Coping With a Son’s Death by Drug Overdose | MaryBeth Cichocki

Coping With a Son’s Death by Drug Overdose | MaryBeth Cichocki

MaryBeth Cichocki’s son, Matt, died of a drug overdose. She is determined to do whatever she can to help another child, another parent, another family, which includes working to extend insurance coverage for 90 days in residential treatment/rehab (vs the current 28 days) and to promote and support efforts to regulate sober living homes in Florida. She also writes a blog, MothersHeartbreak.com, to help others whose child has a drug use problem and welcomes your emails: mmassey4@verizon.net, and phone calls: 302-561-4619.

And now for MaryBeth Chichocki’s guest post…

Coping: A Mother’s Point of View

Coping - MaryBeth Cichocki shares how she's coping with her son's death of a drug overdose.

MaryBeth Cichocki shares how she’s coping with her son’s death by drug overdose.

Everyday across this country there a thousands of mothers like me trying to pick up the pieces of our shattered world. The fallout from addiction they call it. Our children taken from our lives by their demons. Heroin, Percocet, Xanax, Cocaine became the love of their lives and all that mattered. No amount of love, tough or otherwise, could have saved our kids, we know this. Yet, we continue to beat ourselves up with the whys and what ifs. I rethink every decision ever made during my son’s battle. I am an educated woman. A nurse who became more educated by attending conferences and reading everything I could get my hands on about addiction. Still my addict son stayed in his world of chaos, deception and drugs until those demons took their final toll on his body and mind and ended his life.

So now I am left behind. There really are no words to describe the toll addiction takes on the non-addict. The fixer, like me. I’m a nurse. I fix people for a living. I, like so many other mothers, place the blame on myself. What did I do wrong? Why did my child become an addict when everyone else’s child is living a productive life? These questions have no answers. At least none that can ease the pain that fills my heart and mind everyday as I try to figure out a way to cope with this ending I never imagined. I’ve read that childhood trauma can lead to addiction. Matt’s father left when he was 5. I often wonder if that caused him to choose a world where pills could make you forget pain. I have two sons. The other married with a child spent ten years serving our country. Two different boys raised by the same mother puts a hole in that theory for me.   In my wildest dreams I never thought my son would die from an overdose. Every admission to a rehab was filled with such hope. He believed just like I did that we would beat this demon back to the hell it came from and become that happy family once again. Every relapse was a break in my facade that life would get better. But denial kicked in and life returned to the chaos we knew as normal.

Now he is gone and I’m told I have to accept and go on. How does a mother learn to accept the death of her youngest child? There are no magic pills that will make my shattered heart whole again. Believe me the medical professionals have tried to shove pills down my throat. I’ve been given Xanax, my son’s favorite go to pill when the going got tough. I’ve thought about taking them, then my little voice of reason says no way. They are just a mask. Stay away. I’ve been told I’m depressed and need once again to take those magic pills to make it all go away. Really, we have become a pill pushing society. No one wants to feel pain. Some doctors run clinics just for the purpose of keeping people pain free. They have a license to create addicts. Matt was one of their victims. I felt the pain of giving him life, and I need to feel this pain of losing his life. This pain is part of who I’ve become and there is no covering it up.

We aren’t allowed to be in mourning. People aren’t comfortable when you cry in their presence. No one wants to hear your story, even though saying it out loud makes you feel like maybe you did do everything in your power to help your addict. Reliving the horror is a way of coping, knowing you went through such a hell and are still breathing is a powerful thing for us Moms. Society wants you to get over it. Hey, my son is dead. I’m allowed to be sad. It’s a way to cope. Some days are better than others. Some days I can get through the day without too many Matt Moments, where a memory hits hard and the tears start. People don’t want to hear about your dead son. They are afraid the pain you live with will invade their world and they will become you. Like addiction is catchy and you are the carrier. I don’t expect anyone to fix me. I know there is nothing anyone can say to make this better. Everyday is a challenge.

I know people mean well but there are days when someone will call and offer advise. Now I haven’t heard from or seen some people for months but they are just so full of great suggestions. Really, your children are alive, you have no clue. Why can’t people just call without an agenda to make me better? Just say you care, you’re thinking of me. That’s what I need. Not the you should be…..that comes out of their mouths. Yes, your right, I should be working, eating more, having fun.  My mind turns ugly as I think you have no clue of the struggle it is to cope with my reality. My son should be alive.

Throughout my journey I have found many blessings. There are mothers like me who sadly get it. We have a support system that not one of us signed up for, but we are joined together by grief. These strong women who started the journey before me have listened while I screamed, cried and told the same story over and over. They do not judge or tell me what I should be doing. They listen, they shed their tears with mine. We have a bond that will never fade. We have experienced the heart breaking, life shattering death of a child. I never knew these women existed. They knew nothing about me. Yet I feel a closeness to them I can’t explain. I want to comfort them when they cry out on the birthdays that have ceased to be. When they have the gut punches that only profound grief can bring. When holidays come and break our hearts again. Together we hold each other up.

This journey has shown me who my true friends are. The women who admit they can’t imagine my pain, but aren’t afraid to hold me when I cry and just show up on rough days.

My husband. I believe God put him in my life knowing Matt would be leaving me. He is my rock. I was a smart girl. A critical care nurse who made great money. We had a great life. No money worries for us. Today I have no job, my smart girl brain lost in this world of grief. No worries he tells me. You take care of you.

Mike, my firstborn. Matt’s big brother. The inseparable boys until the demon came between them. Always there when I need him. We cry together, his only sibling gone. He shares my grief. He reassures me when the guilt seeps into my brain and I second guess every decision made during Matt’s addiction.. He is my voice of reason. He lived the nightmare of his brothers addiction. He gets it.

Comfort comes in all shapes and sizes of furry bodies and paws. My pups all rescued have returned the favor and rescue me everyday. No judgement when the tears are falling just four pairs of knowing eyes all running to cuddle. Sensing my pain and instinctively knowing how to comfort. We take long walks, they give me a purpose. The best therapists have fur and four legs. I have recommended to Moms who have no one left to find a rescue and save a life. Many have responded sending pictures of their new furry kids. Saving lives in a different way. It’s how I cope.

Writing. Before Matt’s death I couldn’t write to save my life. Term papers were my only experience. Now I sit and the words come as the story unfolds in my brain. I feel Matt next to me as I close my eyes and remember. Writing has become cathartic. My personal therapy. Writing it down makes it real. Sharing my story and having other mothers respond so positively assures me I am not alone on this journey. Moms who have lost their addict identify with my words and moms who’s addicts still struggle tell me they are learning from my experience.  Helping others through my pain comforts me. This is how I cope. From God’s mouth to my ears is my new motto. I ask for help in telling my story, in choosing my words to touch hearts and minds.

The gift of time. I never realized just how much I was missing. My world was the hit the ground running one. Out of bed, scrubs on, dogs out and fed. Twelve hour shifts of stressful NICU life saving babies and calming parents. Day after day I ran the race. When I wasn’t saving babies I was saving Matt. Never thinking about my needs. It’s just who I was and how I lived. Now, my life has done an about face. My son and my career both gone in the blink of an eye. Calm, quiet days now greet me. I am learning to stop and smell those roses. I was stressed out of my mind and never realized just how out of control my life had become. I worried about Matt, his addiction became mine. Now I sit and breathe. I hear the birds and spend time in my garden looking at the beauty I planted but never took the time to enjoy. I take time to talk to God. Not just a quick prayer when I could fit it in, but real conversations about Matt and why our journey ended this way. I pray for acceptance, for guidance. I pray that when I’m ready I will find a new path where once again I will be helping.

Coping with this new life is as individual as a fingerprint. Everyday is a painful reminder of loss. I will never be the same woman I was before my son lost his battle.  Life is different. Nothing is taken for-granted. Moments of joy are found in unexpected places. Life goes on, one day at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time.

121 Responses to Coping With a Son’s Death by Drug Overdose | MaryBeth Cichocki

  1. Marybeth, first let me say how sorry I am for your loss. The pain of losing a child under any circumstances is difficult but losing one to addiction is almost unbearable because of the guilt involved. Like you so heartbreakingly wrote you painstakingly go over every interaction you’ve had and wonder…

    My family knows the pain of losing a loved one to addiction as well. We lost my only brother to alcoholism 8 years ago; he was the oldest and he died right before his 50th birthday. How my parents got through this amazes me, but I know my mom’s strong faith got her through and my dad (RIP) was such a strong man, but losing his only son was a pain he never fully got over. As for me…8 years later and I have STILL not properly grieved my brother and to be honest I’m scared to do so because I don’t know if I can come back from that pain.

    I marvel at your strength for just being able to put one foot in front of the other and I applaud you for sharing your story with others, you are helping so many people just by putting it out there! Thank God for your husband and your fur babies 🙂 I too have a bunch of fur babies: 2 dogs and 3 cats, all rescues as well and as you said, they are the best therapists you could ever have. They always listen, they never judge and they give great kisses 🙂

    Marybeth, thank you: for sharing your pain, your grief, your strength and your story. We are all in this fight together and we are all here to support each other through it in any way we can. HUGS to you!

    • Scott H. Silverman says:

      MB, SO Sorry for your Loss. How can I support you? I was one of the lucky one’s.
      Call me anytime let’s talk. 619-993-2738.
      Scott

    • Nancy Mackey says:

      Thank you for sharing. I want to find a support group for people who have lost a child thru addiction and overdose. No one else knows what you are going thru. Is there such a thing?? I live in OH and would love one to attend. I lost my daughter to a heroin overdose and she was my sunshine!! She was my baby and filled my life with so much joy. She began using drugs while in college and I never knew. She kept it from me. My husband died during this time and I feel like she didnt want to burden me with it. She was very compassionate and probably thought she could handle it by herself. I MISS HER SO MUCH!!!!!
      How can I overcome this loss????

  2. I too want to express how sorry I am, MaryBeth for the loss of your son, Matt. My heart goes out to you and your family. It is so unfair and unnecessary that you and others have lost their children to this devastating disease.

    Your line, “They are afraid the pain you live with will invade their world and they will become you.” spoke to me. Fear does hold people back from being the support person that they could be and often want to be. I appreciate your suggestion to just be there without any agenda to make you better.

