Christmas heart—#griefheart number 291

Wreath heart

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 heart— #griefheart number 264

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.

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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Love from Santa Fe— #griefheart number 263

Love from Santa Fe

This was taken by my friend Tamara in Colorado from her recent visit to Santa Fe. Tamara lost her son, Logan, and we became friends having shared the morbid tragedy of losing a child.

This heart is so cool. And creative. It pays nice tribute to my creative genius, Charles.

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.

Dangling heart— #griefheart number 262

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 have fun. … Read more...

#URockProject heart— #griefheart number 258

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 of Charles. I only … Read more...

Billy Derr’s meatlover heart—#griefheart number 255

From Anne Moss: This #griefheart in memory of Billy Derr. Billy died from an overdose caused by substance use disorder. Jenny didn’t just make pizza. She made memories. 

From Jenny Derr: We made homemade pizza tonight.

Which we made the last weekend Billy was home.  💙 Missing him a lot.

This one is a meatlover’s pizza.

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.

Billy Derr’s Story

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Connected heart— #griefheart number 242

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 laugh on … Read more...

Stalking heart— #griefheart number 241

All week, those Mother’s Day ads, hearts, balloons, flowers, greeting cards have stalked me where ever I go. It’s hard not to see them as reminders of my chid that it no longer here.

The week was brutal. It’s only better now because I have my oldest with me now.

So remember friends of yours who’ve lost a child. Remember friends you know who’ve lost their mom. And remember mothers who have a child suffering from addiction, not in recovery.

I saved the last line for my mom who I am fortunate to still have. I love you!

What is

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Cheese Whiz heart— #griefheart number 234

Hearts are everywhere. Even in the Cheese Whiz.

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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain … Read more...

Mystery heart— #griefheart number 218


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.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain … Read more...