories have greater potential to reach more people, save lives and offer community and support to those who need it. Without judgment. Without shame.
It was two years ago, that I realized that I needed a space to write … Read more...
My niece, Aurora, sent me some soaps she made for Christmas. One of them was a heart. Charles and Aurora didn’t see each other that often, but I know she adored her older cousin and he loved her.
When Charles died, Aurora and her mom drove down from upstate New York to the memorial service and to offer me comfort. I so needed my family and friends after Charles’ suicide. I was out of my mind with grief. It meant so much they came.
When I started the #griefheart project, it had been my hope that more people would honor their loved ones with this project. To give permission to loved ones to honor the memory of those who died by stigmatized illness such as suicide or overdose. (See examples below)
But few have taken me up on it. And I would love for more to honor the memory of their loved ones. So if you could spread the word.