    My hope is that as time goes on, you can find some joy in your life again. Many have found support through GRASP which is a support program for those that have lost their children because of an overdose. You may have heard of it, but wanted to share just in case.

  3. Barbara says:

    So sorry for your loss. I feel the same pain. Our son died November 6 this year. I don’t know how to stop feeling the pain and guilt I feel. I should have tried harder just one more time. I should have let him come home and try to get some help for him. Maybe if I’d listened to my heart. I just got so tired of the battle, the lies and everything that went with living with an addict. He had scleromyxedema. It’s a nasty rare skin disease. Using drugs made him feel normal and have energy. He used drugs before the disease. After he found out about the disease, he used it as an excuse to self medicate. Why did it have to end this way.

    • Marybeth says:

      Barbara, in all the years I fought to save my son it never occurred to me that the only one who could save him was him. It has taken me a long time to let a little bit of the guilt go. I think as mothers we have a built in guilt gene and blame ourselves for everything that happens to our children. I too feel all the I should have’s. I should have kept him here. I should have never let him go to Florida. I should have done so many things but I know deep down we both did everything humanly possible to save our sons. I always say hindsight is a great thing if only we had it when we needed it. You loved him and fought for him. He knew that. Even though I miss Matt everyday I know he is no longer struggling against the demons that destroyed his life. Last be kind to yourself. Our grief runs deep and will never go away. Find a support group of mothers who walk your walk. You did everything but unfortunately it’s not in our control. God bless you. Please take care. Marybeth

  4. Suzanne says:

    I’ve tormented myself with the guilt and should haves
    Agree I did everything I felt needed to be done
    And we too get so overwhelmed with the addiction
    We just survive and say or don’t say things we now regret
    My counselor said assume you could have prevented Kevin’s death
    And deserved to be punished
    Haven’t you been punished enough?
    He’s dead!

  5. Dan McPhail says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m a 68 year old entertainer/dj from Burton Michigan. My oldest son Todd died 3 1/2 years ago Nov. 19 2012 in his sleep. He mixed Zanax, alcohol and Oxycontin. Mary and i had 2 sons and i love our son Troy very much (he’s an addict in recovery) but Todd and i had a special bond. Best friends, nearly identical appearance, almost never a cross word in his 37 years. Todd was in the medical field as an MRI tech and disliked doctors having seen many medical errors. He chose to self medicate his bi polar and abused alcohol, zanax cocaine and heroin but thought it safe cause he only used on weekends. I knew he had a problem but was in denial. The guilt grief and anger i have felt every day of this past 3 years is unimanageable to anyone who hasn’t gone through it. The self help group GRASP (grief recovery after substance passing) people in my area don’t seen to offer much help and it’s depressing to hear other greiving parents. Same for the Compasionate Friends Flint Mi. Chapter. Well intentioned folks but they obsess and relive in agonizing detail the day their children died instead of concentrating on their life. Todd had a mostly fun life and was a cheerful person who enjoyed each day of his 37 years. I asked him at 15 when he started on marijuana what he would imagine us going through if he ever progressed to other drugs and died with an overdose He said “well, i’d be dead so there would be no pain”, without addressing the pain all of us feel. He has a 6 year old daughter who was 3 when he died and will barely remember him; his devastated brother dove into zanax addiction and almost died in 2 car wrecks and lost 4 jobs in 18 months over it, and you wonder why seeing his brother pass away from opiate and zanax abuse wouldn’t straighten him up. I say to all parents who have lost a child to drug overdose (which is now THE leading cause of death of adults under 40 in America..the LEADING CAUSE with 20,000 deaths in 2015 alone)…i tell you try to remember their LIFE, not their death, and try to imagine what they would tell you if you could have ten minutes with them..they’d say “it was my bad choice dad…don’t feel guilty….don’t let my passing destroy you…i’m at peace…try to warn others about substance abuse but don’t expect them to listen–i didn’t. I’m sorry for the pain i caused you. Try to live happy for me and take care of those i loved.”. Thinking of what Todd would say, and time itself, are the only healers. Any parent who has lost a child to substance abuse is welcome to write me or call 810-624-2436.

    • cridder says:

      I lost my son feb 27 ,2016 we thought was snake bits from were went hunting and the bit mark on back and arm but after they did blood test it come back that he die from Meath and pain pills mixed he was shuting up and been doing for few weeks but we didn’t know and he been depressed really bad we thought he had the flu and he wouldn’t go to er keep telling us no well that sunday nite my boyfriend found him he die in his sleep been gone for about 6 hours they said we thought he was just sleeping,

  6. MaryBeth says:

    Dan, I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a child is hard enough but losing them after the battle is far worse. I agree the only way to survive is to remember their lives not how they died. I know that can be hard but if I constantly go back to those details I won’t be good for anything. I have started AHug From Matt where I take food to the homeless on the streets of my city. I have met amazing people and feel that I’m helping someone else’s child in Matts memory. I also started a GRASP group here in Delaware and try to guide parents toward the ways to make something positive out of their grief. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. God bless you with peace.

  7. Mymsit says:

    My only son died on Sunday May 22, 2016.
    I found him unresponsive , started CPR then EMS used narcan 4 times.
    He had research chemicals (available to anyone on the Internet, not identifiable on drug tests) delivered to a post office box, after I confronted him with a package delivered to our home.

    These are not “street drugs”. No dealers to contend with. Delivered
    Discreetly by FedEx UPS etc. There is ambiguity as to
    The legal status ( with the exception of 3 states).

    I am lost and heartbroken

    He was an accomplished professional
    And the stigma of mental illness, the rehab Industry’s monotonous record of failure to use scientific treatment of
    Substance use disorder, and his profession were all impediments to his
    Survival.

    Of course, as his mother, I will
    Always feel guilt for not seeing
    Him to appropriate help. And going
    over and over again my mistakes as
    His guardian and nurturer.
    People who Knew him were stunned. He was so
    Well regarded and loved. How does This happen!

    At some point I will become an advocate I just can’t right now

    Scott’s comment regarding the
    Life that his son lived so well,
    is what I want to focus on.
    Grief is different for mothers and
    Fathers. I have this intensity to
    Dig down into whatever it takes
    To understand. Though I never
    Will.

    This is the first time I have posted
    ANYTHING on the Internet.

    Thank you for this helpful share
    MaryBeth. And to all those who
    Have commented.

    • Marybeth says:

      First, please accept my sympathy for the tremendous loss of your son. There really are no words to make this grief easier to bear. As mothers we always blame ourselves even when our kids are adults. It has taken me 19 months and 28 days to realize that no matter what I did to save Matt his recovery was truly in his hands. Even when my brain stays rational my heart takes me back to blame and guilt. We are not supposed to bury our children. It goes against nature. It will take every ounce of strength you have to understand that this was out of your hands. Please know that you are not alone. We are a very large group of grieving mothers trying to find a new balance in our lives. Please feel free to contact me if you ever need to speak to someone who gets it. My new email is mecichocki@gmail.com. I’m not sure where you live but GRASP is a nation wide group for those of us who lost a child to addiction. I started one in my state and found that connecting with mothers like me helps me get through many dark days. God bless you sweet Mama.

  8. Diana nielsen says:

    Marybeth I’m so sorry for your loss but know to well how you feel I to have lost a son to heroin and we found him in my grandsons bedroom I did for till emp came but it was to late my son Nathan was clean for 72 days and I thought he was doing well he was going to Na meetings and his hole family was living with me but he still managed to sneak it in and use its been three years and I still grief for him the only thing that keeps me going is that now I am raising his son my grandson which at my age is sometimes very trying but don’t know what I would do with out him I just hope that it will not be a repeat with drugs

    • Marybeth says:

      Diana. I am so sorry for your loss. I truly believe this is a grief that never leaves us. I cry for Matt everyday. When you lose your child you lose your future hopes and dreams. Thank God you have a piece of Nathan here with you. My biggest regret is that Matt never married or had a child. He took everything with him when he died. Your son lives on in your grandchild. A treasure for you here on earth. God bless you as you continue on this journey that we never signed up for but sadly can not escape. Hugs.

      • Grace Daley says:

        I too lost my youngest son Matt to I believe pain pills. Waiting for autopsy which won’t answer all my queztions. I never knew he had an addiction but I knew something was not right. His dad knew since my son didnt want me to know and seemed OK the month after neck surgery.

  9. EJH says:

    I am touched by this story. It’s exactly so true what you say. So sorry for your loss. Lost my son too but still awaiting answer’s.

    EJH

    Take care x

    • Marybeth says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a child changes our lives forever. Everyday is a challenge. How we cope is as individual as our fingerprint. Know you are not alone.

  10. Laura says:

    Marybeth,

    I’m so sorry for your loss of your son. I’m just starting down this journey myself. My beautiful 27-year-old son, Alex, just passed away on July 23rd from what we suspect was either a heroin overdose or tainted heroin – still waiting for the ME’s report. He had been sober for 2 1/2 years. I never knew what heartache truly was before this. What I have found is that this has been the *loneliest* experience of my life, grieving my son’s death, and trying to find hope for the future. I have three other adult sons, who are my reason for going on right now. I’m just trying to reach out and connect with others going through the same experience, because I have found, as many others have mentioned, that only a mother who has lost a child can understand.

  11. Veronica says:

    I am very happy to have found this blog and these comments, and I will add mine. Our only child, our son, battled heroin off and on for years. Last May, he died from what we found out from the autopsy was heroin tainted with Fentanyl. I spent the rest of last year in a sort of trance-like fog, relieved that he was out of pain, but also relieved that the lying, stealing, loss of friends, worry, and uncertainty was over.
    But this year began a new chapter. I guess everyone moved on but me. Why do I feel so empty and old and alone? My husband feels grief, but nothing like the grinding guilt and emptiness I feel. I read on here that only my son could have saved himself. But he thought he could HANDLE it.
    These days I feel resentful of people who have grandkids, successful kids, kids who are the light of their lives. I am getting closer to retirement, and there really is not much to look forward to. I have been withdrawing from church, friends, even at work. I feel as though I am slipping into bitterness and negativity and paranoia, all because I couldn’t save Joe. My God, I wish he was back and clean. I would gladly have gone in his place if that could have happened. My boss told me my self-confidence is totally eroded.
    Is this normal? Will it go away?

