82 episodes

Life after suicide loss is indeed nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. As the host, Melissa, a mother who lost her 21-year old son Alex to suicide in 2016, has real conversations with other loss survivors, healers and mental health experts. In these conversations she explores the relevant topics and asks the hard questions we all need to talk about and hear answers to. Nothing is 'off limit' as she delves into areas such as trauma, hope, healing, self-care, stigma, grief & mental health. Melissa believes that we learn to live alongside our grief, not get over it. Only through real, honest talk and mindful choices can we make a real difference. For a supporter, or educator, these conversations hold nuggets of awareness and shine a spotlight on suicide and mental health in a real, and unapologetic, way. As a suicide loss griever, one can find the comfort of a community, and hope for a little brighter tomorrow. Melissa wants to help others, like herself, go from surviving to finding a life with meaning, maybe even happiness, amid their own leftover pieces.

The Leftover Pieces; Suicide Loss Conversations Melissa Bottorff-Arey

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 26 Ratings

Life after suicide loss is indeed nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. As the host, Melissa, a mother who lost her 21-year old son Alex to suicide in 2016, has real conversations with other loss survivors, healers and mental health experts. In these conversations she explores the relevant topics and asks the hard questions we all need to talk about and hear answers to. Nothing is 'off limit' as she delves into areas such as trauma, hope, healing, self-care, stigma, grief & mental health. Melissa believes that we learn to live alongside our grief, not get over it. Only through real, honest talk and mindful choices can we make a real difference. For a supporter, or educator, these conversations hold nuggets of awareness and shine a spotlight on suicide and mental health in a real, and unapologetic, way. As a suicide loss griever, one can find the comfort of a community, and hope for a little brighter tomorrow. Melissa wants to help others, like herself, go from surviving to finding a life with meaning, maybe even happiness, amid their own leftover pieces.

    Six Years Later; My Family Sits Down to Reflect

    Six Years Later; My Family Sits Down to Reflect

    Today is an extra personal episode … we are officially kicking off Season 4. This season comes out as our family hits 6 years since my 21-year-old son Alex died by suicide. For this season premiere episode, I sat down in a Zoom-style quasi-round-table-talk with (some of ) my family to revisit & review not only where we are now but also what the journey of the past 6 years has looked like for us, collectively and individually.

    Surviving suicide loss is anything but easy -but doing it together helps.
    In this episode, I chat with: 
    G.R. - my husbandParker - my youngest childAubrie - Parker's long-time girlfriend. (they are both 24 years old)Jennifer- my best friend of 20 years. We talked about:  
    The day Alex died - the feelings, the fog, the chaos The weeks that followed - survival, hyper-vigilance & moreThe years leading up to now - how we survived, began to reengage in life, & now, how we are rebuilding from here... …and I think it was enlightening as well as healing on some level for all of us. I hope you take something helpful - maybe even hopeful- from it as well.  I know I sure did! 
    Also,  please reach out if you want to share a guest or topic idea for Season 4 - and I am always open to feedback if you have it! melissa@theleftoverpieces.com
    _______________________________________________ 
     My WEBSITE "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" support central  - MY HUB - and that means my different SUPPORT GROUP Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022 and 2023 "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You"

    Go DIRECTLY to my SUPPORT page here where you will find ALL of the ways to connect and find support

    My first two books (tools I am creating for you!) in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you OR CALL 988

    In a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258
    Support the show

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Anne Moss Rogers: Emotionally Naked

    Anne Moss Rogers: Emotionally Naked

    Today we kick off Season 3 of the podcast with a heartfelt, poignant conversation with author and TEDx Speaker Anne Moss Rogers. In 2015 her son Charles died by suicide and her world changed.  Anne Moss shares her story and the work she is doing now in honor of Charles. In her own words:

