A Son’s Overdose | A Mother’s Profound Grief, Strength and Hope

A Son’s Overdose | A Mother’s Profound Grief, Strength and Hope

The following is a guest post by Laura Rosch. She’d shared this as a comment on another guest post appearing on BreakingTheCycles.com. As I wrote to Laura, I was struck by all that she had written, but this part really hit me:

“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 [Andrew] 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.”

I think BTC readers will be touched by Laura’s sharing of her profound grief and touched by her profound courage, strength and hope, as well.

I Lost My Son to a Drug Overdose by Laura Rosch

I lost my 21 year old son, Andrew, April 29th 2017 to a drug overdose. The report is 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 it and putting it 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….?

A Son's Overdose | A Mother's Profound Grief, Strength and Hope

Andrew with his sister, Kristin

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 a.m. 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 sons 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, coworkers performing CPR, hence immediate help yet not enough to save her life. Another mom 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 one’s 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.

2 Responses to A Son’s Overdose | A Mother’s Profound Grief, Strength and Hope

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Dear Laura, I am so sorry for your loss. You are a courageous and loving mom to share Andrew’s illness and his death. I want to thank you for doing this.

    • Laura Vanallen says:

      Hi Laura
      My name is Laura too. I so much share your pain. I too lost a son to a drug overdose a little over three years ago, and how I wish no mother had to go through this. I still cry everyday, and I still can’t believe I have to accept he isn’t coming back. I too have anger at the world. It’s beyond disbelief that our children aren’t here, and there is just taking one day, even one moment at a time. You do have people there that need you, and always know that your son is still with you. I can’t wait for that day that I can be with him again too. Look for signs that he may be sending you. Always talk to him, because I’d like to believe they can hear. Many hugs to you
      Laura

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