Neico Hayden’s amazing story of surviving a suicide attempt #Neicostrong

From Anne Moss: If someone tells you something about suicide, please take it seriously. Do not keep it “secret.” This is not to shed blame. We all overlook signs of suicide. What I’m asking you to do is to pay attention and be there. Make the call and warn a mom, a friend, a relative. 

I met Neico  Hayden (pronounced NEEKO) at the James River Out of the Darkness walk in May 2017. I saw him and his family in the parking lot and walked over to them. I had no idea he was a recent suicide survivor until his Read more...

Strawberry love— #griefheart number 229

This one is so perfect.

Both Charles and I loved chocolate covered strawberries. And this accidental swirl of a heart was just meant to be part of this project. Probably the closest to a nutritious food Charles ever got!

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.

Would I do it all over again?

Read more...

Remembrance heart— #griefheart number 198

My friend Shirley Ramsey, the Virginia Chapter President of American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, runs a support group for suicide loss survivors. They lit these candles in honor of their loved ones for the holidays– remembering them forever.

As long as I live,
You will live.
As long as I live,
You will be remembered.
As long as I live,
You will be loved.

Thank you SOSL-RVA (Survivors Of Suicide Loss, Richmond VA)

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...

#noeagleleftbehind — #griefheart number 191

This is in honor of the teens at Godwin High School and Leigh Dunavant, the Principal and Facilitator of the group #noeagleleftbehind, who have embraced conversation about mental illness and suicide prevention. They are a group dedicated to creating events, activities and programs at the school long term for this cause.

I loved that they were innovative in their thinking and open with their conversation. Tosha and I were invited as part of Beacon Tree Foundation, where I am currently President, to tell my story of Charles’ life and suicide and introduce the social media program I developed in Charles’ … Read more...

SpeakUp heart – #griefheart number 143

SpeakUp heart
SpeakUp heart

The SpeakUp5k is an event intended to inspire conversation about mental illness. I went alone and right before it started, a young lady named Bethany came up and introduced herself and we ran together. She knew Charles and she was also friends Cal Riley who died by suicide almost 2 years to the day before Charles.

I had been having a very difficult day up until then and I wondered if I would be crying during the whole race but meeting Bethany brightened me up. We both believe our guardian angels brought us together.

Thank you Jenny Derr, mother of Billy Derr, who made this … Read more...

My alter ego talks to me when I want to give up

push-uphill

Me: Some days I just want to give up. I just feel like I’ll never be heard

Alter Ego: But you are being heard

Me: Why don’t I feel it?

Alter Ego: You can’t really expect that every day you’ll feel it

Me: I feel sure people are so tired of me. Want me to just shut up about it

Alter Ego: Why do you feel that way?

Me: Suicide is a dour subject that people want to tune out

Alter Ego:  And you think you should shut up because of that? 

Me: No

Alter Ego:  What are you expecting Read more...

Cradled heart – #griefheart number 61

Coming to terms with Charles’ suicide–heartbreaking.  Figuring out how to move forward without him? The biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. For the rest of my life, I’ll carry his heart with me. And that will have to be enough.

Thank you Mary Don Shumaker for this gift.

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

Read more...

Martin Heart- #griefheart number 60

Just 3 weeks after Charles died by suicide, there was a family less than a mile away that also died by suicide. The same way. Death by hanging. His name was Drew Martin and at that time, I didn’t know his mom, Pat. But I know her now. We don’t think it was a copy cat incident for a number of reasons. Just a horrible coincidence.  

From Pat Martin:

“I saw this carved in the sidewalk while walking around Lake Michigan. Not only did the initials stop me in my tracks because they were Drew’s, but the handwriting is so … Read more...

Lyrical Heart -#griefheart number 40

Charles had a way with words. From stories he wrote to songs he rapped, he was something else with a pen. This was his way of coping as it is mine.

He would take these magnet words and make the funniest sentences that only Charles could think of. He was master of funny. Such a creative genius.

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 

Read more...

Market Heart – #griefheart number 36

Charles would have loved our new neighborhood. Sadly, he died by suicide just 4 days after we sold the house. He did not even know where we were going to be living.

And the Farmer’s Market? He would have adored it. All that hustle and bustle. All the people and the buzz. Charles loved to be surrounded by people–the more the better. So when we went today, I thought about that, pictured him eating one of those giant home made donuts that most of the market regulars worship. As I was thinking about just that, this t-shirt met my eyeballs. … Read more...