Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

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Gifts From my Garden

Matt,  July is always a tough month for me.   Both you and your brother have birthdays, Mike on the 8th, you on the 30th.  You were my Irish twins.  Born one year and twenty days apart.  I have memories of parties before you left that were full of love and joy.  Both you and Mike standing together as we sung happy birthday to you both as you tried to grab a part of the cake and shove it in your brothers face. 

You two always smiling with an arm on each other’s shoulder.  I never thought those birthdays would end.  I never thought you would die.  

I don’t even have pictures of birthdays without the two of you standing side by side.   So trying to get through this month is a daily struggle.  I can feel the grief creeping up and getting closer day by day.  I am training myself to stay in the present and not to think of what’s coming in the future. 

I’m also training myself to look for joy in the daily things of life.  Every morning I start the day with prayers asking for peace and comfort never knowing if God was listening or not.  You remember my love of gardening and how every empty space surrounding the house was full of beauty and multiple blooms of vibrant color.  Year after year my gardens never disappoint.  

Early one morning I decided to brighten my spirits by cutting some flowers to enjoy in the kitchen.  I grabbed my nippers and proceeded to walk into the garden never thinking I was intruding on a miracle.

Mama duck flapped her wings scaring me half to death.  She followed me onto the grass daring me to visit my garden again.  I ran into the garage to avoid her scorn then looked out the bay window watching her return to the spot she appeared from.  

Later that day I mustered the courage to go take a peek trying to solve the mystery that lay waiting in my garden.  What I found was an empty nest with ten perfect eggs.   I was amazed and now enlightened as to why mama chased me away   
I made it a habit of quietly checking on her daily.  Ray set up a camera so we could watch mama from the comfort of our house rather than in person.  

I read up on everything “duck” then started the daily ritual of visiting her giving her bits of lettuce and seeds.  Slowly she began to trust me to get close.  Never chasing me away again.  I watered her on the blazing hot days as she never left the nest.  I talked to her telling her how beautiful she was and what a great job she was doing.  It became my daily dose of joy.  

I was given the gift of watching her babies hatch on your brothers birthday and today I watched as she led them to the pond and introduced them to the water they will spend the next months living in until they are big enough to fly.  

The journey has left my heart a little lighter.  I felt the joy that had eluded my heart for so long.  I now know that God gave me a chance to experience watching life unfold.  My garden has always been full of beauty, now it was full of life.   I will cherish this memory along with memories of you for the rest of my life ❤️🦆


Father’s Day Fantasy

Matt,  today is Father’s Day and I’m allowing my mind to go into the fantasy world I’ve created when reality becomes too harsh for me to bear.  I’m allowing myself to imagine that you are alive enjoying the blessings of being a dad.

I can see you at the beach, your happy place walking along the surf holding the hands of two beautiful children.  They have your sun bleached hair, your beautiful eyes and that amazing smile that makes them your mini me’s.

I can see you chasing them through the surf laughing as they grab handfuls of sand tossing them in the air trying to make you their target. 

I see a black lab frolicking at your feet, tail wagging as she runs along side your beautiful children.  I see two precious boys looking into your eyes knowing those same eyes are staring back at the precious babes who stole your heart and soul. 

I see you wrapping them in beach towels holding them close, pulling them closer in one of your famous hugs.  I see my youngest son, now a father finally knowing the love that surpasses understanding as only one who has  fathered a child could ever understand. 

I see you carrying them home.  Making their favorite snack and tucking them in for a nap.  I see you staring at those faces so much like yours feeling your heart explode with pride. 

I see them running towards me when I visit. Taking my breath away as memories of you at their age flood my mind. I close my eyes and picture so many beautiful scenes of us together sharing stories and remembering our times with you and your brother at our happy place..

How I wish my fantasies were my reality.  How I wish you left a piece of yourself behind for me to love.  How I wish I could look into your beautiful eyes and hold your precious children close to my heart. 

Reality is harsh.  Days that mark milestones continue to break me to my core.  Fantasies have become my way of coping. Knowing you never had the chance to experience the joys of fatherhood has left a crack in my soul.  Knowing we have missed out on so much of life is a heavy burden to bear.  

The trickle down losses never go away.  Birthdays, holidays and now Father’s Day leave me wondering how I will survive.  Losing you was losing a future I had envisioned since your childhood. The normal progression of life was shattered with your death. You took so much more than I could have ever imagined.  ❤️

Life Is A Trigger

Matt,  As if May wasn’t already tough enough going through another Mother’s Day without you, then getting my CT Scan done and waiting for the results that would either have me dancing for joy or crying from despair, a mass shooting occurred at a grade school killing 19 children and 2 teachers.  

As I watched it unfold I could feel the grief wrapping itself around my heart and soul.  I sat sobbing watching the parents begging police officers to go and save their children.  Their desperate pleas fell on deaf ears as those members of the police force stood around ignoring their cries doing nothing to help those defenseless children from being slaughtered. 

Then it hit.  My own grief exploded as I remembered how I was once that parent.  Screaming at the medical community to do something to save you.  Screaming at both the insurance industry and treatment facilities to act now before it was too late.  

All those buried emotions came flooding into my brain as I felt myself breaking apart knowing that those parents would hear those words that would shatter their souls.  Your child is dead. And I was triggered.  

I sat there feeling helpless.  I wanted to reach out and wrap those sobbing parents in my arms never letting them go.  I wanted to rush to their aid knowing how the world they knew just this morning had shifted off its axis and was now spinning out of control.  

