Pain Turns To Purpose: A Suicide, A Mother’s Grief & A Second Act

Anne Moss Rogers was at the pinnacle of a 20-year professional career. She opened her own digital marketing agency in 2010. The business grew quickly and by 2015 she and her partner had 9 employees and a growing roster of clients.

While her professional life was going especially well, life at home had significant problems. Her son Charles – the younger of two boys – suffered from a combination of depression and drug addiction. The problems began early in high school and escalated. At considerable expense to Anne Moss and her husband Randy, they tried to help by placing him in a therapeutic boarding school followed by rehab. But on June 5, 2015 at the age of 20, Charles took his own life.

In the aftermath of her son’s passing, Anne Moss sold her agency and has became a staunch activist for suicide prevention. She launched “Emotionally Naked” – a blog about the experience. She speaks frequently before both high school and adult audiences. And she has written a powerful book called “Diary of a Broken Mind.

Anne Moss Rogers is a textbook example of what psychologists call “post traumatic growth.” When Charles committed suicide in 2015, she entered an unimaginable cauldron of pain and grief. And she came out the other side stronger and focused on making a difference in the world. And her work is saving lives.

We concluded our interview by asking her, “What would Charles think of what you’re doing now?” Anne Moss responded, “I think he would be proud to know that I’m following my heart.”

On the first anniversary of Charles death, Anne Moss Rogers recorded an emotional reading of the lyrics of “Forgive Me Momma,” one of many songs that were discovered in her son’s backpack after his passing. It’s about four minutes long and we hope you’ll give it a listen by clicking the link above.

6 thoughts on “Pain Turns To Purpose: A Suicide, A Mother’s Grief & A Second Act

  1. Larry J Steward Reply

    I’m glad your story is getting such good attention and tip my hat to Andy Levine for putting you on his platform. As a decorated and wounded medical combat veteran serving with the Marines, I have learned a lot about how hard it is to see something so tragic developing so close to us.

    I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to somehow adjust to such an impact. I am sure your effort to educate all of us will help build a movement to find ways of preventing this to happen before it’s too late.

  2. Laura O'Connell Reply

    I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through, but you turned your pain into a purpose. You never know who you might be helping with your story.

    As a parent, I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son.

  3. Steven G Sult Reply

    After 20 years and a great deal of water under our bridges, I’m so happy for you getting the attention, my friend! Thank you Andy Levine for putting Anne Moss on. As a friend and collaborator over the years, our roles changed as creative collaborators as both of my sons and Anne Moss’s, Charles experienced similar addiction paths. I have learned a great deal about the tragedy of addiction and loss by suicide via Anne. It’s painful, it’s tragic, it truly sucks and for Anne to work through the impossible is not at all unexpected based on my experience. I have learned a great deal from you, Anne Moss. I learned even more about myself.

    • Anne Moss Rogers Reply

      Steve- I’m just now seeing your comment. Thank you my friend. It’s been a hard road from advertising and marketing to digital marketing to mental health speaker.

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