    • Mymsit says:

      I am so sorry. I am experiencing much of the same. Though I know it doesn’t need rehashing, I keep doing it. It must be a means of acceptance, but it is so painful
      And it seems I am not moving on. Perhaps this is what mothers feel……..so futile and difficult. It is hard to imagine this will ever go away. That is the price of LOVE

    • Marybeth says:

      Veronica first please accept my sympathy at the loss of your son. This pain is like none other and I have found that no one could even begin to imagine how it shatters your life. I completely understand your feelings of resentment. I too find it too painful to be happy at weddings or baby showers. It’s like rubbing salt into my already overwhelming wound. People don’t understand that when you lose your child you lose a future daughter in law, future grandchildren future holidays, birthdays and all the dreams we as mothers had for our children. People do move on. I’ve lost so many friends. They can’t take me unless I’m that happy person I once was. She is gone. I have found great comfort in my rescued dogs. They love me even when I’m a mess of tears. They give me a purpose. I suffer the same Moms guilt. We are supposed to protect our kids. It doesn’t matter how old they are, they are still our babies. I lost my job 4 months after Matt died. I was a critical care NICU nurse. Some days I could not figure out how to work my microwave. Everything we are going thru is our new normal. I started a support group for parents like us. It helps knowing I’m not alone in this horrible grief. Look for a group in your area. GRASP is for people like us who know this life altering grief of losing a child. Feel free to call if you ever need a shoulder. My email is listed below. God bless you sweet Mama

    • Mum says:

      I am sorry for your loss. I too lost my 38 year son only 4 weeks ago. I did not know of his addiction until 9 months ago. He hadn’t been speaking with the family for a few months. He called me one day and asked if I would pick him up at rehab. I gladly told him I would and how proud of him I was and would see him the following day.
      When I went to get him, I found out it wasn’t rehab, but a detox center. I was not happy that he had lied to me, but happy that he thought enough of his life to go through detox. From that day forward, we talked about his addictions. He had given up drugs and entered a methadone program. Now his drug of choice was alcohol. I did not know how bad it was until I found out he couldn’t get a job because he couldn’t go without drinking all day. He admitted that although I did everything I could, I would not be the one to get him off the alcohol. He said that alcohol was much more difficult then getting off drugs. He went into detox again. He said I have to do this for me Mum. He just couldn’t do it. The last text I got from him was on Mother’s day. I had a knee replacement and was in a rehab. He told me he loved me and I told him that I loved him with all my heart. He passed away four days later. All the if, and buts don’t matter. Mums can’t fix everything, even though we think we can, our children were responsible for themselves as adults. I will miss him every second of every day, but I do catch myself saying but if, and then I get his voice in my head say, Mum I told you it was up to me, not you. You did everything you could and I love you. Only time will lessen your pain but you will never ever forget the pain of loosing your child.

  12. I cant thank you enough for sharing your very painful journey of loosing your son, while I have not lost a child, I have many people to close to me that have, thank you again for your courage to share, and I pray this helps every parent out there who has ever lost a child.

  13. Linda Rivera says:

    I just found you site and so much your story is my story and sad it ends the same way. I lost my beautiful son Matt on august 27, 2016. The not knowing is the worse because my ex-husband completely excluded me not telling me to last my son died and then not telling me details and excluding me from the services and not allowing me anything of my sons even the things I gave hmm. I wanted five items and he would not honor my request.I since found out Matt may have been dying or deceased when they brought him to this woman’s house. This woman showed up at his services like she was somebody. I have an older son in the Army married with two children but he refused to speak to me He is still mad at me for 10 long years since I left his father for abuse and affairs. I tried to reach out to them when Matt died and they completely disrespect me . This has made the entire situation worse. I cry and I cant stop some days. I cant even function and the hurtful things said to me and about me its too much. I loved my son I respected his decisions as an adult and I tried I fought so hard to save him. His dad was so cruel to him and controlled everything he did in life and death, I don’t have other family I since remarried but my husband is recovering from cancer and he is older .Also I have Matts dog Brutus a pug four years old and Matts dog Duke a daschund 17 years old . I miss him so much I am having panic attacks and my ex-husband lives 15 minutes away from me. I can move . My job was cut due to budget cuts and I am a wreck right now. I want my Matt back so much .Thank You for listening

    • Marybeth says:

      Linda, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son and everything else you are going through. It seems our grief compounds everything in life and makes its so unbearable. Right now the only thing you can control is yourself. I know your grief and also know how some days just breathing takes effort. I too lost my job shortly after Matt died. I can’t afford to move yet. Maybe a change of scenery would help at least get you away from the X. Please find a grief therapist or a grief support group for parents who have lost a child to addiction. Look up http://www.grasphelp.org. They run support groups throughout the county. Maybe there is one close to you. Just know you are not alone. If you are on Facebook there are many support groups for us to. Hugs.

  14. I’m so sorry for all the people who have commented here. I came because today my grandchild and her other granny lost their mother and daughter. My grandchild who is a beautiful, loving and bright child, but her mum had her young, and for most of the time, my husband and I with her dad, and her other granny, have looked after her. She is very close to us all. This morning, the day her mum was coming to visit her after a couple of months, we all found out she had collapsed at a party last night, been put in the recovery position and left by her ‘friends’ and later found dead. She had just had to have a pregnancy terminated as the baby was not healthy. She had regrets about her new boyfriend and was drinking a lot it seems. She was damaged in childhood by her father leaving at two and had severe eczema and asthma and had to take steroids. She was a sweet and good person but could not take responsibility for her child – she was lost but stubborn and did not stay in touch all the time. She would be 29 next month. I grieve most for my grandchild today, who is such a sweet child and could not really take it in, though I knew she was sad. We took her to a park and I gave her cuddles and said we were all feeling very sad. It seems her mum took some drugs on top of the alcohol – she did binge at weekends, but often seemed to take charge of her health and do well. She had a lot of stress this year.

    My heart breaks for the little girl and my friend and her other children, my daughter and son, but also for all of you. Your stories have helped me feel less alone. We were all in shock today. Her dad and other granny were planning to take her to Spain for a few months, and I think we will have to follow her there. I am just devastated. I agree there is little one can do to say ‘stop, please’ but we tried to give support to her mum. It’s the sense of failure and I do not want that to affect my grandchild, so much think in present and future now. The past cannot be changed. Thank you for listening, I will remember your stories and grief and hope one day it will get better. I told my grandchild her mum would want her to be happy and was very proud of her. She, like the rest of us, cannot compute at present.

  15. Marybeth says:

    Angela, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s the hardest thing imaginable when we lose our children. Your granddaughter will need all the love and support you can give her. Continue to let her talk about her mother. Tell her wonderful stories about her and keep her alive for her. As a nurse I truly believe in therapy especially for a child that has suffered this loss. We are able to express our grief but some children think they did something wrong and feel responsible. It takes a long time for the shock to soften. I can tell you it never completely goes away. She is very lucky to have a family who will work together and live her as her mother would have if she could. It is a horrible sense of failure I am in therapy working on my own guilt. It is a life changing event for everyone and will take time to accept. God bless you and your family.

    • LIsa S. says:

      I lost my nephew 22, to accidental overdose on Aug 19th 2016.My brother and his wife are beyond in pain and anger.I can’t get past this loss.My boy Raleigh should be here alive and well Please tell me..how do we get through this mess.

      • Marybeth says:

        Lisa, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could tell you there is a magic formula to follow to make this grief go away. Unfortunately there isn’t. I found that by finding others that know my grief and talking about all the crazy emotions that constantly dance in our heads I did begin to feel not so alone. I started a grief support group through GRASP. They are nation wide and it really does help not having to explain how you feel to people who have never experienced our type of loss. I try to stay busy. I rescued a couple of dogs and they have been life savers. They make me get out and get moving. Being outdoors helps clear my head. I pray that Matt is finally free of his demons and knows how he is missed. I try to help other mothers like me. Some days I can’t get out of my own way and I just cry all day. The pain remains a constant. They should be here and trying to understand why they are gone is overwhelming. Please take care of yourself and do what feels right for you. Only you know your grief.

  16. LuAnne Milano says:

    do you have support groups in Broward County or Boca Raton

    • Marybeth says:

      LuAnne, look up http://www.grasphelp.org. They are a nation wide grief support group for people who have lost a loved one to addiction. I found that being with others who know has helped me tremendously. If there is no present group you can start one. I did here in Delaware. Take care of yourself. Hugs

    • Cindy Zimmerman says:

      LuAnne, you may have already attended the GRASP meeting in Boca and we may have met there. If not, I recommend the group as a compassionate, supportive group that helps me feel not so alone.

  17. Maureen Fahy says:

    My son, aged 28, died in south florida at a half way house in September. The guilt I feel about sending him down to florida instead of keeping him home is overwhelming. He was in florida for six months and instead of going down there to at least visit him during that period, I was busy with my job so I could keep paying his insurance and with a home renovation that was badly needed. I am sorry now that I did not treat this like the life and death crisis that it was and drop everything to be with him during his recovery. It may have changed the outcome. I am devastated and heartbroken and have not been able to return to work which I have completely lost interest in. Maureen Fahy

    • Marybeth says:

      Dear Maureen. Your story is mine. Matt was in Florida for 6 months before he died there. I like you beat myself up on a daily basis for not flying down there to check it out for myself. I like you was busy working and trying to rebuild my life as Matt lived with me and my life was centered around his addiction. I haven’t been able to work since his death. I was a nurse and my grief brain is horrible. We need to try to forgive ourselves. If we had a crystal ball we could have known what was happening but unfortunately our son’s have to hold some responsibility in what happened. It will be two years for me on January 3rd and I’m still so hit by grief everyday. I completely understand what you are going through. Please know you are not alone. I hope you will find a support group. I have found being with parents who understand has helped me tremendously. God bless you.

