In Loving Memory of My Son, Clint, 1885-2005

The heart remembers even when we aren’t actively thinking about our child.  It was 51/2 years since our son had died of a drug overdose.  The thoughts weren’t in front of my face all the time, and the weight wasn’t so heavy on my shoulders.  I was finding the energy to re-invest into my new normal.

We were planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.  It would be a trip of a lifetime.  We were visiting with family and hiking the canyon. My mind had been filled with preparations for the trip.

Things were fine as we began our travels.  No problems with the weather and no problems at the airport.  All was calm as we boarded the plane.  I was anticipating the fun and excitement of our adventure.  Clint is always with me, but thoughts of him were off to the side and not pushing out other thoughts.

Suddenly, as I took my seat on the airplane for my current trip, my mind raced back to the plane ride I had taken when Clint died.  After I received the phone call concerning his death, I had a long plane ride back home.

I realized then that the heart remembers even when the conscious mind isn’t giving it thought.

I was taken by surprise because the pain felt like the original pain.  Tears flowed.  I sat there missing my son, and thinking about how this pain was going to affect my trip. I began considering why I was hurting so much and I realized the answer.  I was hurting so much because I loved so much.

I continued to reframe my thinking and soon I began to see my pain as a good thing because it represented love.  I was privileged to have had my son in my life 20 years.  I have heard that statement made by others, but on this trip, I felt the truth.  I was able to continue on my trip wrapped in a warm feeling of love.

Debra Reagan 2011

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Debra Reagan

Debra Reagan lives in East Tennessee with her husband of 33 years. They have one surviving son. Debra is the co-founder of Listening Hearts, http://listening-hearts.memory-of.com/About.aspx a non-profit corporation designed to help bereaved mothers. After some turbulent and confusing experiences, her youngest son, Clint, received the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a drug addiction. Their lives changed forever when Clint died on August 6, 2005, at the age of 20 of an accidental overdose and bronchial pneumonia. Debra can be reached through the website she maintains for her son at www.clint-reagan.memory-of.com. Debra was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” talking about “Getting Through Mother’s Day.” To hear Debra being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley051007.mp3

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