Dear Bea and Cynthia,
I lost my 31 year old son on 4/18/07, 5 months ago today. He had struggled with a terrible drug addiction problem for about 13 years. Approximately one week before his death, he finished a 3 month detox/rehab program and was doing beautifully. He had gained weight, he was happy again, he was involved with new friends he had met in rehab, they were going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings together, and he was playing rugby again?which he absoutely loved. Unfortunately, he met up with some old drug friends during that week and he used again. This time he overdosed. We found him unconscious on his bedroom floor. I?m a nurse, so I tried to perform CPR and I had my younger son call the paramedics. My husband and I got to the ER at the same time the ambulance did (it never hurried or turned on sirens). When they opened the ambulance doors, my son?s legs looked so blue. They worked on him in the ER for what seemed like an eternity and then told us he had passed away. I could not believe my ears (even though clinically, I know I knew they would say what they said). I walked into the ER room and closed his eyes and held his hand and cried and cried and cried and cried. They wouldn?t let me take the endo-trac tube, IV lines, etc out. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Though it?s been 5 months, everything I just described floods back frequently. When it does, it feels like it all happened just a few minutes ago. In fact, I had a complete melt down on the way to work today. Some days everything seems ok because I pretend he?s just gone somewhere. Most of the time, however, I feel sad even when I try to act upbeat for people around me. No one but my Compassionate Friends group or friends I know who have lost children understand. People seem to want to help but they don?t know what to do. My son?s birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and my husband will be out of town on a business trip. I?m not sure what I?ll do on that day. It will be hard. But everyday is hard. I have a friend in Compassionate Friends who says all you can do right now is keep trying to survive. I?ve found that is true. My faith in God is strong, my marriage is sound, I have wonderful friends/family, but this loss is so all-consumingly painful. Sometimes I go into my son?s room and just rest on his bed. Sometimes I look at pictures. Frequently, I go to his gravesite and tend to the grass, take new artificial flowers, and occasionally I take a live single white rose, which is what he gave me on the last Mother?s Day we had together. Sometimes I just cry. Sometimes I just hold my chest because it hurts like my heart is breaking. It?s very hard. I?m so sorry you both lost your sons, too.
We are so very sorry for your loss and know that there are just no words to heal the deep wounds of losing your son. Thank you for your story and for your compassion in reaching out to Bea and Cynthia. We are posting your letter and our response on the first page of The Grief Blog as well as in the comment section You can see it at http://www.thegriefblog.com.? Your letter will help many others who are also walking this path because they lost a child to addiction.
We are so glad that you found a group of The Compassionate Friends for comfort and support. We each need to know that we don?t have to walk this path alone.
We invite you to listen on Thursday mornings to the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart. You can find information about it and a link to it on the first pate of The Grief Blog. You might also find a number of past shows that can give you help and comfort at http://thegriefblog.com/grief-grieving-death-of-a-child/
Dear Bea and Cynthia,