Gifted heart— #griefheart number 220

gifted heart

Grief is a gift because it represents the love I still feel for my son, Charles who died by suicide. My friend Kay sent this to me. She carries a similar one in her handbag to remind her of her mom who died a few years ago.

I have to tell you that before I started this project, I was not a fan of hearts. Now I see them everywhere. And I have you guys seeing them everywhere. Thank you for making grief OK.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so … 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?

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Purple heart– #griefheart number 209

Purple heart

So most of you have heard of a purple heart for war veterans.

This is a pretty purple heart for the wounds I bear for having lost my son to suicide. I will have the battle scars of that loss until the day I depart this earth. But until then, I am going to make the most of this life while I am here and carry on the legacy of love that my son stood for.

Thank you to Kathy for this one. I knew immediately what it would be.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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Pristine heart – #griefheart number 207

Charles loved snow. Where we live now is a giant hill in Forest Hill park and he’d beg his Dad to take him to that hill. As I go by there now, I remember how much he loved it.

I also remember visiting him at the Family School, a therapeutic boarding school in Hancock, NY. When we got there all the teens were sledding down the hill having a ball.

One of the administrators, America, a tyrant and their least favorite person, came out and demanded they sled one after another in a single file line like third graders. It … Read more...

Andi’s sweet heart — #griefheart number 195

Andi made a very special #griefheart for me. What could be more suitable for suicide awareness than a custom made graphic with a heart? I, too, am glad Andi is alive. She is giving back and supporting others. She is a suicide attempt survivor and suffers from borderline personality disorder and PTSD as a result of bullying.

Definitely share this! Thank you Andi. I think this might have to go on my resource page!

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

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

Conversation heart — #griefheart number 194

Since I became a mental health advocate in 2010, I have been promoting conversation about mental illness and addiction–the main causes of suicide. There was little of it despite my efforts but I see things changing. Unfortunately it was not before my son, Charles, died by suicide in 2015. Talking about suicide does not give people the idea but in fact it does just the opposite. Keep the conversation going because talk saves lives.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart categoryRead more...

Notes of love — #griefheart number 193

My friend Laurie saw this and well, it was a notebook with hearts. I’m a writer. So it’s perfect. For all my posts from the heart. Maybe this means I will find Charles’ other notebooks.

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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Suicide screening at a pediatric practice is a first

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Recovery heart – #griefheart number 190

A neighbor donated their car to Sherry, who has been in recovery for a year. When she sent me the picture, I saw that she was wearing a heart on her shirt.

It made me think about my own recovery from the loss of my son–how hard it’s been, how I have started to heal emotionally.

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.

Get updates to this project by subscribing

Would you ask someone with a heart condition to

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Eggshell heart — #griefheart number 189

When Charles died, my heart was crushed like eggshells. Emotional healing takes a lot of time and this journey really isn’t anything like I expected at the beginning.

I had no idea what grief was all about. It’s just not something people talk about. But I’ve made up for that! I consistently expose the world to my grueling, naked grief. I appreciate your taking this journey with me, holding me up when I need it, sharing your own painful journeys and being a part of this village.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all … Read more...

Fragile heart — #griefheart number 188

Cousin Kate sent me this. And the moment I saw this camellia heart it reminded me how fragile a person Charles was. My friend Chris was telling my oldest about how resilient addicts are. And that’s true. You hear the stories of what they have endured– homelessness, being run over, multiple overdoses. When they tell the stories, you can’t believe they are standing in front of you as normal looking human beings once they have found recovery.

Charles didn’t have resilience and I wish I could have shared mine with him but depression took it away. In its place he … Read more...