Theresa Sweaney

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Theresa Sweaney

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My son Charles

Charles Wells Obituary (ADN)
Charles David Wells, 26, died May 1, 2011, in Anchorage, Alaska.  Charles was born in Anchorage Sept. 19, 1984.  He grew up and attended grade school here.  He had the opportunity to live in Hong Kong for a year as a foreign exchange student...
Published in from May 6 to May 12, 2011

06/17/11 Blog Entry
What are some of the things you do to cope with the grief?  What works for you?



Charles with his Hong Kong family during his foreign exchange year abroad (2001).

Charles and his Milton Hershey School residence house fathers (June 2003)

 Charles and little brother with Abby.

Charles "David" sporting Grama's glasses, silly little fun-loving boy!


Latest Conversations

Theresa Sweaney and Gail Gaines are now friends
Dec 25, 2015
Theresa Sweaney commented on Caroline Rose's photo

They are still around us ... :-)

"Dear Janice, you lost your life partner and all that involves--shared dreams, goals, routines, identity, friends, hobbies, etc.-- so I hope you will be encouraged when I tell you that one year is no time at all to find your bearings.  I…"
Jun 30, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Donna Padilla's group suicide's survivors
"Dear Rebecca, I am so sorry you are having to learn how to survive two losses.  I know what you mean that it hurts as bad.  It does hurt as bad, in a way, as when I lost my son two years ago, but the hurt is different too.  Does that…"
Jun 15, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Donna Padilla's group suicide's survivors
"Thank you Tamika and Greg.  It's what I needed to hear today.  I will be visiting my son's gravesite today, and I have been very sad this month.  It's been two years this May since his decision to depart.  Being…"
May 27, 2013
Theresa Sweaney left a comment for cathy
"Dear Cathy, I am so very sorry for your losses.  I'm glad you found this forum of other survivors of suicide loss.  You are no stranger to this kind of anguish, having suffered your first loss in 2004.   I can't imagine…"
May 23, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Carin~ Cody's Mom's event Out Of The Darkness Walk A Thon
"What is the link to your AFSPfundraising site, Carin?"
May 15, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Donna Padilla's group suicide's survivors
"Getting a late start fundraising for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walk in Anchorage, Alaska this Saturday, May 18! Please consider joining me in the walk or by making a monetary contribution to AFSP to…"
May 15, 2013
Theresa Sweaney left a comment for Kathi Wright
"Kathy, thank you so much.  I appreciate your message today.  I am so sorry for your loss as well.  Theresa"
May 2, 2013
Tami left a comment for Theresa Sweaney
"Thinking of you Theresa and Charles, sending prayers and keeping my candle lit in loving memory of Charles."
May 2, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Carin~ Cody's Mom's event Out Of The Darkness Walk A Thon
"I will attend in spirit, and will also go to your fundraising page and make a contribution.  I did this walk last year and it was thoroughly a strength and blessing to me.  I hope it is the same for you, Carin.  I hope to do it again…"
Apr 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney is attending Carin~ Cody's Mom's event

Out Of The Darkness Walk A Thon at Hagerstown, MD

September 7, 2013 from 9am to 12pm
The Out of the Darkness Community Walks are 3-5 mile walks taking place in hundreds of communities across the country this year, with the proceeds benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). By walking in the Out of the Darkness Community Walks, you will be walking with thousands of other walkers nationwide to raise AFSP's vital research and to prevent suicide and save lives, increase national awareness about depression and suicide, and provide support for survivors of…See More
Apr 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney shared Carin~ Cody's Mom's event on Facebook
Apr 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney liked Carin~ Cody's Mom's event Out Of The Darkness Walk A Thon
Apr 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney and Carin~ Cody's Mom are now friends
Apr 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Pamela Snyder's photo


"I am thankful for your son's service to our country.  My son, too, served our country.  He was 26 and had been out of the military for a year when he died.  My deepest condolences to you Pamela.  I feel a bond with you…"
Mar 23, 2013
Theresa Sweaney left a comment for Johanna Kiss
"Thank you for letting me know, and I believe you.  You are in the same kind of place I am.  Yes, I think that life has worn us down, and the zeal that goes with it.  I too throw myself into doing for others, joining coalitions to try…"
Mar 14, 2013
Johanna Kiss left a comment for Theresa Sweaney
"Hi Theresa, thank you for your answer and kind words. Sorry if I don't write in the right place, I signed up on this website only yesterday and I still have to figure it out how it works. No, no, no, I am not suicidal!!! I didn't share my…"
Mar 14, 2013
Theresa Sweaney left a comment for Johanna Kiss
"I read your post Johanna.  I hear your heart, having known a life of suffering myself, the most recent loss being the death of my son Charles.  His suicide has caused immeasurable anguish to me, and to his siblings, father, grandmother,…"
Mar 14, 2013
Theresa Sweaney commented on Donna Padilla's group suicide's survivors
"Same here, Tamika.  It's like waves in the ocean, receding and then hitting again.  I do well, then I fall back.  Giving advice and comforting others helps me in that I hear myself saying to others the things I need to hear for…"
Mar 6, 2013
Theresa Sweaney left a comment for Jane
"Hi Jane, I just read your post.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  Losing a life partner must strike at the very core of your identity.  No wonder you feel your future is so bleak.  Just hold onto hope, that there is life ahead…"
Mar 5, 2013