  18. My very dear friend was worried her son wasn’t answering the phone since Friday she wanted to go check on him so my husband n I talked about it and I went w her Bc I was afraid for her. I found my own mother almost 14 years ago dead in her apartment she had been gone 2 days I was 8 months pregnant n the pain of seeing her that way has never left me. I didn’t want that for my friend so I went w her the whole house was locked up. When I saw his feet through the bottom of blind I didn’t think twice I broke the door down n found him. Personally this has brought me right back to what I went through 14 yrs ago. The anger the guilt the heartbreak. Idk what to do I feel so sickened n more importantly I’m afraid for her… please if u have anything to offer please

  19. Patti Hill says:

    So well said…so many things I am feeling. I especially like – Life goes on, one day at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time.
    My son overdosed on heroin August 25, 2016. I am hurting so badly…my heart is definitely crushed!!!! He was my only son. He had been clean for almost two years and was working in recovery helping others. Many of his friend gathered at a bonfire at the beach…each one after the other saying the most wonderful things about my son. How he had touched their hearts and to know him was to love him. He was 6’5…called him a gentle giant. He was 28.

  20. Roseline says:

    I was struggling to make my son Murphy quit drugs addiction. He has been addicted to drugs for the past 17 years. He fights, and inflict injuries on people and he also breaks into people apartment and steals whenever he does not have money to buy the drugs. He has gone to jails countless times. He has been taking to rehabilitation centers, yet he did not change. infact he get worst.I saw a testimony of a woman on the internet blog of how Diviner Odi helped her daughter to quit drugs. I contacted Him, and i was told what to do, in less than 5 days, my son quit drugs, he was very responsible and he has gotten married. All thanks to Diviner Odi for his help. If anybody on this blogs needs his help you can contact him via his email address: latterdayassembly@gmail.com

  21. David Dickerson says:

    Sorry for your lost I’ve suffer the same lost. My son overdose from herion on Christmas Eve of last year. He had been in rehab three times and we thought he was doing great but he overdose and this was after he lost a friend from the same thing a month before he had his relapse. Addiction is a terrible disease and I don’t wish it on anyone. I like you question myself on what I could have done differently but I can’t come up with a solution. Although I very depressed I hope I can get over it one day. It’s really a shame that such a great son lost his life and caused so much pain in our family.

    • Marybeth says:

      David. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing our children changes us to our core. There really are no words to describe our grief. I’m trying to learn to forgive myself and realize that I really did everything I could just as you did. It’s a difficult journey and I can only hope that in time knowing they are at peace will help us find ours.

  22. Beth says:

    I am a stepmother.
    My grown stepson died a little over a year ago after a long battle with drugs. He had been in and out of rehab about 3 or 4 times. His insurance only covered a 2 week stint, which is not long enough. Each time he was back to using within a week. His battle began with an undiagnosed stomach disorder which led to self medicating for the pain. We were out of town on a job I was working at the time we got that horrible call no parent should receive. Like that this charismatic bright shooting start of a man who was loved and adored by all was gone leaving behind a teen child. I stepped aside and offered moral support, house cleaning, driving…. while his parents made all the arrangements and went about that first year after a death of anyone. It was hard, but i admired my husband’s strength as he supported all the concerns of the mother of his son, and their grandchild who now lives with the grandmother.
    That year was full of changes, my husband changed forever. A piece of him is dead, his heart broken for ever. My husband is Christian, so he and God had words as he tried to make sense of why God made his son get ill and get hooked and die. He told God take anyone but not one of his kids. My husband began to pull away and stop associating as much with my kids and grandkids stating “I have mine and you have yours.” It got to the point where he asked me not to talk about my kids and grandkids. I obliged as much as I could, but I love my kids, they are a huge part of my life. He pulled back a little more, slowly that year. I felt alone and confused and was unsure what was going on. I also reacted our of fear of losing him.
    We began that second year a few months ago. What they do not tell you is that that second year can be worse than the first year. The reality set in “he is never ever coming back. I will never hear his laugh, his jokes, him say ‘I love you.'” I was thrown how horrible this was for my husband. I thought the lie that the first year passed and it would be easier. Lucky for these sites I realize that the truth is what it is. Give my husband space to work it out. I am worried, he is sinking into depression. Lucky he had a few buddies to hang with to talk. He attends NA meeting. He goes off alone and just sits and thinks. At night he lays awake, I can feel him cry. I rub his back or arm just so he knows he is not alone. I do not know what to say. I already told him “I don’t know what it feels like to lose a child. I don’t know what to say. You do what you have to. I will be here if you want to talk. I will be here for you.”
    Recently the other shoe dropped. One of his other sons has been in and out of jail and rehab this year. Same F*N drug – heroin. My husband went to pick him up for court, the front door was opened and bathroom door locked. My husband kicked down the door to find his son had intentionally OD’d. This time he was able to be revived, but we live in fear. His son has no desire to live, his life is a mess, he wants out of his marriage, he is ashamed of what his child thinks of him. He is behind bars for now, so we can breath knowing he isn’t using. He has no desire to quit, so until that time we live in fear. I have another travel job coming up in 6 weeks and am frozen as to take it or not. My retired husband always travels with me, usually these jobs are 12 weeks long. We want to run away and are terrified to. My husband want to escape everyone, including me right now.
    You just do not realize what it is like having an addict. You cannot tell them to quit. You cannot shame them into quitting. You get afraid to alienate them and lose them. You cannot cosign their BS and enable them. You can’t lock them away and expect them to stay clean once they get there. It is like wearing handcuffs, you cannot live normally, you live in fear of “that” phone call.
    As a step mother I am treated like this whole thing doesn’t affect me. I am kept out of the family loop about stuff going on. I am deeply affected by the death of my stepson. I can’t talk because I hear “at least you didn’t lose your son.” “Your kids are all alive.” I am grateful of that. But I still miss my step son, fear for my other stepson, and have the pain of watching my husband suffer so deeply for his sons. I love my husband, it hurts to see him in pain and it is confusing as he pulls away from everything and from me. I try to stay strong, but being human I have said hurtful things. My husband is sensitive and angry and trying to keep a lid on it all. I am plain frightened for my marriage. I know in this age of blended families I cannot be the only step-parent who is suffering. I could use a little support so I can be the best support for my husband.

    • Linda Rivera says:

      My beloved son Matt 23 died august 27,2016 I am a mess too trying to hold it all together myself. What makes it worse losing my son is the circumstances I am in My ex never told me he was found dead and in one of his girlfriends aprt that he was brought there dead and the police will not do anything about it. Then my ex shut me out of his funeral had him created and left our state. My new husband is recovering from cancer and has tried twice to end it since this happened . He can not wrap his head around how this happened. Everyday we find out more horrific things about my sons last moments. I can tell you that it is so hard to watch the world go on and your husband pain is all consuming . I am in therapy but I know you need to focus on your own health and that enjoy your children because life is too short . Your husband needs time and we all need to find some way to work through this . I have made many mistakes my emotions are all over . I am calm one minute and the next crazy. I have no other family neither of us do and I have the full responsibility on mu shoulders. I honestly would end it but my husband needs me and I have four furry children that need me and somedays I cant see straight. I will keep you in my prayers but you know what accept their may be no answers right now.

  23. Marybeth says:

    Beth, first please accept my sympathy for your loss. It’s such a shame that your grieving has been put on the back burner while you try to be there for your husband. I admire the fact that you are standing by him in his darkest time. My husband is not Matt’s father. Yet, he like you has continued to let me know he is there for me. Losing a child changes the parent. We are no longer who we used to be. Our lives, hopes and dreams have been shattered and we are forever broken. There really are no words to describe the deep grief we live with every waking moment. Unfortunately some days we are so wrapped up in our grief that we don’t see those around us and can’t acknowledge their pain. You have every right to talk about your kids. I have 2 step daughters and I’m trying to become a better friend to them as I know this helps their father. Believe me there are days I’m so jealous that my husband has his girls. I know it’s sad but i can’t help myself. Find a support group for you. You really are in a very difficult role. I admire your courage and loyalty. Your husband does too he just can’t express it right now. Know that the day will come when he realizes what an amazing woman you are. Please don’t give up on him. We really are broken and need help to navigate this difficult journey. God bless you.

  24. Faye Gotten says:

    December 29, 2016. My youngest son Matthew died from a Heroin overdose on December 6 . I found him in the bathroom dead in curled up on the floor. The door was locked so I had to break the frame to get in. It now seems like a dream. I would like to find a group of parents whose adult children have died from Heroin. I find a lot of information of what to do while they are alive but not when they have died. Any ideas? Thank you. Faye Gotten. fgotten9@Gmail.com

    • Marybeth says:

      Faye, I’m so sorry for your loss. Addiction is such a tough disease. Losing our children is absolutely the toughest thing we face as parents. Please know you are not alone in this journey. Look up http://www.grasphelp.org. It is a nationwide support group for mothers like us. There are also many groups on Facebook that deal with addiction loss.

    • Stephanie Naish says:

      I am so sorry Faye. My 23 year old so Austin died from a heroin overdose on December 14,2016. He was found by his boss,in the bathroom floor at work. I don’t know how to survive. It seems like this is a bad dream.

  25. Jennifer Scott says:

    I found my son dead from an overdose 11 days ago and I can’t even put it into words. Reading your story made me feel less alone and I identified with a lot. I’m a nurse too who tried to do everything possible to help, I had been able to resuscitate him on other occasions, just not this time. I too want to change treatment stays for longer periods, change how insurance companies make it next to impossible to get help, but not sure where to begin. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Marybeth says:

      jennifer. First accept my sympathy for the loss of your son. Losing our children to this disease is absolutely heartbreaking. I’m working in my state of Delaware to fight for changes in how those suffering from this disease receive treatment. Please find a grief support group in your area. Know you are not alone.

  26. Elva Joyner says:

    My dear son was found dead on 11/8/16. I was a middle school teacher and immediately retired. Thankful I have found this site. Struggling to survive.

    • Maureen fahy says:

      I am so sorry Elsa for your terrible loss. My son also was found dead in a sober living house in Florida on Sept 3 of 2016. It was in Lake Worth and owned by a Steven Johnson. The place had very lax supervision or rather no supervision at all. My son overdosed in a bathroom in the middle of the night but unbelievably was not discovered until 11:00 o’clock that morning when the house manager finally got out of bed. It is disgraceful. I never would have sent my son to flash if I had any idea about the lax conditions. They should have 2 or 3 shifts of people on duty at all times watching people coming and going. I am looking into bringing a lawsuit in order to shut these places down. I live in NJ.

