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Black heart— #griefheart number 280

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...

YMCA love— #griefheart number 279

YMCA heart

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...

Carry more love in my heart— #griefheart number 278

Carry more love in my heart

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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here. Contact me if you want to honor and remember your loved one who died by suicide or from addiction.

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

Healing heart valentine— #griefheart number 277

Healing heart valentine

My husband and I shared the love when our hearts where whole and then when they were shredded.

On June 5, 2015, the night we were devastated with the shocking news that  Charles had killed himself, we made a pact that the last chapter of our youngest son’s life was a new chapter for our own. We were going to survive this somehow and we were going to do it together. Because no one else would carry on the legacy of our youngest son.

A toast to our healing, grieving hearts. I’m so grateful I don’t have … Read more...

Sister-in-law Heart— #griefheart number 276

Sister-in-law heart

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and my sister-in-law, Jenny, with her daughter-in-law Sam (my niece by marriage), are preparing their football feast. This deviation of nature, a red potato no less, was going to be sacrificed for potato salad. And Jenny rocks at potato salad. But no! Samantha to the rescue! Not this precious baby. It needed to be held on this pedestal as a symbol for the #griefheart project in memory of my son, Charles.

So Sam dove in and rescued the potato from his fate before a single mark could be made on it’s precious surface. And then … Read more...

Second Blog Birthday Heart— #griefheart number 275

Happy birthday my blog. Happy birthday my blog.

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...

Women’s March heart— #griefheart number 274

grieving heart
Women’s March heart

My friends and I joined the Women’s March in Richmond Virginia today. It was a lively event with chants and singing. The signs were great. And funny. I parked at a friend’s house in the fan museum district and when I got out of the car, this was right in my face. A sign?

As we were walking in Cary Town I thought about how Charles loved protests and marches. And how much he loved Cary Town. Other than the James River, it was his favorite area in Richmond, a city he loved so much and told … Read more...

A father’s love— #griefheart number 273

A father’s love

Randy, my husband, spotted this one. It’s a heart made of stainless steel so it looked more like a “guy” heart if there is such a thing. He wanted a picture of it, so it’s only fitting that he own this one. The heart says, “Through thick and thin, we remain one.”

We saw it in Los Angeles while visiting Richard over the holidays. We toasted Charles. Missed him. Told stories about him.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here. Contact me if you want to honor and remember your loved one who … Read more...

Samuel Spott’s heart— #griefheart number 272

by Donnia Spott

Billy and I are in our second year since our son, Sammy Spott, died by suicide. Like last Christmas, we chose to have an early and small gathering with our other two children and then left town.

Last year, we hiked and camped in the Grayson Highlands and barely saw another soul on Christmas Day. Today, we hiked again, to the Sand Cave and White Rocks in Ewing, VA. I saw so many heart shaped rocks on the trail and left them all where they lay.

Even before reading your posts, and before Sammy died, I … Read more...

For the love of chocolate— #griefheart number 271

For the love of chocolate

One of Charles’ favorite places in Richmond was “For the Love of Chocolate” in Carytown. Every trip we took to this charming part of Richmond with Charles started or ended with a trip to this shop.

The first time he went in, he stopped, looked around and said , “I’m in heaven!” Ironic since he’s there now.  I hope there is a “Love of Chocolate” where he is.

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.… Read more...

Headstone heart— #griefheart number 270

Headstone heart

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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Pellet heart— #griefheart number 269

Pellet heart

This one has an interesting story behind it. We sold our Chesterfield county home to a family of 6 back in late 2015. When we were considering which offer to take, one of the real estate agents told our agent that the couple they were representing was so easy to work with. Now at this point, Charles had not died yet but we were definitely in crisis and having someone easy to work with was pretty attractive. So we took their offer.

We sold the house on a Sunday and 4 days later, Charles killed himself. Part of … Read more...

Pine needle heart— #griefheart number 268

Needles are normally something that poke. And it’s funny what forms into a heart. You’d never think that something with the word “needle” in it would make a heart.

Will love seeing family tomorrow. I will miss my boy who is no longer with us and will miss my boy in LA. First time without Richard for thanksgiving but going to California for Christmas.

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.

Read more...

Community hearts— #griefheart number 267

So many hearts have been shared and sent to me for this #griefheart project.

These are just a few of the ones I could find in my inbox. They are texted to me, sent to me by email, through facebook private message and posted to my wall. Messaged through linkedin, twitter and even sent as presents. I don’t think this is even 25% of them because I can’t keep up with all of them. But it doesn’t matter. The sentiment is there as is the feeling of support.

The tribe here has embraced this project in memory of my son … Read more...

Comeback heart— #griefheart number 266

From Anne Moss: Michael is a thoughtful young man who attended a special needs school. He has mood disorder, sleep disorder a learning disability and has suffered from suicidal thoughts. With a lot of perseverance, he has worked his way up to being a manager at a restaurant and he sent this picture and a the narrative.

by Michael Widuch

On Monday October 30th, 2017, I started to come back to emotionally naked after drifting away for some time. I started on the article where I last read which was “CareTalks Presentation Video.”

I felt Anne Moss Rogers … Read more...