Your son Charles has been found dead this morning

It ended so fast. Yet it took so long to raise him. In one swift kick, my son ceased to exist on earth and my purpose as a parent was yanked from under my feet.

I couldn’t help but reflect on all those nights we stayed up with Charles when he couldn’t sleep, the plays I went to, the costumes I sewed, the carpools full of boys I toted to baseball practice, the noses I wiped, the fevers I treated.

I endured fart jokes, loud gaming sleepovers, and copious amounts of Axe body spray in middle school.

I invested everything … Read more...

Grief shaming. Why is she still talking about her child who died?

So I’m listening to the radio in the car. The lady who called into the “Complicated Grief Show” started by saying it’s been 8 years since her cousin lost her daughter and that she still goes to visit her grave. The caller went on to say that when she visits her cousin who lost her daughter, she is always looking for ways to interject a story about her deceased child into the conversation.

Then she said, “It’s been so long now and it’s making me uncomfortable.” She truly did not understand why her cousin had to talk about her child … Read more...

Oranges are hilarious

Charles is not pictured in this video but he is filming it at the Family School, the therapeutic boarding school he attended in upstate New York. A lot of students from this school have died from suicide (my son), overdose, accident related to drugs/alcohol. Too many.

The young man they are tickling has a distinctive laugh and they wanted to capture it on video which they were successful doing.

That voice. I miss Charles’ voice so much and I ache to hear it again.

Someone published this video recently on Facebook and I had never seen it.  There is nothing … Read more...

I refuse to bury my son’s memory

There are days that I realize, I’m “that” mother–the one whose child killed himself. I can’t slip out of my skin and be somewhere else or someone else, I have to face this head on.

The truth is, while I can’t avoid it, others can.

It’s how others react that is often interesting and I’ve decided to be sort of an observer of human nature and not be offended. This “scientific” approach towards witnessing reactions to death has helped tremendously.

People ask, “How many children do you have?” to which I give my standard answer. “One of my children is … Read more...

Funny Story. Charles was a roller coaster tycoon

rollercoaster-tycoon

So I had this office over the garage that was big enough for two desks. Charles would often be in the office with me playing the game at his Dad’s desk while I worked on a writing assignment.

I was a freelance copywriter back then. I guess he was around 11 or 12.

Charles used to play this game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. And he never played it how it was supposed to be played. In fact there were a lot of games with “Charles rules” that never got played how they were intended.

Roller Coaster Tycoon is a computer game … Read more...