    "Anne Moss is her first name. It’s a southern thing. She is an Emotionally Naked® motivational speaker who captures hearts and fills them with hope.
    Despite her family’s best efforts, Anne Moss’s 20-year-old son Charles died by suicide on June 5, 2015, after many years of struggle with anxiety, depression, and ultimately addiction. Anne Moss started a blog, EmotionallyNaked.com, that has reached millions and chronicled her family’s tragedy in a newspaper article that went viral.
    After receiving a message from a young lady named Lauren who wrote that one of her blog posts save her life, Anne Moss sold her digital marketing business and followed her purpose of speaking on mental health topics.
    She has been featured in the New York Times and was the first suicide loss survivor ever invited to speak at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
    Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, Randy. They raised two sons, the late Charles Aubrey, 20, and Richard, a filmmaker living his dream in LA.
    Anne Moss is a certified suicide prevention trainer, NAMI Virginia Board member, 2 End the Stigma (addiction) board member, and YWCA 2019 Pat Asch fellow. She is the author of two books, the award-winning memoir, Diary of a Broken Mind and Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with co-writer Kim O’Brien Ph.D., LICSW."
    You can find her at:

    Anne Moss Rogers Speaker Site 

    OR

    The Blog at Anne Moss.com
     
    _______________________________________________ 
     My website "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" is LIVE and that means my different SUPPORT SPACE Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022

    My first two books in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    The website will be at www.theleftoverpieces.com 

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you

    IN a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258

    And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me   at The Leftover Pieces

    • 1 hr 13 min
    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 1 Community and Support

    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 1 Community and Support

    Today I go "down the rabbit hole" in a 3 part series called "what has helped me the most" (after the loss of my son by suicide). The next two parts will come out in the following weeks. Part 2 will address Tools & practices. Part 3 will be around Time and Self care. Please do respond if you would like to add to these or have any input that I might include.

    Today in Part 1, I talk about 'Community and Support' and what that has meant (& still means) to me as a parent who will forever grieve the loss of her son. Most of what I discuss today centers around the idea.

    I have included a few links, one of which takes you to the signing up space to get started in our very own "Picking up the Pieces" Community. It's in the beginning phase so dive on in now and help to make it exactly what you need!

    _______________________________________________ 
     My website "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" is LIVE and that means my different SUPPORT SPACE Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022

    My first two books in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    The website will be at www.theleftoverpieces.com

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you

    IN a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258

    And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me   at The Leftover Pieces

    • 18 min
    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 2 Tools and Practices

    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 2 Tools and Practices

    Today I go "down the rabbit hole" for Part 2 in a 3 part series called "what has helped me the most" (after the loss of my son by suicide). I know that I have talked about these topics before - and I will again - because we need to hear them often, to be reminded - to be empowered - to SURVIVE!

    The first Part 1 (Ep 2 Season 3) addressed Community and Support. Part 3 will be around Time and Self Care.  These topics are the cornerstones for survival, hope, and (eventually) healing in this life after suicide loss. Please do respond if you would like to add to these or have any input that I might include.

    Today in Part 2, I talk about 'Tools and Practices' and what that has meant (& still means) to me as a parent who will forever grieve the loss of her son. Most of what I discuss today centers around the idea that early on we find the tools that work to help us to build a 'toolkit' so that we may 'rebuild' ourselves and our life. Later, this same kit will assist when we need to do back in for 'repairs' or to the add-on, or 're-model' any part of your life. I also discuss practices (aka habits) that I have put into place.

    I have included a few links, one of which takes you to the signing up space to get started in our very own "Picking up the Pieces" Community. It's in the beginning phase so dive on in now and help to make it exactly what you need!

    _______________________________________________ 
     My website "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" is LIVE and that means my different SUPPORT SPACE Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022

    Go DIRECTLY to my SUPPORT page here where yo9u will find ALL of the ways to connect and find support

    My first two books (tools I am creating for you!)  in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    The website again is  at www.theleftoverpieces.com

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you

    IN a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258

    And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me   at The Leftover Pieces

    • 34 min
    Suicide by Firearm; Two Survivors United for Change

    Suicide by Firearm; Two Survivors United for Change

    Today, I sit down with two survivors left behind after losing their loved ones to suicide. Debbie lost her father Don 12 years ago, and Adrianna's brother Luc died in May of 2017 - both died by suicide with a firearm. These ladies are both a part of the "Everytown for Gun Safety" organization - although in different roles and capacities. Their stories are meaningful and deserve an attentive listen.