Comment Wall (32 comments)

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At 1:12am on May 2, 2013, Tami said…
Thinking of you Theresa and Charles, sending prayers and keeping my candle lit in loving memory of Charles.
At 3:14pm on March 14, 2013, Johanna Kiss said…

Hi Theresa, thank you for your answer and kind words. Sorry if I don't write in the right place, I signed up on this website only yesterday and I still have to figure it out how it works. No, no, no, I am not suicidal!!! I didn't share my thoughts because I want to get any attention. I am ok (sort of), just comparing my  life with others around me brings me many questions and makes me bitter sometimes. I missed out so much and I lost hope that somehow years can bring back those losses. I am ok, started to study a few months ago, set up my own small business. But I sense that inside my heart is cold and without any passion as it was for most of my life. Maybe this is because of my age, I don't know. I was always passionate changing the world, bringing hope to others but I am not anymore. Maybe I am just burnt out. Thank you for asking. It is really nice to hear some comforting words from people who understand grief and pain. May God bless you!

At 1:52pm on February 25, 2013, Sofija Reston said…

Thank you very much.  

At 5:15pm on December 14, 2012, Tamika said…
Thanks for listening. For me online is better. I don't have to hear myself say it out loud. Just getting a response so warm helps. There is still humanity in this world. Gives me hope.
At 4:04pm on December 13, 2012, Gail Gaines said…
At 11:36pm on November 20, 2012, BONNIE said…

Thanks! The only consolation I have is that there is some life after death but it is not the same. There will be no hugs from our loved one. The sad thing is that sometimes people think that they can run from their problems and try to end it all thinking this life is the end. It is not. There is an afterlife and there will be a heaven and a outer darkness. I pray our loved ones find heave and the angels lift them up. I am sorry we have to hurt because our loved children left before us. I wish we could bring them back and start all over but there just isn't a way to do that. Hugs and prayers. Bonnie

At 9:49pm on November 19, 2012, BONNIE said…

Hi I set my profile to private and comments to be approved. I get an email when someone attempts to post and click approve. This is just a precaution. Sorry about the confusion. My daughter died 2 years ago at 22 she was hit by a tractor trailer.  Her car broke down late at night on the highway she managed to get car to side of road but got out to wave down help sadly the trucker never saw her but he felt the impact and pulled over.  She was dragged to death.  Suffice it to say the casket was closed. It is still a shock she was 22 born in 1988. I guess it is one day at a time. This is hard to deal with.   Bonnie

At 7:59pm on November 18, 2012, BONNIE said…

Thank you so much for your kind words.  I am sorry about your son too. I guess it has been the first year.  Some days are better than others. With the holidays so close it is hard to celebrate but we must try to remember the good times and hold this in our heart.  You are in my thoughts and prayers. Bonnie

At 1:17am on November 16, 2012, MEG Amelia said…

Thank you for your nice comment, I will pray for you and your family also, I can't imagine the sorrow of losing a child. Hugs, Meg

At 9:46pm on November 14, 2012, Michelle Berls - Julie's Mom said…

Your son has a beautiful smile...what a handsome young man.  Thank you for your kind words about Julie.  I hope they have met in heaven....Michelle

At 11:19am on July 2, 2012, Anna May said…

Theresa, I cannot leave you a message - your page does not even have a Send Message link.  Could you send me your email to ----

At 7:46pm on April 30, 2012, Teresa said…

Hi Theresa,

I haven't been on this site for awhile, but I came on it today and you had left a comment on my page, so I followed your page and see your having the first anniversery tommorrow. My heart is aching for you. It's a tough day. I don't have any expert advice to give you. I lost my brother 15 years ago to suicide and my son a little over 2 years ago. I dealt with both those days differently. Just do whatever you need to do to get through the day, but be sure Your Safe. With my brother, I went to his grave and cried all day. With my son, I did whatever I had to do to keep busy until I could go to sleep and wake up on another day. I don't know how your beliefs are, but I will be praying for you.

