In the grieving process of losing my son Alex to an accidental drug overdose, I have started writing a blog as therapy. Not only has it helped me, but from comments received, it let's others know they are not alone and what they feel is sometimes exactly what they are SUPPOSE to feel. Bless you all who find yourselves in my position; I wish you weren't.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I read. I read a lot. The other day I read I was a victim. Because my son died I am considered a victim. I have NEVER thought of myself in that way. I am living my life burdened by the trauma of losing Alex. I am enduring wounds that cannot be healed.

I threw the book away.

You can CHOOSE to be a victim. You can carry the burdens of your pain. You can live with reasons
to feel sorry for yourself .

I choose not to.

We have it in ourselves to change the outcome of a disaster; whatever it may be that has brought us to a place of deep sorrow.

I remember a long time ago hearing a woman say she had nothing in her life to live for after her only child had died. She had no husband as was contemplating suicide; she believed she could not live without her. Then someone very wise said the words that brought her back to life. "Instead of dwelling of what you no longer have and what you cannot look forward to because she died, let's turn this around. How about we be grateful for the years you HAD with her and dwell on them?  Enjoy the memories she gave you, the lives she touched. The friends she made and the people who have not forgotten her, like yourself. Without you she would have never existed at all."

I will not lie. I (we) have endured the worst shock and pain of losing Alex. Our lives have forever been changed. How could they not? What he brought to our lives is no longer there. He loved for 26 years and the memories of those day forever will be my gift, my reason to believe I can go on. I am moving on. But I will never get over it. I can move past it. My every waking moment no longer belongs to just him anymore.

You get to a point of living again. I never thought I would laugh again; enjoy the company of friends and family. Go on a vacation and have fun. I thought I didn't deserve it. I lost a child. I had no right to be happy. Yet life doesn't stand still. And grief can bring you to your knees as it did so many times for me. But slowly I stood up. Straighter and more focused every day on what was right in front of me. I MADE that choice. I survived. WE survived. The family survived.

I also many days turn it around. If it was ME that had died, would I want my son sitting around mourning me, crying for my loss and not continuing his life? NO. There is a time I know you grieve. But you push through it and move on as life does. Day by day, one step at a time. And it takes time. It's how long it takes that worries some people. But you must know their isn't a set time to grieve and then just stop. The feeling of grief and loss slowly don't occupy every minute of your day. The minute you wake up it isn't the first thing on your mind. And all this happens for some faster than others; that's not to say their love was any less stronger than your own. We are all different in the way we handle things. It's a fact of life. No two people are alike.

We are surviving, yes. Personally, I prefer to say we are living. Every day brings changes to our lives. Weddings of friends and family. Babies, so many babies. And love. So much love from everyone, everyday. New friends, new adventures, new careers. Day by day something new.

We never forget Alex. He was here for 26 years. Had it been only ONE day, one month;  you don't forget. You just carry them in your heart and remember, with love; and feel blessed.

When asked how many children I have, I say three. One lives in heaven. To some it takes them by surprise and to others the moment passes and we are on another conversation. I will always be the mother of three children. His death has not changed that. It's a fact of life. A life of 26 years.

