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.
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)
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’ memory. … Read more...
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...
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.
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...
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 … Read more...
Charles had a heart of gold. Yes, he suffered from depression. Ultimately succumbed to an addiction to heroin and died by suicide.
But the person underneath the illness of addiction was a sweet, thoughtful person who cared about others. My sweetheart of a child was imperfect. He was stubborn. He was his own person. I do wish he was here with me. But I’ll have to carry him in my own heart instead.
Some days my heart doesn’t feel sad or happy, it feels flat and lifeless. As if all the juice was sucked out of it like an orange.
It’s those days when I feel a bit dazed, confused, catatonic–like the walking dead. I know now that this doesn’t last forever. When I feel flat, it’s hard to jump start myself out of it and it’s best to just wait it out. It does pass. Episodes now are not as long as they once were.
Thinking about all the women who are grieving the loss of a mom, a child, a grandmother, a sister, an infant or lost pregnancy. And the ones who are struggling to conceive and are not yet moms–but ache to be.
Mariana Marko sent this to me from a trip in New Mexico. So sweet to get “This made me think of you” as it relates to this #griefheart project. There something very thoughtful and intimate about it.
I didn’t set out on this #griefheart project with a bunch of rules because I wanted it to take a life of its own somehow–to guide me kind of like the grief journey does. I am getting through this with the help and support of friends and family. And love these thoughtful “gifts” by message. Thank you Marianna.
Tonight at the Beacon Tree Trees of Hope event, we’ll dedicate an engraved brick to the meditation garden at Byrd Park in Charles’ name. It’s been 11 months since Charles died by suicide.
This brick isn’t just a memorial, it’s an investment in hope. My purpose for the last 6 years and going forward is to help children with mental illness get the emotional and financial support they need so that no other parent has to stand in the shoes I stand in now. That’s the only way my own heart can heal.