Crushed ornaments and greenery from a fallen tree make a perfect #griefheart. The holidays are hard and for the first time since Charles’ suicide in 2015, we have a small Christmas tree. And some lights because I like lights, especially in the dark.
The tree has all the ornaments the kids made and we filled in with the ones they chose over the years. We had a Christmas tradition that every year, we’d go to CaryTown in Richmond and they’d get to pick an ornament which always turned out to be more than one and close to a … Read more...
Chewed up and spit out heart. If you’ve lost a child, you know the feeling.
But this is gum. Which is candy. which means that Charles loved it. Walmart? His favorite store. Why? Because on some day during the week, don’t remember which one, they’d run a special on candy at Walmart. Or maybe it was just the cheapest there. Second was WaWa because he could buy candy and get a sub.
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...
There is a project in Richmond, VA intended to spread joy in the darkness of struggle or loss called the #URockProject. Anyone who finds one of these rocks and is touched by the message can take it home to keep.
To everyone out there fighting the stigma of mental illness or adjusting to life after a loss to suicide, this project is meant to let you know you are a warrior.
I am adjusting, or trying to adjust, to life after my son’s suicide and Rebecca Farrow from the #URockProject painted this rock in memory … 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 loved cheese. Cheese sticks, cheese squares, cheese sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, Cheese-its, and Cheese Whiz–which he’d squirt directly into his mouth. I never bought Cheese Whiz by the way. But once he was 16, I could not prevent Cheese-Whiz purchases. His favorite cheese? Pepper jack which I bought in little squares.
Although I miss my youngest son, I don’t miss the smoke detector going off at 2am because he was cooking a cheese sandwich and fell asleep while it got black in the toaster oven.
So my friend Connie goes out to her mailbox and low and behold this is on her driveway. From where? She doesn’t know. When she went back out, it was gone. Her son is out there somewhere. Unfortunately, her family has suffered intensely from her son’s addiction for over 12 years.
Those cracks represent the broken hearts and lives that are lost as a result of this opiate epidemic. Some from overdose. Some from suicide like my son. And still others from drug related deaths such as accidents and illnesses from long-term use.
Some days my efforts for getting up and dressed are half hearted. I do it anyway because lying about in bed won’t make me feel better. There are times you have to fake it before you make it. Losing a child to suicide is so devastating, many days you can’t believe it happened.
An infinity heart is an “I love you forever heart.” I love Charles forever and ever even though he’s not here any longer.
This is actually a tattoo on the arm of my friend Beka Lombardo who suffers from bipolar disorder. Part of her recovery is giving back and being outspoken on the subject. This is what she has to say about her new arm artwork.
“The idea behind this tattoo is that if I ever got to where I felt like I wanted to cut or have suicidal ideations, I just look down and see Joe’s name and I know that … Read more...
Many of us love or have loved an addict. Their disease is not who they are and I want you to know that even when they are actively using, their real selves are alive and suffering. I can see from Charles’ rap lyrics before his suicide that he felt deeply when he was using. That he hated himself, felt guilty, ashamed, depressed and ostracized. But I love him and hated the disease.
My actions were ugly , teenage druggie, looking for anything to numb me, pathetic, scummy.
But you still love me. I would cry when I wanna die and … Read more...
My heart is often puzzled. Why did this happen? Why didn’t I know? Why wouldn’t he admit to suffering from depression?
I can only speculate and his lyrics have helped me figure it out as much as I will ever know. It’s just really hard to put the pieces of your life back together again. To figure out your direction and purpose. To be able to pull yourself up from the depths of despair and live again.