Some people believe there is a certain amount of time to grieve. That you are allowed so much time then POOF, pop back and get on with your life. If only it was that easy. Anyone who has lost anyone knows there is no timetable. It goes on forever. The pain, yes, it's not as heavy, but it's there. The tears, yes, they come less often, but they still come. The time passes so quickly for some and still so slow for others. It's like yesterday it happened. Other days it feels like a million days ago and not even true. But sadly, it is true. My friend once asked HOW MUCH DO YOU MISS HIM? Seriously, I tell her I can't answer the question. How do I say a part of my being here is gone. A part of ME is gone. I can't see him, touch him, hug him, kiss him. I miss his smile, his sense of humor. His unexpected gifts and jokes. Candle holders shaped like wine bottles for my birthday. Flowers he brought home from the hall he worked at because someone was just going to throw them away and he knew I would like them. A picture he sent me of ELLEN in a picture on the wall at a hall he traveled to for a banquet the Mirage was hosting. He knew how much I love ELLEN and he took the time to take a pic and send it to me. Those are those special things I miss.
God gives you this child, you nurture him and raise him to the best of your ability. You believe he is perfect. IN YOUR EYES, he is perfect. No other child in the world compares to yours. You are a mother, and it just never stops, the love just continues to grow every day. Your husband is bursting with pride for being given another son. Like the king of the jungle feels of his pride. Yet, he holds him ever so gently and manages not to hurt him, because little ones still scare him. Another son, two boys. Buddies for life. and so we watch them grow, teach him, hold him when he cries, cuddle him when he's whiney. Stay up all night taking turns watching him because he is having febrile seizures. And laughing with him when we get our bathing suits on and take a bath together to lower his fever. He thinks its like summer and its a pool day. Audra kicks in my tummy to remind me we will soon be adding to our brood. Another miracle in the making. And so they welcome their sister. My triple A gang. The three musketeers. Our family is complete. And a girl ! I can't help but feel sorry for her, knowing she would grow up with them protecting her, and watching over her. And we raise them all, feed them, nurture them. We watch Adam go off to kindergarten and she cries. Alex tries to sooth her and rubs her back. "It's okay Audwa, I'm still here. It's OK". And she calms down and plays with her brother. He shares his lunch with her, colors with her, helps her to walk across the room holding her tiny hands. He lays with her at naptime and together they fall asleep. He reads his favorite books to her and she listens intently. Adam comes home from school and calls her. "Hello sunshine, did you miss me?. And all of them run off to play. And they grow. They grow so fast. Snow comes. They are all up half the night waiting to get up and play outside in the fresh snow. Alex is in awe. He can't wait to build a snowman. "Mommy, everyone has to have a snowman, they just HAVE to." And all of them eat, we dress warmly, and out we go. They pull Audra in her sled. Have a snowball fight. They build a snowman. And he is FROSTY. He has a hat, and a carrot nose, and he will be built on the lawn for the next few years because Alex never stops believing we HAVE to have a snowman on our lawn. And they grow more. Adam joins the Marines. Alex graduates and starts college, not quite sure which direction he is going. Audra graduates and goes into studying to become a nurse, then a nurse practitioner. He is taking courses but still cant figure out what for. As long as they go to college, we don't have them pay for room and board. His friends tell him how lucky he is. He was. He had it much better than his friends. Audra, too. She was working two jobs now and still going to college full time. HER choice to work. She wants to save save save. And she does. And yet Alex still confuses us all because he can't find his direction in life. Audra knows he is so smart and tells him. She knows he has it in him. And she waits like we do.
He is now responsible for his own decisions. And one night he makes ones that costs him his life. My 26 year old son is gone. He has died in his sleep. But he had just gotten home a few hours earlier and said, "Goodnight mom, I love you, don't forget to wake me for school." "I love you, too, Alex, I won't forget." Thank you God for those last moments that I will treasure forever. But I'm angry, I'm devastated. This doesn't happen to people like us. It's other peoples kids we read about, we hear about. Not ours. And yet, it is our son. Who is going to help me put up the tree and spread the branches? Who will still put up with my silly tradition of playing the Chipmunks song and actually sing with me? Who is going to sing the chocolate milk jingle when we stir it? It was your song. Miss you. How much do I MISS him? GOD only knows how much. It's immeasurable. There are no words to describe how much. Your friends miss you. Your favorite waitress where you played darts misses you and the little chocolates you would bring her. Your brother and sister can't even tell me how much they miss you. Your father misses his ikster. Your nickname. His golfing buddy.
My heart hurts knowing it will soon be five years since you died. So much has happened in those years and I know you would have really liked being here to enjoy them. I still say goodnight to you every single night. I know you are somewhere, out there in heaven, and I know you can hear your mom.

posted January 1, 2017

My dear son. Another year without you and it really doesn't get any easier. Who ever said it "gets easier" never lost a child. If anything, it gets harder. You have to be made of steel to get through this without feeling something. I wish so much for peace in my heart for you. But most of all I just love you. You will never be forgotten, never. You made a great mark in this world and it stayed with many, besides me. As I think of you, I hope you watch over us and can see our lives, and all the changes that are happening. I take you with me to it all in my heart. Love, mom.

posted December 24, 2016

As Christmas approaches, we are surrounded by music, laughter and joy for the holiday. I would like to say I am thankful for all of you who read this blog and hold Alex so close in your hearts. He is with me every day with every step I take. Thank you God, for the peace and love you give him. Merry Christmas Alex. Miss you, but I could not ask or imagine a better place to be. ☃❄
posted December 16, 2016