    • Marybeth says:

      Elva, I’m so sorry you lost your son. Like you I could not go back to work and now try to fight to make changes so other mothers don’t join this horrible club. This grief is like none I’ve ever experienced and like you I’m struggling everyday. Please find a support group or a grief therapist. It helps to spend time with others who know this grief. Facebook has many groups that deal with addiction loss. Take care of yourself and know you are not alone.

  27. Evelyn says:

    Help get better

  28. Val says:

    I’m so thankful I found your story. My son died of his addiction 2 weeks ago and I can barely function. No one seems to understand the pain. He was my best friend even through his addiction. I too am a nicu nurse and am expected to return to work Monday. I just don’t think I can do it. The day I found him runs in a continuous loop in my mind all day. I can think of nothing else. It was the day after his birthday and he was excited and hopeful about starting a new treatment program the following day. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Maureen fahy says:

      I believe you can go out on disability for 26 weeks with partial pay if a psychologist writeso a report for human resources. In the meantime you can use up any sick days you have acquired while waiting for the disability to come through. You are probably suffering from complicated bereavement. Severe depression
      Anxiety and even pstd.

  29. Debbie says:

    My heart aches for everyone who has posted to this site! I too lost my 34 year old beautiful son Ray to complications brought on by his opiate addiction only 2 and a half weeks ago (1/9/2017)! There is no way anyone can know this kind of pain unless they actually experience the true devastation of losing their child! It is utterly impossible to conceive because we cannot bare the thought of it when it is not reality!
    When it is reality, we can not bare the pain! Every single one of us loved our sons and daughters because they were all extraordinary people! Extraordinary people that became ill with the disease of addiction. We all deeply loved our children and if we had the solution of how to save them, everyone of us would have!!! Addiction took our children! Not some weakness or lack of willpower!! Our children did not choose to become addicted to drugs. Addiction is like a cancer of the mind, some can beat it into remission and survive and for others it comes back with vengeance.
    We need more research and treatment centers as well as funding and mandatory insurance revisions. We need to erase the stigma and hostility shown toward addicts and lead the charge on changing the way addicts have been disciplined and ostracized for being ill. Treatment needs to be mandated at those crucial relapse times not just left up to the addict to seek or agree to go to treatment. We do not let a suicidal person decide if they want to get help. The law makes them get help!
    Maureen your writing skills are beautiful and reached right in and touched my heart!
    I urge you all to turn your grief and pain into action!! We owe it to the memory of our children who fought hard against something bigger than themselves! This fight isn’t over! We still need answers!

    • Marybeth says:

      Debbie. I’m so sorry you joined my club. It is a terrible place to be. We are not supposed to bury our children but so many of us have because of this mistreated, misunderstood disease. I advocate for better treatment in my state and will start to lobby the insurance to recognize Parity when treating addiction. Please find a support group in your area. Look up grasphelp.org.

      • Debbie says:

        Thank you Marybeth, I will take your advice as well as work hard on regaining my strength to continue to fight this horrific disease. Thank you for all you are doing! You are lovingly honoring your son’s dignity by fighting to change the things that have contributed to his passing. We may not get them back but we can win their fight for them!!
        Wishing you and everyone with aching hearts some flashes of peace between the sorrow!
        Sincerely Debbie

    • Maureen Fahy says:

      Thank you Debbie. I also immediately gave up my job of 10 years just like Elva. I don’t have the enthusiasm or focus to go back to my very busy and stressful job. I wish I had taken time off when my son was alive to give him more attention and give more thought about finding the right treatment instead of sending him to Florida where the rehab was only 30 days. The rehab transferred him to a halfway house that lacked any supervision at all. I ordered the pictures that the police took when they were called to the scene and the halfway house was disgusting. Mold was all over the shower curtain and shower tile. The floor had a filthy and stained rug. The rest of the house had stained and torn wall to wall carpeting that looked like it was there for the past 50 years. I had no idea the conditions would be so bad. It looked like a crack house. The owners are making money off of addicts who deserve much better. I wish my son had just come home after the rehab ended but fear that he was told repeatedly that if he went home he would just start using again. It was so sad to see the pictures but I felt compelled to get them. I had to know what my son looked like at the time of his death. His face looked angelic and so innocent. Maureen Fahy

  30. Joy Evans says:

    I just buried my beautiful daughter on January 19th, 2017. I am living in a fog. She was a great softball player and cheerleader in school. I feel the guilt, and grief that I never knew existed. We are not sure what she took, still waiting on the autopsy results. My Ashley would have been 30 years old next month. Some days I think I am going to be ok, and then I totally loose it. I feel as though I failed as a parent, but deep inside I know I did all I knew to help her. I never realized just how many of us are going through the same thing.

    • Marybeth says:

      Joy, everything you are feeling is normal. I still go over the what ifs and whys. I used to blame myself for everything that went wrong. Try to remember you did the best you could at the time. I always say hindsight is great if we only had it when we needed it. Addiction is very misunderstood and mistreated. All you can do is take one day at a time. Please know you are not alone. I’m always just an email away. mecichocki@gmail.com

  31. Renee Baxter says:

    I feel everyone’s pain. I too had a son that died this year Jan. 2, 2017 he was 36 and had been a addict for 7 years. He was such a great man .He just got out of his 4th rehab in florida which I talked him into going to. He was ablE to fly home on his sons 1st birthday dec.31. HE SPENT CHRISTMAS DAY WITH HIS WIFE AND HIS DAUGHTER who IS 4 AND HIS SON NOW ONE. TWO DAYs LATER HIS WIFE DROPPED HIM OFF AT HIS TRUCK AND THAT WAS THE LAST ANYONE HEARD FROM HIM.HE HAD BLOCKED MY CALLS SO I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO TALK TO HIM.I feel, so numb. I too want to help in anyway I can to get rehab stays longer than 30 days that just isn’t enough time.I’m glad I found this site

  32. Marybeth says:

    Renee, your story is similar to mine. Matt also went to rehab in Florida but he relapsed in 6 months and died there. I wish I brought him home but I am trying to learn not to beat myself up too much. I find that advocating for addiction does help ease my pain. Please find a support group in your area. I have found that being with people who understand helps tremendously. Take care of yourself and know you are not alone.

  33. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my one and only son to heroin on October5th 2016 to a overdose of heroin he did not know was cut with a lot of fentanyl. When the paramedics saved his heart had stopped they restarted his heart and got him to the hospital and stabilized him but told us he was playing dead he laid in the bed till Friday the 7th waiting for his heart into kidneys to be gifted to three other recipients. My days sound a lot like yours Alyssa where being punched in the stomach. I’m having a hard time going to work or even leaving the house. I’m having a hard time going to work or even leaving the house my world is torn apart and I no it will never be the same. I am reaching out to you and others that I know are going through the Sam gut-wrenching pain that I am feeling now. My son’s name was Zachary he was 30 years old worked everyday and had a heart of gold

  34. Shelli says:

    My beautiful son Jason who was 26 years old lost his battle on Dec. 14th, 2016. He has been fighting this battle for 8 years. It started when he was a junior in high school and had knee surgery then 6 weeks later ended up with a bad staph infection in that knee which he was in the hospital for a week on heavy pain meds. He went to rehab twice. He always gave it all he had, as he so wanted to be clean. And he had been clean now for nearly a year. Then I got the call from my husband that morning, my son overdosed in his car at work. At first I thought he just overdosed, but when I got to the hospital and they were trying to revive him, I could see all life was gone. I prayed it was all a bad dream, but everyday I wake up and am faced with reality once again. Like a stab in the heart every morning. He lived with us, so everyday the reminders of him surround me. But my son had prayed to God to help him and I believe that was Gods way of taking away all of his pain and struggles. I know my son is finally happy and at peace. But I will miss him every day of my life. And I look forward to the day I get to see him again. I go to a meeting once a week for parents who have lost their kids to addiction and it really does help to talk to others who truly know what we are going through.

  35. Crystal says:

    Marybeth, I’m so very sorry for your loss of your most precious gift. I also lost my son, my only child to a heroin overdose. He was 20, and had been to rehab once (28 day), overdoses 2 weeks after getting out.

    I relate that so much if what you have said. Even losing your career. I lost my teaching career. I would love to talk with you.

    Crystal

  36. Lisa Damron says:

    I lost my son 9/24/14, the day before his 32nd birthday. My daughter found him in my home dead on his bed. I had went to work that morning not knowing he was lying dead. Apparently he had used after midnight then his heart stopped around 2am. Jess was was 1st born son, he was my life when he was born! I never let him out of my sight his first 2 yrs! Jess spent 2 yrs in Iraq with the army. He kept his addiction hid well for several yrs, even went thru college, made straight A’s, graduated as a Respiratory Therapist, I’m a RN and I was so proud of him. But then his stealing started, my jewelry, tv’s, car stereo,checks so much stuff. He went to rehab at VA hospital twice. In Jan. 2013 he got endocarditis from shooting up opana, and had to have heart surgery. But still couldn’t quit using. He has 3 daughters, I’m so grateful for them. A part of him. I tried loving him, threatening him, tough love, ignored him, everything. But I failed him, I’m still so angry that my son died, I feel like I am so empty inside, with all the joy sucked out of me. The pain never goes away, nor the guilt and what if’s. I pray God will bless and comfort all of you.

  37. Nichole Jackson says:

    Marybeth,
    I just called u and talked to u and can here the sadness u are carrying.i am so sorry u are going through this pain.i too lost my 15yr.old son Tyler to an accidental morphine overdose on December 28,2015.i don’t know where to start but I want to keep his memory alive and help others….Thank you for being here…
    Nichole

  38. Barbara Oleynick says:

    Marybeth,
    Tomorrow will be one year since my precious son John was found dead from a heroin overdose. I know, like many who have posted here, that he no longer suffers, no longer will ache for the life he desperately wanted, free of the torment of addiction. On the 31rst of December I made a brave decision to let him be free by deleting all of our communications throughout his countless years of of drug addiction and moments of sobriety, “I’m sorry Mom, it won’t again Mom, please don’t shut me out. I can do this Mom. I want to do this Mom.” We tried everything..rehabs, meetings, tough love, soft love, understanding, anger, casting him out of the house countless time..perhaps he’ll learn to garner the willpower to stop. He came to the back door one time, disheveled asking to come in, he wanted to use the bathroom, I said no. I can’t get that memory out of my head. I dealing with chemotherapy for breast cancer, I was so trained and I said no to my precious son and I can’t forgive myself for being so heartless. But that was just one of the moments when it was too much. A few weeks later I was helping to get into a program at the college where I taught, and a small apartment nearby …he was so happy, so sure this time he would do it. It lasted three weeks.
    I felt lighter, freer when I deleted all the communications, it was setting him free as well, but these last few days have been gut wrenching. I know this will pass, but I ache so badly I just want to die. One more hug. One more ” Me m, what do you want me to make for dinner?” One more,”Night, Mom, I love you.”

