I was walking the dog today and saw the leaves turning and it made me think about the fact that I am witnessing another season change which makes me feel just a little farther from my child that died by suicide.
The world keeps turning, lives keep moving forward but his has stopped and that concept is so hard to accept sometimes.
Charles favorite restaurant was Taco Bell. And his job there was the only real one he ever had. Customers loved him and it made him feel good. He would often hand out his CDs there, too. Not sure if management knew that one. But young customers would come back and tell him they loved his music.
Charles always told me Mexican food made him ill. When I pointed out that Taco Bell was a Mexican restaurant he’d tell me it was not. Nothing there made him ill apparently. Since Charles’ suicide, I still can’t drive past at Taco Bell without … Read more...
This incredible work of art is by me, a non-illustrator. If I could have stretched the arms to the edges of the universe, I would have. This is how much I still love my child. Until he died by suicide, I had no idea how much you could love someone that was no longer alive.
But that’s what grief is. The price you pay for having loved someone with all your heart.
Everybody who knew Charles knew how much he loved candy! When he went to a friends house, first place he went was their candy stash. Walmart had the best prices on candy according to Charles and he’d go here before going to the movies.
I remember going places and waiting forever for him to make his mind up and make his candy selection! I didn’t buy him candy. He had to buy it with his own money. Somehow I thought it would slow him down.
Sweet memories of my son that died by suicide. I wish my sweetheart was still … Read more...
“My job as an artist is to express feeling within a pattern, large or small.” —John Terrell
This #griefheart is original art by John Terrell who suffered from bipolar disorder and died by suicide. It was shared by his family for this project to honor his memory and his art.
A “Retrospective of John’s Art” will be at Artspace Gallery in Richmond, October 28 – November 20, 2016. Proceeds will go to NAMI, Full Circle Counseling Services, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for whom his father Buddy is hosting the International Suicide Survival Day event.
Charles was so cute. Everyone thinks that about their child. Charles is on the right. Charming, effervescent and full of bubble and fun. We never went anywhere his life that the whole room did not react to him like moths to a flame.
He had “it” and now he’s gone, a tragic suicide as the result of depression and addiction. And you know the worst part? He was ashamed of his illnesses. I think part of that is why he killed himself. It’s time we stop shaming people. Who’s in?
This thank you #griefheart is for all of you that have supported me in my grief following Charles’ suicide. I believe that you have to have a support network to be able to move forward and thankfully I’ve had that.
It’s my hope that this project has raised awareness of those grieving the loss of a child or a loved one by suicide. And that all those families get support for their loss.
The instrument in this picture is a 10x loupe (pronounced loop). They are used in the jewelry industry examine diamonds, for example. This loupey heart photo sent to me by my friend Denise, a fellow diamond lover. I use mine to help me examine my prongs, make sure my ring is clean and for occasions when someone shows me a family heirloom or takes me with them to look at engagement rings for a fiancé-to-be. Yeah, it’s a little obsessive to own one.
After 6 years of mental health advocacy, speaking out, being on TV and radio interviews, doing presentations, videos, writing articles, starting this blog, risking rejection by speaking out and all but throwing myself in the middle of the street with a neon flashing sign, we are seeing change. I am referring to understanding that mental health and addiction are illnesses. It’s the collective effort and sharing of millions who are tired of the stigma surrounding substance abuse disorder and mental illness.
Not that we are done. But more people are speaking out and things are starting to … Read more...