“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

     I recently attended another funeral for a young man. My heart was heavy as I approached his mother and family. I knew how they felt and could empathize with them but all I could say was "I am so sorry for you and your family." Family is so important to acknowledge because not just his mom lost a son. They all suffered a loss. And I thanked God for giving me the strength to be there for them. As I drove home realized I hadn't written on my blog in a while; that's not to say I haven't had a lot to share. But I let life get in the way. And that is a big step in healing from loss. It's the nights that are the hardest to get through. When I am alone in my thoughts and I let them wander off. I wish I had a key so I could lock the door of grief that I have gone through, and it would stay locked. But that is impossible. It never closes. A song comes on the radio and it brings me to tears and I feel  like a baby crying because I really thought I was past the part of crying over Alex. And it finally dawns on me; I am NEVER going to get over losing Alex. I am entitled to cry and I shouldn't be so hard on myself for letting it come in as it does sometimes. At least it's now down to just "sometimes" because I can still recall when it was every day. I have learned so many of life's lessons in such a short period of time. Family always comes first. Live every day to it's fullest. Live, love, laugh AND dance like there is no tomorrow. I could go on and on but I'm sure you understand what I mean. These are only some of life's lessons. I still have days that sneak in and taking just another breathe seems impossible. I find it hard to think the day will come to an end and then there is tomorrow, and it's another day to get through. I feel the pain and it's excruciating. It weighs me down and I don't think I can even get out of bed. I don't want to. It's easier to stay there and pray that when I sleep I will dream of the days he was alive and with us. When he was fun to be with and we were a family of five. But I can't stay in bed. I have had so many moving, glorious moments when I am out and about in this world. Our family has had wonderful days in the past months with vacations and weddings and engagements. And friends, who have shared their lives with us, have also added to those days. Babies, God's little miracles, have come our way and we have been honored to share in the joy of their arrival. And yet I still cry with sadness and my heart actually hurts. My grief was at it's deepest the year after Alex died. If I can give anyone a little advice, this would be it. The first year after you lose a loved one, you are in shock. So yes, you do grieve. But the second year it sinks in. And the feeling of shock is deeper, which you think is impossible, but it was for me. I can only say that today I feel I have crawled through this with the help of friends and family and I am up and standing because of their love and support. So yes, I do thank God for family. I will continue to pray for families.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

We have a great power of influence over our children, more than we want and more than we can imagine. And even though we shape them and raise them to be respectful, courteous, loving, compassionate and kind hearted, in the end, it is still their decision once their adults what they want to do. Gosh, it's those times you wish time would stand still. When all is going well and they are happy. We stand by them and guide them until the time comes that we have to let them go and make, hopefully, rational decisions and choices. I am still at odds as to how I have raised three children in the same home and all have still such completely different personalities, goals and lives. But they all seemed to be peaceful and happy; for most of the time. Adam, he knew he had to join the Marines to get out. He was so stuck in a rut that life just seemed to be going no where and when he thought this was the way to make something of himself, he decided to enlist in the Marines. "The best of the best" is how he put it. Even though he had his doubts, even the night before leaving and saying he had changed his mind (but we know there was no getting out of it at that point) he still went, and NEVER did it enter my thoughts he would fail. I KNEW, don't ask me how, but I knew he would get through boot camp and become of Marine. Audra, she had made her decision from such a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. Always willing to help people, being the motherly type to all the children I watched and babysat for while I stayed home and raised them. She was gentle and kind, and liked being in charge. She also never wavered and became the nurse she was determined to be. Alex, he never knew which way to go. For a while, he wanted to be a garbage man, REALLY, and then the next day it was a professional baseball player. In high school he never once mentioned any career goals and when it came to school, he was there because he HAD to be. He held interests in the computer, and could just about do anything on it, but he had no intention of doing it for a living. He grew so impatient with people who would screw up their computers, he would fix it for them, and months later come RIGHT back with the same problem. He would get pissed, irritated that AGAIN he was fixing the same problem, and he thought they were idiots not to have known better. He had little patience and was easily irritated by such STUPIDITY as he called it; yet when I tried to explain to him that just some people are not computer savvy, his only answer would be "Then don't use the damn thing if you don't know what you are doing." The mind of a genius I would say, and yet he had no life goals picked out at all. My daughter would get mad when I said he just hadn't found his "nitch" yet in life, some get it later than others. She just thought it was pure laziness. We agreed to disagree. So many times I wish I had a time machine. I dream of such happier times and wish so damn hard for that machine. But I know it doesn't exists. Our lives have gone on and we have to live this new life. But there are days I hate it. I just want my boy back. I want my son home, with us. And I know it's just not possible. At these times, I just go on and pray for more peace in my heart. God give me more peace. It's all I can do.