The loss of a child is beyond describing.  It’s life altering.  Losing your child throws you into a different universe. The pain is palpable and unending.  Age does not matter.  How they died doesn’t matter.  It’s the fact that they are gone forever and we are left behind to navigate a world that is so unfamiliar we are completely lost. 

Now these parents will go through the rest of their lives with only memories to sustain them.  Just as I have done.  These parents will never see the faces or hear the voices of their beautiful children just as I have not seen your face or heard your voice for so long. They will cry everyday for all that was lost and for all that could have been.  Just as I have. 

I sadly know what is ahead for these parents. Years of what ifs and why’s.  Years of blaming themselves for something as simple as sending their child to school. Years of wondering what their child would have been like had they lived.  Would they have gone to college, gotten married.  They will miss so many milestones that nothing in life can replace.  There will always be a large hole in the tapestry of their lives that nothing can repair. 

I still blame myself for sending you to Florida thinking if you were home I could have saved you. I still wonder what life would feel like had you lived. I wonder if I would have danced at your wedding and rocked your baby in my arms. 

Life after child loss is filled with indescribable pain.  It’s walking through life feeling as if you’ve lost your mind and really don’t care if you find it again.  It’s watching another parent learning their child is dead and reliving the death of your child over and over again.  

Life is a trigger with no safe place to hide. 💔💔

Mother’s Day For the Bereaved

Matt, With Mothers Day around the corner you can’t go into a store without being swallowed up by Mothers Day gift displays and cards. Commercials are full of suggestions on what to give mothers on their special day.

What if you are a bereaved mother? Where are cards for us? None of us wanted this title. None of us wanted to watch our children leave us behind. None of us wanted to stand in a church listening to stories about our child’s life that ended too soon. None of us wanted to spend birthdays, holidays, and yes, Mothers Day at the cemetery. 💔

Mothers Day for a bereaved mother is filled with heartbreaking, gut wrenching grief. One of the hardest days for many of us. We have lost a piece of our hearts. It has been said that child loss is one of the worst traumas a human being can endure. Yet, here we are enduring another holiday that so many other mothers cherish.

We feel as if the world has walked away. Friends of the past have disappeared. Our grief too heavy a burden for their unknowing hearts. Many feel we should “move on” and forget that our child is gone. After all grief does have a time line until it becomes your grief.

Many of us suffer silently as we hear of others plans for Mothers Day. Many will retreat to a safe space until the day has passed. Whatever we do and how we survive is up to us. It’s ok not to be ok on Mother’s Day.

My wish for you is to know you are not alone. Be kind to yourself on this painful day. Buy yourself flowers or a favorite candle. Bring out the photos of your child and let your love pour over the faces we can no longer touch except in our hearts and minds. Let beautiful memories wash over your soul with its healing balm. Recognize we are still mothers and will be until our lives are gone. We must hold each other up and reach out to other mothers who share our grief.

We must encourage each other to find healing and hope. We must be sensitive and acknowledge that our grief like our love will last forever ♥️

My fellow bereaved moms who have become my dear friends I wish you peace on a day that will bring tears and pain. None of us chose this path but together we will walk each other home into the arms of our loving children.

Hugs and Love,
Matt’s Mom. 🌹

Its Not About the Money

Matt,  I’ve been involved in the lawsuit against the Sackler family and their killing machine Purdue Pharma.  It’s been a disturbing time as I listened and read transcripts from the lawsuit.  It’s maddening thinking that the Sackler’s could give a damn about the lives and families they destroyed.

They are acting like they are the innocent victims and those of us involved in the lawsuit are nothing more than dirt they want to scrape off their shoes and get on with their wealthy, carefree lives.

Taking no responsibility to their part in the opioid pandemic their company Purdue Pharma created.  Acting as if all the lies, the buying of doctors to overprescribe their poison should have no consequences.  

If I could I would shove your picture in their faces and scream like a mother who’s heart has been ripped out of her body.  I would continue to scream until I had no more strength then I would spit in their faces as they have done to the thousands of mothers who wear my shoes and know my grief.

The thing the heart less family can’t come close to understanding is that it’s not about the money.💔

What the Sackler family and their killing machine Purdue Pharma can’t comprehend is that this settlement is NOT ABOUT THE MONEY.

This settlement is about the families who have been irrevocably broken.  It’s about the mothers whose hearts have been shattered.  💔

It’s about the siblings who will never grow old with their siblings.  It’s about the children who will grow up without a parent.  It’s about the father’s who hide their grief to hold their families together.

This settlement is about the mothers who took their lives as the thought of living without their only child became unbearable.  💔

It’s about the fact that Purdue Pharma lied to the DEA, to the medical community, and to the public regarding how highly addictive OxyContin truly was.  Providing kickbacks encouraging providers to ignore the complaints and concerns of their patients and continue to prescribe massive deadly doses of their poison pills. 

It’s about the fact that Purdue Pharma knowingly continued to market and sell Oxytocin to providers who prescribed it to those who were obviously abusing the pills. 

It’s about the fact that the Sackler family made billions of dollars, lived lives of luxury and put the BLAME ON THEIR VICTIMS while spitting in the faces of the families who were losing everything to pay for treatment in attempts to save the lives of their children.  

It’s about the fact that the Sackler’s feel they can buy their way out of knowingly murdering thousands while walking away without accountability for their crimes. 🤬


It’s about the fact that without imprisonment the Sackler’s will go back to business as usual reaping the benefits of lies, deceit, and disregard for human lives.

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