Loss of son leads to Augusta woman's book

Chad Frey
Butler County Times Gazette
Michele M Roth of Augusta penned the book "Missing My Son" after her teenage son died in an accidental shooting.

Michele M. Roth is a mother who is doing what so few parents should be asked to do — live longer than a child. 

Her son, Darrin, died following a shooting accident in Jan. 11, 2003. He was 17, and the mother and son duo were looking forward to a momentous occasion in their lives — graduation. 

"There are still days when it feels like it was just yesterday, but they are further apart now than what they used to be. It is OK to tell people that you feel fine. When people actually as you how are 

Darrin was set to graduate high school. Michelle from college. The day his life ended, hers changed.

"He thought that was really cool that we were going to graduate at about the same time," "After the accident I dropped out of college. Throughout the years everytime I started going back to college someone would end up in the hospital."

When her son passed away, Michele dropped out of college. In the fall of 2014, she started college again and graduated with an associate degree in spring 2019. She has transferred to a larger college and is working on her bachelor’s in criminal psychology.

This year she has seen her first book published — titled "Missing My Son."

"Losing  a child is something you never get over. When people say 'you should get over it,' you will not. ... you just learn to breathe and go on to the next day," Roth said.

According to publisher Dorrance Publishing, "Missing My Son" is a "raw and real look into the emotions of a mother after the loss of her son to a shooting accident."

Michele wrote  all of her thoughts and feelings  in the form or poetry and short writings. It is the story of recovery, and the story of sorrow.

"The one thing that I really wanted to do with this book is to let the moms out there know that it is OK. The one thing they have to remember is to breathe," Roth said. "When I started writing this book, it dealt with how I felt at that time — whether I was happy, whether I was angry, whether I was sad. I had to put my feelings down, and the way I do it is in words... It is OK to feel all these feelings. You will feel all those feelings."

And, she said, it is OK to respond with 'I'm fine' when asked — event when you may not be. 

"If you tell someone 'i am going to scream at the top of my lungs' ... that is not what they want to hear. They want to hear 'I'm fine," Roth said. 

She told the Times-Gazette she plans a second book that "goes over the accident." She plans to start writing again at the end of the semester.  

She said has  hopes to  aid other parents who may be going through a loss of their own, to understand they are not alone.

As her son was an organ donor, Roth has also been an ambassador for the Midwest Transplant Network for ten years. 

Michele Roth

She has been married to Harold for more than 25 years,  and together they live with their three dogs, all rescues. In her spare time between work and college, she enjoys painting. Around Christmas, she also makes ornaments and gives them away each year in remembrance of her son’s December birthday and his love of Christmas.

Her book is available online at http://bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com/missing-my-son