Years after my son Kieran died by suicide I found myself still searching—for answers, support, relief. Quite naturally, this search was partially conducted online, where I eventually found a blog called emotionallynaked.com.
The title drew me since it implies that emotional openness is exactly what’s needed—and yet is so often in short supply—when it comes to discussing the difficult topic of suicide.
The owner of the blog, Anne Moss Rogers, practices what she preaches in that she’s remarkably honest in her posts about the intensity of her feelings and struggles following the suicide of her twenty-year-old son Charles in 2015.
Although her loss was much newer than my own, I was drawn to Anne Moss’s blog in part because our stories—as well as those of our sons’—seemed so similar. Both our sons were funny and popular. Both loved music and songwriting. Both could be impulsive as well as manipulative.
I can’t help identifying with Anne Moss Rogers. She and her husband made many of the same sacrifices my husband and I made, including selling the family home, in a desperate attempt to save their son from himself. Or rather from his own worst impulses.
I admire Anne Moss’s ability to speak honestly about the myths, as well as the secrecy, that continue to surround the act of suicide in our culture. She’s done more than her part in an effort to shed light on what’s often known as “the last taboo.”
My visits to her blog helped—and still do—in much the same way that attending suicide support groups and child loss groups have helped. It was helpful to know, if only through the existence of a blog, that I wasn’t entirely alone, even though I had no one in my family—or in my husband’s family—who I could turn to.
Anne Moss Rogers went on to write Diary of a Broken Mind about losing her son Charles. My own memoir, The World Looks Different Now, was published last month. I am honored to have Anne Moss join me for a discussion of our books as well as some of the myths surrounding suicide, on a Zoom event this Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. CDT. The event is being hosted by Novel bookstore in Memphis. Advance registration is requested.