A Story of Addiction & Loss

Month: November 2021

Thankfully Broken


As Thanksgiving approaches I’m finding it hard to be thankful.  My grief has returned and has decided to batter my already damaged heart.  My family is broken and can never be returned to what it once was. A son is gone and will never take a seat at my holiday table again. 

I will never hear his voice.  Never see his smile.  Never welcome his wife or children into my home.  I will never see my two sons, now men hug or laugh about childhood memories. 

I tell myself it will be ok.  That I am ok.  My mind tries to by into my thoughts but my heart knows the truth.  I am not ok and never will be again. 

Precious memories flood my brain.  Past Thanksgivings when my house was full of family and friends.  Not an empty seat in the house.  Conversation and laughter filling every room.  Everyone healthy and happy sharing stories of the past year.  Three generations under one roof seated at one table. My precious boys letting everyone know what they wanted from Santa. 

As the years marched on everything remained the same. Year after year the ritual of Thanksgiving remained unchanged.  Boys became teens who became men always coming together to celebrate our blessings. 

Oh how I wish I could turn back time to the simpler days before old age, illness and addiction began to steal pieces of my life.  Days before your death broke my heart. 

You would think after 7 years, the holidays would have lost that relentless grip on my heart.  You would think I would have mastered how to survive the day that society emphasizes with such an ungodly expectation of perfection.  You would think I would have had enough of the I wonder, I should have or could haves to last a lifetime. 

You would think that after 7 years I could control the tears as I shop for the fixings that you will no longer eat. That seeing a pumpkin pie would not be like a knife in my heart. You would think that after all the therapy I’ve had I would have the tools to get through the day with a smile on my heart. 

Grief is funny.  You never know when or how it will hit.  You never know what will trigger the pain that seems to hide for months until the holiday music starts.  How seeing another mother walking with her two sons can bring back joy mixed with pain.  How memories can warm my heart as it continues to break. 

Tomorrow I will remember my blessings.  I will remember those days of innocence.  The holidays when my family was healthy and whole. When we shared the joy that comes with gathering together.  When my two sons stood together in the cold, their breath becoming visible in the frigid air as they fried our Thanksgiving turkey. Smiling at me when I snuck out to snap a picture. 

I will be grateful that I had you in my life for 37 years. I will be grateful for all those memories of all the years we shared.  

I am and always will be broken but I am also thankful that I was blessed to have those memories that will carry me through the rest of my life ♥️🙏🏻

Pieces of You, Pieces of Me

Matt,   It’s been 82 months since your death and I foolishly thought I was ready to donate your winter clothing to the homeless addicts living in Kensington.   I have become part of a group of mom’s who take trips to the streets providing food and clothing to those who continue to be forgotten by society.   I must say it’s a part of how I survive your death, by giving back to those suffering from the disease that took your life.

I usually avoid your closet, but that day I felt  it was something I was ready to do.   Opening the door was walking back in time.   Sweaters were on hangers as if you were expected to walk through the door, grab one and ask, Hey Mom do I look ok.  

I stood in the doorway waiting for my breath to settle.  It was shocking how my body responded to seeing your clothing.  Slowly I started to take one down.   Memories of you wearing this sweater flooded my brain.   I held it close, burying my face into the softness hoping to breathe in your scent.   I could hear you voice telling me it’s ok Mom, it’s ok.

As I continued to place those sweaters in a box, I was fighting myself as if this was what I really wanted to do.   These sweaters were pieces of what I have left of you.   My mind was battling should they stay or should they go.  I held each one close and saw you wearing them looking so handsome with your beautiful smile letting me know you approved.   I started talking to you asking if this was what you wanted.   

I remember how you were always so giving.   Memories of you giving your shirt to a homeless man prompted me to keep going.   I held each sweater, running my hand over the material before placing them into the box.  I managed to donate several sweaters, a jacket and a pair of pants.  

Driving to the donation event, my tears were flowing wondering if I was strong enough to hand over the box to those who would take your sweaters to the streets handing them out to people who have nothing.   Pulling into the parking lot I was greeting by smiling faces.   Women thanking me for helping take care of other mothers children.   

As I handed over the boxes I had a feeling of profound sadness mixed with joy.   Knowing I was giving away pieces of what I had left of you re -broke my heart.   Knowing that your sweaters would provide comfort to someone with nothing gave me a bit of joy.

Once again I’ve learned that grief knows no time line.   It lives in pieces of clothing that will never be worn by you again.   It lives in memories that surface unexpectedly.   It lives knowing that even doing the right thing can be the most painful thing in the world.  











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