    • Maureen fahy says:

      The owner of the halfway house where my son overdosed and died in lake worth florida was just arrested by the palm beach cty sober homes task force. It was in the palm beach post written by christine stapleton. The charge is accepting kickbacks from laboratories charging thousand per week to insurance companies for urine tests testing for 50 different substances. My son was dead for 8 bours in the bathroom before he was found by his roommate
      No structure or supervision. The half way house would illegally get this insurance money. The addicts with insurance had their names sold to the halfway house by the treatment center. They were nothing more than a way for the treatment center and halfway house to make money.

  39. Ingrid Kline says:

    Hi Mary Beth,
    Your story is everything I’m feeling and more. It’s nice to know that there are people out there that truly understand how it feels to lose a child to these horrible demons and drugs. You know exactly how I am thinking, how much I tried to do , yet feel like I failed my son in some why. The what ifs, the if only’,.o so would like to be able to stay in touch with you or someone that truely gets it. I miss my son every day. I will never get over this loss and I need to be able to feel what I need to feel. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s nice to know that someone truely understands and gets it.

  40. Paula says:

    Hello,

    Very touching. I just lost my son 3 weeks ago to a heroin overdose. Like you, my heart is totally gone. The pain is unbearable and excruciating.

    Johnny was my only child. He was 26 years old. He was my life. Now he is gone and I have never felt so alone. I have been a single mother since my son was 3.

    I keep reliving the moment that the police rang my doorbell, the what if’s are still happening. I am even angry at my son for leaving me.

    Any words on how I am supposed to forward?

    Thanks!

    • Veronica says:

      We lost our only child, our son, to a heroin overdose in May, 2015. He was 28 and had struggled off and on since he was 17. I can tell you that the first six months after he was gone, I moved in a fog, pretty much numb. Then, last year, I went through anger and bitterness and emptiness. I was negative. I didn’t see why I was still alive. I didn’t want to see pictures of my friends’ grandkids. All this was in my head; I never SAID anything to anyone, although I felt like it was radiating out of every pore. But then, slowly, it receded somewhat, and I was able to reconnect with people I had cut off because their sons had grown up with mine. I was able to have a days or days where it wasn’t on my mind and I wasn’t questioning “Why?”
      I will tell you my friends pulled me through. But I will also tell you there were times when it was healing to be alone. Take it as it comes. Nothing will ever hurt this much, though. I am hurting for you right now. Please stay strong.

    • Elizabeth Lehew says:

      I hope you will be able to forget that knock on your door. If there was anything good or happy earlier in that day…focus on that part.

  41. SHERRY TURNER says:

    DO YOU BELIEVE OUR BOYS ARE IN HEAVEN? DO YOU THINK WE WILL EVER SEE THEM AGAIN??

  42. Cheryl Calabrese says:

    My son Sam passed February 16, 2017 at home. I found him outside dead on the wicker chair he always sat on to have a cigarette. He was living with us and had been battling addicting for about nine years. I loved Sam with all of my heart and tried everything to help him from intensive out patient, NA & AA meetings, 28 day in treatment, weekly private counseling and an out of state sober living house. Whatever I could afford.
    I know everyone says to kick them out and that they will get better when they hit rock bottom but I couldn’t do it. I kept asking myself, what would God do? Would he throw someone out who has a disease? And the answer was no so I didn’t listen to all the people who didn’t have a loved one battling this disease and kept him home with me and took care of him the best I could.
    Believe me I don’t pass judgement on anyone and how they handle their loved ones and it wasn’t easy on his two brothers or his father. We hid any valuables, slept with car keys, cash and credit cards under the mattress. I was grateful that Sam wasn’t violent and stopped stealing from us when there wasn’t anything he could take.
    Addiction is a horrible disease and until it’s taken seriously by the medical community and insurance companies nothing will change.
    I consider myself an intelligent woman and read everything I could. I knew in my heart that the success rate of recovery was almost zero percent especially for kids who start using in middle or high school. Do you know that almost no medical schools require that doctors study addiction???
    What kind of a disease requires the patient to cure themselves? Why isn’t there funding for research on addiction on finding a cure? Most addicts also have an additional underlying mental illness. Sam suffered from anxiety and always felt like he never fit in. Where’s the oversight on all these expensive “private” treatment facilities?
    I pray everyday in order to get through this. I have wonderful memories of my sweet, kind, gentle middle son, Sam. My heart is broken and I will miss him for the rest of my life.
    I guess I just needed to write a little bit of my thoughts.
    Thank you,

    • Faye Gotten says:

      Your story is so much like mine. My 34 year old died at home on December 6, 2016. I found him in the bathroom during the night. I had tried everything for five years. I know the pain you are feeling. I attend a Grief Share that helps. I know that Matthew would not have been able to stop using heroin so at least he is in peace. I do wish the justice department tried to find the supplier. I am praying for all the parents of children that have addiction s. Faye Gotten

      • Maureen fahy says:

        I don’t think kicking them out of the house is the answer. I have heard of situations where this was done and the addict ended up dead anyway. Then the parents have the added guilt about the fact that they made their child leave. I think that placing them in a long term facility for ten months to a year or a very structured and supervised sober living house gives them the best chance at recovery. I wish i had done this and used my ira to pay for it. Instead i was simply usi g insurance to pay for a 28 day program and then a very unstructured and unsupervised halfway house in fla where the owner was jist arrested last week. My son obviously is much more important than my ira but i necer thought about using it at the time. Now it is too late and the money means nothing to me.

      • Paula says:

        I am sorry for your loss Faye.

    • Linda Rivera says:

      Cheryl, My heart goes out to you. I lost my beautiful only son Matt on august 27 2016. What makes my heartbreak even more is that my ex exclude me from everything and I never got to say goodbye to my son. I also wasn’t allowed to have anything of his. worse after the coroners report came out it was so much worse I found out my son was found dead at one of his fathers girlfriends house and he plied our son with drugs and alcohol and he was physically violent towards him and wanted to keep him under his control. On my sons six month anniversary of his death I found out my ex took his ashes and gave them to his girlfriend to wear . He is really an evil sick person. I love mu son Matt so much and I cant wrap my head around the fact he is truly gone.I found comfort knowing at least heis safe with god and that he has no pain and is not hurting anymore. We do all we can for our children a mother is still a mother even in death. I found therapy helps me and remembering him each day in small ways helps but truly it is hard to live without him here. God Bless Linda

    • Ingrid kline says:

      Thank you

    • Valerie G. says:

      This sounds exactly like our story. We found our son in the chair at the computer desk. It was the morning after his 23rd birthday. He had been struggling for 5 years and tried so hard to get better. He had completed many outpatient and inpatient programs and was due to start a new one that next morning. He had been clean for six weeks. Everyone told us to kick him out and he would get better but I couldn’t. I loved him too much to see him suffer anymore than he already was. I pray for better treatment options so other people won’t have to go through this. The pain is unbearable. I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • Cheryl Calabrese says:

        Hi Valerie
        I am truly sorry for your loss too and for everyone who has posted on this site.
        I know it’s difficult to shut out the advice that everyone gives you when a loved one has this disease but we all have to do what we think is best and follow our hearts.
        I will keep you, your family and your son in my prayers.

  43. Ingrid kline says:

    I was told that I needed to use tough love, it really was hard. I left him in jail, hating myself for it. He told me that he wanted to get clean. He blamed me for everything that went wrong in his life. He chose to use, he chose to get drunk, I did everything I could. I hated myself for years… I don’t hate myself any more. I know I did all I could for him. The demons wouldn’t let him go. I know he is were he is free of those demons now. He came to me in a dream and told me he was happy now.

    • Paula says:

      Hi Ingrid,

      I used tough love with my son off and on over his 8 straight years of addiction. I think, unfortunately, the disease just won. It is still the most horrific thing that could have ever happened to me. I am in so much pain. Pain that I never thought was humanly possible.

      • Ingrid kline says:

        I certainly understand that pain. I lost my son to his addictions December 28, 2015. The sadness I feel and the emptiness is unbearable. With help I am trying to cope. There’s not a day I don’t wonder if or what, but we are human, we do the best we can with our children.

        • Paula says:

          It is the worst pain possible. I am worried about returning to work, with all of the “I’m so sorry’s”.

  44. Ingrid kline says:

    It was difficult going back to work, but my boss was really good about keeping people from mentioning it. I work in retail so it was hard when customers would mention it. My boss kept me busy and tried to keep me busy enough where I really didn’t have time to dwell on my loss

  45. Ingrid kline says:

    There are way to many of us having to experience the same thing. I wish there was more answers and help to stop this from happening so much. I thought I was one of few who has experience such a loss .

  46. Anne Yates says:

    MaryBeth, my name is Anne. For the first time in the last 13 years, I found your voice that matches my own.
    I gave birth to 3 sons and 1 daughter. I never even imagined or thought the drug demons that would already take my 2 older sons. And now threatening to take my youngest son, the love of my life!
    I’ve had a very successful education and career. But I can’t even move most days now. I’m totally consumed with grief and I’ve fought for him everyday. His sister has him now, but I doubt it will change him.
    I’m stumbling for the correct words and descriptions for the trauma that holds me.
    I lost both of my parents between my sons deaths.
    I never took time off from work to mourn because I had to keep making a living.
    My ex husband was very mean emotionally, got out of paying child support.
    However, my last living son, has brought him to me, seeking forgiveness and support to possibly save our last son.
    We also share a beautiful 11 year old grandson. He’s the delight of all of our lives.
    He lost his Dada at the age of 5.
    I could go on, but really thought we might connect?
    Please help me if you can. Thank you.