At 5:44pm on December 30, 2011, Susan - Donny's Mom said…

I was just reading the Grief Wheel.  Pretty on the money.  Some the steps we go forward and then a little backward.  As far as confusion, I still don't have my mind back fully.  I am in another world of thought a lot of times during the day.  Sometimes when I get home (and I am driving) I don't even remember driving home.  Pretty scary.  When I am taking care of my 5 yr old grandson I MAKE myself stay focused and paying attention to the moment.  I am at two years and still have the confusion.

I am glad you advised Martin the same as me.  I tell you, men really hold in their feelings and it does affect the heart.  Poor Martin was so close to his son (as was my husband) and then he has two little girls he is raising also.  Very hard to grieve and be a Dad at the same time.  I know he will get through as he is strong but such a sensitive man.  I am glad we have him and Jeff in our site as we get a males perspective of grief.

Take care and your boy looked so full of life.  Hopefully the coming year finds more peace and comfort for us as for our lost boys.


At 2:40pm on December 27, 2011, Jacqueline Rowles said…

Thank you so much Theresa.  The day before his anniversary, the 21st was traumatic but the day of,the 22 went okay. Doesn't make sense.. I was alone in the even. of both days as my hubby works 2nd shift but I had people checking in on me.  I have a wonderful friend in my pastor and he tells me not to hestitate to call  if  I  need  him.  Didn't get to go  to his grave until yesterday. My husband and  I  took 8 long stemmed yellow roses and placed them on Chuck's grave.  I was very blessed  this season to receive a call from  one  of Chuck's  friends who hadnt  heard of his tragedy. When  we  talked she couldn't believe that he committed suicide.She knew his rather well when  he worked at this  one place and said how strong he was and how he helped her  thru she and  her husband's difficulities.  She called me to find out where he is buried and she and her husband visited him yesterday .  She wants to  keep in contact with us. Chuck didnt realize how much  he impacted others.  I  know  he is looking down on  all  of us.BLessings to all.LOve Jackie

At 1:55pm on December 23, 2011, Jacqueline Rowles said…

Thank you Teresa,  yesterday was better than I thought so all the people who were praying for me helped in a great way.  I love everyone andwish eveyone a Merry Christmas.   Love Jackie 

At 1:23pm on December 7, 2011, JoAnn Brozowski said…

Healing Hearts is a division of Hospice in our area.  It offers various support groups.  The one I attend is for parents who have lost adult children.

At 10:57am on November 10, 2011, Terri Kuta said…

Thanks Theresa - I am trying to start praying again, I have always had a strong belief but just lost it when my son died, this month is very hard on all of us,and im trying to find a group support that I can actually go to this site is wonderful but I need people around me that understands also. Thanks for writing and caring this site has helped me so much

At 9:22am on November 10, 2011, JoAnn Brozowski said…

Theresa - that sounds wonderful!!!

At 6:28pm on October 28, 2011, Tami said…
You can try, I just thought it would be nice to have us all in a photo together! Try it, it might work! Thanks for your help!
At 6:19pm on October 28, 2011, Tami said…
Thank you Theresa! You are the only one that has responded! I'll just make a collage of me and you! LOL,

Theresa Sweaney's Blog


Posted on December 27, 2011 at 10:30pm 2 Comments

I raised my children knowing God and Jesus, but as an adult, my son Charles (seemed to have) made a determination against belief in God (I say this, understanding that only God knows our hearts).  At some point he progressively became ill with schizophrenia.  Without knowing for sure, I think the illness came after the decision regarding belief in a God (unless the early part of his disease process, before we recognized it, still influenced him). There are so many various beliefs, even…


LDRSHIP in an Army of O.N.E. , Essay by CPL Charles D. Wells

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 7:00pm 0 Comments

LDRSHIP in an Army of O.N.E.


  *FM-1: The Army*


Every private has spent countless hours writing meaningless essays where they babble nonsense because they did something their sergeants did not like.  This is not one of those essays.  I am going to try to make an argument.  I will first present you with a statement, and when you arbitrarily decide that statement is wrong, I will do…


Suicide Postvention Resources and Recommended Reading

Posted on August 12, 2011 at 4:23am 3 Comments

Here are some online resources from a suicide postvention conference I attended in June that they have just posted and made available to anybody online.  Some of the recommended reading looked like good material.  I'm going to check on a few myself at my local library.

Conference PowerPoints and other resources:…


Bereavement Coping Measures

Posted on June 17, 2011 at 6:00pm 1 Comment

An S-O-S friend posed a question of what various ways have survivors found to help cope with the grief, and I'd really like to hear from the rest of you, some of the things that have worked for you.  What are the most helpful ways you have found to help comfort, encourage, renew hope, and stabilize your thoughts and emotions?

Here are a few of the things I've tried recently...



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