Today I was watching TV and someone was talking about love and the different loves we experience in life. I remember my first love, Tim. He was from elementary school. Then there was Fred. He was the first boy who kissed me. Back then I thought that was love. Then I met my husband, Mark. I was 16, and I can truly say I married my high school sweetheart. So that was my first true, real love. I was and still am IN love with my husband. I don't just love him, I am IN LOVE with him. Then, of course, I became a mother. There is NOTHING like the love you feel for your child. A part of you and the man you married. Now, this love is different than what I feel for my husband. This love is deep, and it tugs at your heart. It's never ending and it can make you do things you thought were impossible. I watched myself change in the mirror every day for nine months 3 times, and each pregnancy still amazed me. I held this "life" inside me and I knew even before they were born, I would love them like no mother had ever loved a child. God granted me the ability to grow a LIFE. I felt like a miracle worker. In between Alex and Audra, I had a miscarriage. I really never talked about it, but now I feel I have to. When I lost this pregnancy, I mourned. I cried for a life that wasn't to be, and I felt cheated. My husband and I felt bad, but we also knew we had two healthy children at home and had to count our blessings instead. Alot of friends and family that knew gave us what comfort they could. The things they said didn't hit me right away, but I took them with a grain of salt. Such things as "it wasn't meant to be, maybe something was wrong and mother nature took over for your body" or "You have two children at home, be grateful for that" or even "Don't ever question God's will". Now, flash forward to today and the loss of our son Alex. With the utmost respect to EVERYONE who came and paid their respects and for ALL who sent a card or called, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. But what I am going to say may hurt some peoples feelings, and I have to say it, so please forgive me if I hurt anyone. When you lose a child, especially unexpectantly (and this is not to undermine anyone who has lost a child knowing the death was impending, say, if they had suffered a long illness, or was hurt through and accident, and did not survive) PLEASE think twice before you say anything to the parents or siblings of the deceased. I know that people try to comfort in the best way they know how, but my point is, the cliche lines that some say HURT more than they help. "HE IS IN A BETTER PLACE" - sorry, I believe in heaven, but I kinda thought him being here with his family was a pretty darn good place to be and we loved him and helped him everyday become a good man, a respectable man with a kind heart and he was doing a great job at it. "IT WAS HIS TIME, HE IS IN GOD'S HANDS NOW" - again, sorry, it WASN"T his time, this was an accident, a horrific accident and yes, by his own hand, but an accident none the less, so NO, it wasn't his time. And last but not least, and there are many more - "HE TRIED HIS BEST, BUT AT LEAST HE IS AT PEACE NOW" - this one halfway helped a little, because Alex really was trying to be a better man and beat the need for drugs. We had done all we could to help him in regards to seeking help and seeing a doctor, a therapist to talk to, and even starting medicaton for depression because the doctors felt he spent too much time by himself because of boredom and not having the ability to understand this was part of depression. About one month into the medication, he started to come out of his room more and spend time with us watching TV and just talking. He would join us out to dinner and actually came to my work one day to drop off my forgotten glasses and let me introduce him to my co-workers. Mark and I actually had some good heart to heart talks with him during this time, and looking back, I couldn't be more grateful for that time. He spent time with his friends, playing trivia on Wednesdays at the bar, drinking coca cola, playing darts on Fridays, again drinking soda, not alcohol. His brother called him and just wanted to talk and check on how life was going with him. He told Adam, "You know what Adam, had I known I would feel this much better, I would have gone on this medication months ago." Adam told me this and I felt hope, I looked at this as a good sign that he was on his way to recovery. But addiction can be very sneaky, as well as the will power to say no. To get to why I am detailing all of this, is to let you see that Alex did try, but he lost, as did we. And when we did, everyone has to remember, the LAST thing we want to hear is those damn cliche lines. I have been told when mentioning this to a close friend that sometimes people just don't know WHAT to say, and that they are only trying to help in the way they know how. My point is a hug, a small note, a phone call, an unexpected visit, a plate of cookies, a small story of time spent with that person, possibly one that they don't know of that meant something special to you;ANYTHING like this instead of those lines are what we need, needed, and still crave. PLEASE understand, I am NOT trying to hurt anyone's feelings if they did exactly what I am saying not to do. You do what you can and sometimes, those lines are the best that some know. But from someone who has recently suffered a loss, just next time, when you once again have to endure the dread of going to a funeral or visiting someone who has lost a loved one, just think twice before what you say. Let it come from your heart and not just off the top of your head. Those words you say are what the family hang onto, and they, WE, hold them dear and near to our heart. And when you mention their loved one, say their name. To this very moment in time, when I hear Alex's name, it is like music to my ears. Again, thank you, and I really hope you understand I am not trying to hurt anyone, I am trying to let you know what helps us and all who suffer the loss of a loved one.