    • Linda Rivera says:

      Anne, My name is Linda and I too understand your pain. I am truly sorry for your loss and you have to put your younger son in gods hands and pray that he wants to live more than the drug. It is so hard to accept losing your children or faced with that real possibility, I know all to well you could lose them in a heartbreaking minute. I am at least comforted knowing my Matt is safe and free and that while he was here I loved him with my whole heart and that I gave him what ever I had. It has been 6 months and 22 days since I lost Matt and everyday I cry and struggle to get through the day with out crying. I feel like I have no purpose and I want him back. It is a very very a long process and there is so much stigma and sometimes you feel alone. I will pray for you and find a grief support group that will help you and the most important thing they told me at my group is not to keep playing it over and over what you could of done differently and not to keep blaming yourself. Our children were sick they made bad choices and they wouldn’t want us to do this to ourselves.I hope this helps Linda

  47. Faye Gotten says:

    My Grief Share Group will be finished in three weeks. It was really good here in Nashville. I wanted to know if anyone knows if there is a group for parents that have lost children to drug addiction in Nashville. I am not finding one. I urge everyone to attend a Grief support. It has been three months since my Matthew died at home of a Heroin overdose. I pray for youall.

  48. Cindy Zimmerman says:

    I feel empathy for all who post here and cry as I read each story. I last spoke with my son, Jacob, 4 month ago today. We had spent 10 years struggling with his anger, depression, anxiety and feelings of failure that he medicated with xanax, percoset and seroquel among other drugs. I tried to lead him to help but never was able to convince him to enter any type of rehab or counseling. He told me that nothing would help. I knew he had received his xanax from his psychiatrist a few days before and I urged him to use them wisely. On November 18, 2016 I held his hand and told him that I loved being with him and chattered away about our family Thanksgiving coming up in a few days. He said, “I love you, Mommy.” as he got out of the car. His girlfriend called me over the weekend that he wasn’t answering his phone and I used my key to check on him in his apartment. I found him and hugged his cold body. I still feel how my heart stopped that moment. He was 28 years old. I never gave up hope that he would find peace in this life and I will always regret that I was not able to guide him in the right path. It is hard to remember happy times because the loss hurts too much. I understand that he was an adult but he did not make adult decisions. I hated a lot of his behavior and choices but I will always love the sweet, tortured soul inside. Somehow, I keep busy and look for distractions. I need to be there for my younger son and keep living.

  49. Lisa Calbert says:

    My sister just lost her son to a heroin overdose 2 weeks ago and I was wanting to share this blog with her. Never followed a blog before how do you fallow? Thanks You

  50. Kassie Smith says:

    Oh MaryBeth,I share your unbearable pain,I lost my son,Keith just 4 weeks ago 2/28/17…He was unmarried so we were quite close,he lived nearby..All our visits to sports events,concerts,dinners here,volley ball events he was always happy..His numerous older friends never saw anything but a kind respectable gentlemen. ..but in his 20’s he did take a liking to xanax…it took a bit of stupid stuff he did to realize, it was a poison for him,he recently let his g.f.move in with him n because of her past n losing alot of loved ones,he appeared more down( he lost his best friend cuz.jan.2014 n a friend almost a yr.ago from suicide. .so I believe living in darkness again may have triggered something. .Well I was on vaca he came to do laundry n he was found 16 hrs.later deceased right here where i am in my addition..He faded off the phone w/ g.f…no visible signs waiting for toxicology. .I am out of work for a bit to process this heart wrenching loss..My other child will be 40 happily married with a family..my lifesaver. .Keith turned 35 in jan.on his dads b.day. .his dad broke in my home n found him…thank you for your story..you put the hammer on the nail for me…prayers for this disease.*****.

    • Ingrid kline says:

      Wow, my heart aches for you. Why do so many of our children have to pass this way. I’m sending big Hugs ?

    • Linda Rivera says:

      Kassie, I am so very sorry for your loss. I too lost my son son August 27,2016 It such a horrible pain knowing as a mother you did all you could and you couldn’t save him .I miss my son every second, minute, hour of every day. I replay his death over and over in my mind especially Friday into Saturday . Thank God you have another healthy happy son and you both can at least support each other. I have no other children and I think of the lost potential and how many things Matt will never get to do and how I will never have a grandchild .and all things we planned to do together and now will never happen. Everyday there are reminders everywhere of him. Kassie the days ahead will not be easy find a good support group and take care of yourself. Linda

      • Momma Bear says:

        Dear friends in need. My only child, also named Matt, passed in Oct 2012. He od’ed, alone in his apt. His work mgr. Asked for a well – care check in 2 days; Matt never missed work. He od’ed in his car once & a stranger called 911. Put in jail for heroin he finally served his year. He died 4 months later. He & I were so very close. He was a renasounce man at 26. Genius IQ which obviously means nothing if you do not put that gift to good use. I miss conversing when he was healthy. I come unglude every time I open a drawer & find a reminder of him. My problem is I do not see a future for myself. A class? Church? What? May God please bless us all & show us what to do. Like one of you my dogs are my life line. I will hold this phone & deeply pray for every one of you.

  51. Paul collins says:

    I have also lost a child to heroine , my baby girl whom I was supposed to protect and nature has succumbed to a disease that I could not understand . I was a firefighter for 27 yrs, (how ironic my daughter passed at age 27), and saw many unpleasant things while helping and serving. I was lucky enough to be able to work once every four days and be home on a consistent basis. But was separated and divorced when my daughter was 5 also. I continued to be the father that I was previously moving only 3 blocks away so that I would not change my children’s situation as much as possible. What I had most of all were my children ,especially my daughter.when I had a rough day , she was the one with my son whom I turned to for comfort, they were my rocks . I too have heard all the suggestions and pro faith speak ,to try and comfort me since her passing in feb. I am trying to be strong for my son and coping with my present wife’s recovery from cancer. But without my rock I am struggling to feel any joy and cry frequently..Can you imagine a big tough fireman balling his eyes out . I’ve been told this is part of the grieving process , but I don’t think that I’ll ever be the person I was. Or feel lighthearted again .

    • Michele Stopinski says:

      My son brett died March 7. I am devastated.Hr had friends that died from heroin. He swore he never did it. He had a 4 year old daughter that he adored. I blame the girl he was with even though he made his own choices, I have no answers. it is awe full!
      Michele Stopinski

      • Ingrid kline says:

        It sure is, we can’t control every thing our children do, it just makes me so angry that our children died from such an aweful, useless thing. I hate drugs, drug dealers . This stuff needs to be stopped. Why did they have to get hooked on it.

  52. Sherrie says:

    I just read this story and all of the comments. I was overwhelmed with the fact that my basic story was told over and over. My only son, Tyler who was 28, had two dibilitating strokes as a result of his heroin and meth use and was declared brain dead on 10/25/16. He left behind an 8-year old son as well as his father, uncles, sister/cousin, nices & nephews, grandmother, an amazing girlfriend, and ME! In our loss however, he was able to donate his organs and give life to 5 other families; a legacy he left for his son.

    I am functioning, barely, but I will never be the same, ever! And, I’m afraid Tyler’s father and I may not survive this storm as a couple. He is not able to express his grief and not able to share his feelings. All he can say is that he is so angry with Tyler for hurting those who loved him by continuing his addiction and his eventual death; like that was what Tyler wanted to do??? The one person I thought I could rely on to weather this storm together but he is not there. He would rather drown his sorrows with alcohol; ironic given his condemnation of Tyler for his addiction. We attended monthly GRASP meetings for a few months, and I continue to do so on my own. It helps to talk to others who know the situation and I would recommend it if you have access in your area.

  53. Paula says:

    Hello,

    I feel the same way as you. I have no idea how to move forward. My life will never be the same without my son in it. We had a very close relationship. He was my everything! I miss Johnny more than words can say. The pain is absolutely unbearable at times.

    • Cindy Zimmerman says:

      How to move forward? I don’t know. I cover up and keep busy but cry almost every day. There are so many triggers that can set me off. I can’t watch movies about drugs, rehabs, death and loss. I can’t watch revenge movies because there is no one to take revenge on. I see families with adorable young children and remember days when the future looked bright. Now there can be no bright future
      . I don’t know where to go to find peace.

      • Paula says:

        I cannot find peace either. I stay in bed until at least 11:00 am everyday, just hoping and praying that I will never wake up again. I have been away from work now for 8 weeks, and I am still petrified to go back. It just hurts more than words can ever explain.

  54. Reading over all these similar stories & thank you for the caring comments on my post…horrible week last week on reading the autopsy on my son rather heathy,great teeth no needle use ever..but highly toxic results could the cocaine have been that cut,I will never know…hurts so much…big old mess his last hours w/ g.f.makes ya wonder accident? I suppose..he never would want to see us hurt so nad..jeez..we all have the same unanswered questions..God Bless Kassie

  55. Cindi says:

    I lost my son to an overdose of alcohol and prescription pain pills onApril 5, 2017. As you know the heartache is more than anyone could ever imagine. I am so scared of what I am going to “be Like”. I have Christian faith and that is what is getting me out of bed each day. I have a wonderful daughter who is mourning the loss of her brother and another son who is a recovering heroin addict, and a brother that is a severe alcoholic and I am awaiting his death.I think people are judging me, because of the addictions in my family.. I am married to a man that is not their father and he doesn’t understand addictions either, he thinks it’s a choice and I think he blames bad parenting. I did start counseling once per week but I feel like I need 24 hour help, not sleeping and lost ten pounds in two weeks. I am so happy to have found your story. God Bless you and my deepest sympathy and prayers on the loss of your precious son.
    Cindi

    • Kassie Smith says:

      Cindi,we are all in this together, I thought I was having a better day its been 8 wks.,my sons death was a total shock…he was in the middle of a vicious day of ( now I saw phone) tormenting texts from the g.f.,well 1 line of cocaine was laced bad killed him instantly…16 hrs.till he was found at my home…going to a regular grieving meeting tonight n a grasp one tomorrow in Phila.tonight I will be the only one with an adult child death….hang in there we have a long journey for sure…:'(