    Today we discuss:
    Sibling AND Parent Suicide LossAdvocacy for Gun Safety as it relates to suicides Gun Safety initiatives, ERPO's, Education and more being done to help reduce death by firearmWhy working with other survivors like yourself, finding a COMMUNITY,  is helpful in healingYou can find "EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY" HERE
     
    to Volunteer (if you are not a survivor) Text - READY to 64433

    Want to GET INVOLVED? FIND SUPPORT?  Text SURVIVOR to 64433
    their SURVIVORS NETWORK HERE

     Debbie Weir (She/Hers, Washington DC) - Debbie is the Chief Mission Officer at Everytown for Gun Safety. She works to ensure that those in the gun violence prevention movement, whether volunteers, survivors of gun violence, or her colleagues, have a better understanding of trauma and the different (and less obvious) forms it can take. Debbie is in leadership for the organization as well as the Survivor Team and is a great representative for us. She also identifies as a survivor of gun violence - she lost her father to firearm suicide.

    Adriana Pentz (She/Hers, Sleepy Hollow, NY): Adriana is a Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. Adriana's brother, Luc-John, took his life with a gun on May 23rd, 2017, in Wallingford, CT.  Adriana is a volunteer on the community outreach committee of the Moms Demand Action chapter in Westchester.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    My website "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" is LIVE and that means my different SUPPORT SPACE Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022

    My first two books in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    The website will be at www.theleftoverpieces.com

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you

    IN a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258

    And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me   at The Leftover Pieces

    • 56 min
    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 3 Time & Self Care

    What has Helped Me the Most after Suicide Loss?; Part 3 Time & Self Care

    Today I go "down the rabbit hole" for Part 3 in a 3 part series called "What has helped me the most" (after the loss of my son by suicide). I know that I have talked about these topics before - and I will again - because we need to hear them often, to be reminded - to be empowered - to SURVIVE!

    The first Part 1 (Ep 2 Season 3) addressed Community and Support. Part 2 was about Tools & Practices.  These topics are the cornerstones for survival, hope, and (eventually) healing in this life after suicide loss. Please do respond if you would like to add to these or have any input that I might include.

    Today in the final part - part 3, I talk about 'Time & Self Care' and as I say in this episode, they are both relative AND relevant in this life after loss. Time can feel like it stands still and flies by all at once. Self-care is both necessary and yet often completely evades us. I hope to offer some insight and maybe some ideas that will help you in your own journey to rebuild after your loss by suicide.

    I have included a few links, one of which takes you to the signing up space to get started in our very own "Picking up the Pieces" Community. It's in the beginning phases so I hope you will consider getting involved now and help to make it exactly what you need!

    _______________________________________________ 
     My website "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" is LIVE and that means my different SUPPORT SPACE Options are available and much more will be coming in 2022

    Go DIRECTLY to my SUPPORT page here where yo9u will find ALL of the ways to connect and find support

    My first two books (tools I am creating for you!) in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon

    The website again is  at www.theleftoverpieces.com

    If you, or someone you know, is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
    The National Suicide Lifeline is there for you

    IN a crisis you can also TEXT--->
    TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA
    in Canada TEXT 686868
    in the UK TEXT 85258

    And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me   at The Leftover Pieces

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Sad in Virginia ,

Comforting and informative

I find myself turning to your podcast a lot, and I have learned so much since I started listening. I lost an old friend (who was also an ex-boyfriend) to suicide and have been haunted by his traumatic death and my not finding out about it until months after the fact. I especially appreciate your episodes where you have discussed the loss of partners and ex-partners and the other ways grief can be traumatic and disenfranchised. Thank you so much for what you do. Whenever it is difficult just remember that what you’re doing is making a difference to people who feel lost and don’t know where to turn. My condolences on the loss of your son Alex in the world.

ktcgman ,

Grateful

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am listening for the first time. I have a personal connection to your guest on Season 3, Episode 12. I have known JJ and her family for over 26 years. She is truly one of the most amazing, incredible, beautiful, and kindest people that I know and have had the honor and blessing of working with. Everything she said about Eric was spot on. He was an amazing young man!
Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this amazing podcast. I lost my brother to suicide on 1/30/20. I don’t think that I have ever fully grieved his loss. Thanks to JJ, I am going to start at the beginning of your podcast and listen to them all. My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your son Alex.
Thank you Melissa.

MarcieDMP ,

Thankful

Finding Melissa’s podcast has been a huge help to me. We lost our daughter to suicide in April of 2022. It is tragic & unfortunate that we need sources and help like this, but we do. Melissa has great insight & is real and down to earth. I’m so thankful for the time she puts into this. MDMPP

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