    • Maureen fahy says:

      Dear Cindi: i am so sorry for your loss of your son and your anguish. My son died 7 months ago while in a “sober living” house in florida. My grief is complicated by my guilt for not putting more research into where I was sending him. I should have used my savings to place him in a house that had structure and supervision
      Unbeknowst to me not all so er living homes are the same. I think the counseling is a good idea and should help you on the coming months. Maureen Fahy

    • Anne Yates says:

      My dear Cindi, it breaks my heart to hear your story because it parallels mine. I gave birth to 4 beautiful children with the same father.
      I lost both of my oldest sons due to prescription drug overdose. One if them leaving a 5 year old son/grandson. The love of our lives!??
      I almost lost my only daughter to heroin. Luckily, she had the strength to overcome it and leads a great life!
      My youngest son is still fighting heroin and meth.
      I totally understand the stress you feel and how scared you are!
      My boyfriend of 8 years doesn’t get it either. Even though he did all kinds of drugs, and I have done none, he still thinks it’s a moral choice.
      It’s not!
      Please hang in there and get help. It will make all the difference! It won’t cure, but will help.
      Contact me anytime. XO. Anne

      • Cindi says:

        Dear Anne,
        God Bless you and give you strength each and every moment. What other support systems do you have ? I believe that only people that have lost a child truly understand. Words from the pastor’s sermon the day of my son’s funeral: “People should not be judged on their mistakes or accomplishments- but who they truly are” My son Christopher was truly a compassionate, beautiful soul, and a blessing to this world and I know now , he is with the Lord. I look forward to seeing him again someday-this is what keeps me going each moment of my day, it’s not easy but I will do it for Christopher. My email is cindiln@live.com if you want to write outside this forum.
        XO
        Cindi

  56. Ann Derge says:

    I am so sorry for all of your losses. My son died of a heroin overdose on April 14, 2017. So many questions. So much confusion. Such deep grief. I cannot even fathom how we will have any kind of a normal life going forward. It gives me some hope to know that their are other moms/parents in the same situation who seem to be finding a way to live good lives after such a terrible loss. My son was 24 years old. We were waiting for a bed to open up for residential treatment. He had been through a residential treatment program and had been sober from September until sometime in February when he relapsed. I feel that there is such a lack of available and affordable treatment given the huge heroin epidemic our country is facing and our children are victims of. Wishing for us all to find healing and peace after such tragic losses of young people who have left us way to soon.

  57. judy dutcyvich says:

    I lost my son in February.
    We are all still devastated.
    He was our family’s center.
    Our world.
    Now he’s gone.
    How can any human being give such a poison to other human beings for money and live with themselves day in and day out.

    How can you just take another person out like that along with their families you don’t even know. I have your phone number as the cops don’t probe the last number called on the cell phone for hooking up with drugs. That would be the obvious thing to do.

    What could possibly motivate the police not to act on such vital information likely leading them to a killer with no conscience. Who has likely killed since he this drug dealer killed my son. The police agreed with me on that one. They have done nothing, I never hear from them!

    • Paula says:

      Hi Judy,
      I lost my son Johnny in February also. He was my only child. I am still pretty much crippled because of his death, however, I am going to fight on behalf of getting stricter laws into place for drug dealers. They absolutely need to be accountable for all of these unnecessary deaths. It is no different than taking a gun and shooting them in the head. The only difference is that the “gun” is the “needle”. I have already written several letters to our local representatives, and I was actually invited to go into the statehouse to speak on these issues. As far as the cell phones, I had a detective who received one of my letters call me up 3 weeks ago and asked me if anyone took my son’s phone after he died. I told him “no”, and he said that in the city where he works, this is an automatic thing. They get the phones within 2 days at the most. I still have not heard back from him, and so my hope is that he was successful in getting some leads that will lead them to the scum bag drug dealers. I will continue to fight the fight for my son as long as I live. Sorry for your loss Judy.

  58. Maureen fahy says:

    Dear Judy: my son died im sept. 2016 in a “sober” living house in florida. I also o tained his phone and informed the police of the last phone # that he called and which called him back soon before he overdosed in the middle of the night. The calls were made at 3 to 4 a.m. obviously this was the person who sold him the drugs. The police claimed the phone # was no longer working, but I called the # and a male voice answered. The poloce refuse to pursue this person in spite of repeated pleas from me. I have also written to the prosecutor and to the state atty general with no luck. I am shocked as you are that nothing is being done. Just like you our family is devastated and it does not seem to be getting any better as time passes. Again I am so sorry.

  59. Cynthia McGinnis says:

    I cry as I read this. I was crying before, and I’ll be crying still. I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel I’m going to lose my son at any moment. I’m so hurt. Confused, heartbroken. My son is 29. He just got out of a 5 day detox today. He was trying to get into rehab, but his insurance denied the approval. My family has all tried helping him. Giving him a week or 2 to stay, save up money to get a room to rent. He’s burnt so many bridges. He has never stolen, but he has become a very good liar. Hunter has a heart of gold, handsome and funny…everyone loves Hunter. It’s just that they can’t trust him to be honest anymore, he can’t stay away from drugs and alcohol. I wish I could have him live with me, but I rent a room myself. He’s out walking around today, already on drugs and I’m so scared because I know it’s just a matter of time, before I lose my son. He overdosed on heroine just this past Sunday night. Bless us all.

  60. Laura says:

    I lost my 21 year old son, Andrew April 29th 2017 to a drug overdose. The report not back but the young man that was with him, although in a coma for 2 days, lived. He remembers drinking Codeine cough syrup and crushing xanax snorting and putting in the drink…. all bought from a pharmacy. They were with 2 girls earlier so perhaps after they were already high and out of it they took something else….?

    We’re from Chicago and by son was in Boynton Beach, Florida, sober for 7 months prior to this ONE fatal relapse. He was living in a sober living house. Yes, it was lax and unrestricted but I was ok with that because he had amazing support with the group of young men in the house. They were calling me with concerns regarding Andrew slipping into a possible relapse. He stopped going to meetings with them, he met a girl and was in a toxic relationship, he was stressed and stopped going to therapy. He was no longer focused on sobriety.

    The house manger didn’t find them until 10:30 am locked in the room. I’ve gone over it and over it in my mind until my logic regarding Andrew’s disease forces me to realize that nothing will bring him back. It’s nobody’s fault. His tragic death to overdose has opened the door to bonding with many mothers that have lost their son’s and daughters the same way and I have learned something from it. There was nothing any of us could have done to prevent it from eventually happening short of handcuffing our adult kids to a chair and locking them into a room where we could monitor them 24/7.

    I met a mother who lost her 17 year old son to heroin while she slept in her bed and he was just below her on the porch struggling for his life and eventually losing his battle. Another mom that lost her daughter at work, her stepping out on her break to do drugs and literally walking back in and collapsing, co workers performing CPR, hence immediate help yet not enough to save her life. Another mom that lost her 20 year old son in their home, not sure exact time of death but she made breakfast for his sister and took her to school, cleaned the kitchen before checking on him. Could he have been saved if she got to him sooner?

    My point is that we are powerless over our loved ones addiction. We are parents and we want to save our children. They were born with a disease. The drugs wear out their young bodies, weaken their hearts, trick their brains into thinking that they cannot be happy without them. They will find a way to get them. It would happen anywhere they lived. Some will survive some will not.

    My son’s struggle is over but mine’s just begun. I want him back so bad it hurts. The pain is excruciating. I wake up every morning in a panic…..my son is gone God please help me! I’m pissed off at the world. Why my son? Not my Andrew. I was going to spend Mother’s Day with him, I was going to buy a condo in Florida and spend half the year with my baby. I miss him so much… I feel so empty. It’s raw, it’s new, I’m still trying to accept that I won’t get him back.

    I must learn to live without his physical body here but I know he’s always with me. I talk to him all day long. I ask him why he broke his promise to me….I never get an answer. But I know he didn’t mean to. We told each other every day, 10 times a day, that we loved each other. He thanked me for everything I did for him and for being there for him no matter what. I never gave up on him and he knew it. I have no regrets. My son had a disease and he fought hard to live but he lost his battle. I know I will see him again someday and I’m looking forward to it…..! But now I have a life to live and other people that love and care about me. My daughter needs me. She’s only 23 years old. I have 3 step daughters. I have an amazing husband that Andrew loved. He knew I was safe with him and that gave him peace and eased his anxiety.

    Someday I’ll wake up and the sun will be shining through my bedroom window and I’ll actually smile and feel peace. I am hopeful.

  61. Dawn Zabor says:

    I also lost a son to a Heroin/Fentanyl overdose two years ago He was 32 yrs old I also have another son who is a recovering Heroin addict and he has been clean for about 15 months He did not stop using when his brother died Which caused a lot of worry pain and questions from people who do not understand addiction I also have a daughter who is a Nurse I am saddened every day by the loss of my son I am still angry at him but I go between anger and sadnesss to thinking well he did it to himself all the time realizing that he had a disease He was very reckless with his life and using drugs always thinking that he was invincible No one could save him or prevent him from doing what he Did I went through enabling and not enabling kicking him and his brother out numerous times They always promised to quit but never did I am learning how to live and be happy without him in my life but as you know it is extremely hard to do I also just recently started dating again I could not hardly function when both of my boys were in active addiction I am always worried about the other shoe dropping for my other son but again I have no control over his life or him I attend NarAnon meetings near where I live I have been to a counselor and Grief Support Groups Time does not help it only gets worse I hope some day to find Peace and Serenity and learn how to stop being mad at my son and my ex-husband for enabling him May his soul rest in Peace No more hurting for him No more having to live a lie If my son “Christopher” knew how much he would hurt us he never would have died I always say and I truly believe that in my heart Dawn ” a grieving mother”?

    • Kass says:

      Thank you so much for your comment,your feelings made me think of my early morning today,same mad feeling …yet I know our close bond my son Keith would of never wanted to see me left in such debilitating pain…( He passed from a sudden fentynal cocaine overdose 2-27-17…My pain weakiins every minute 35 yrs.old with a normal living pattern,tearing me apart because I was on vaca n he was remodeling my bathroom by himself n was not found for 16 hrs.by his dad at my home…what a wasted talent…My condolences to whoever reads this**

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