In January 2006, my life ended asI knew it. I lostmy only son toa drug overdose. He was26 years old.
Dennis grew up in a loving home as the baby of the family. If we'reguilty ofanything, it was indulging him with too much. He attended Catholic Schools andwas an honor student. When Dennis graduated H.S., he wanted to join the Marines. Me, being the overprotective Mom that I am, refused to sign for him. He had been working, bought a carand found his independence. There went any ideas of college or the service.
As most teenagers do, Dennis dabbled in alcoholand marijuana. Never anything serious, but we now know everything is serious if you are cursed with an addictive gene. At the age of 20, Dennis became addicted to OxyContin. That was his death sentence. He suffered for two years with the constant pain, cramping and nausea that you suffer from while not on a high from this killer drug.
After 2 attempts at rehab, he finally was doing so much better. He had a job, a car, was to become engaged to a beautiful, young lady who was not a part of that life. He had moved back home with his family, which now included his 4 year old son. He was being drug testedevery week, and was always clean(I'm notthat naive, I know youcan beatthose).
Dennis went out after work with someof his oldfriends he had reconnected with while trying to show them how goodhe had been doing. They used cocaine that evening, andimmediately Dennis started to gasp for breath andhis neck was pulsing. His friends were afraid to call 911,and called some other people, who told them this was normal and to let him sleep it off. Dennis laid there for close to two hours until they called 911, but it was too late.
My son was a grown man who made his own choices, but that is theone thing that gnaws at me. His friends left him laying there. Some friends!
I remember seeing my son in the E.R. just minutes after they pronounced him dead.Looking beautiful as if he was asleep. I wondered what I'd do with out him, and how I'd tell his baby boy. Yes, my son was an addict. But he was also an integral part of so many people's lives. Most addicts in this dayand age are just that. Not the fiends of yesteryear. They come from all races, religous & social backgrounds. Drugs are an equal opportunity killer.
It has now been 19 months since Dennis left us. Every day is a new heartache. Also a new memory. I do find comfort in the memories, goodand bad, because they make up who he was. MY SON!! I don't regretone minute of his life andI could never imagine my life with out him in it.I won't say it's been easy. I have adopted my grandsonand we do try everyday to keep his daddy's memory alive. Every day brings new challenges in this journey known as Grief. Some days are good, some are bad. People ask, if it's gotten better. It will never be better. Easier maybe, but never better. That little chunk that's cut from my heart will always remind me of what was, & what could have been. I know my son no longer suffers. I also know my son didn't realize the suffering his passing would cause his family. He is finallyat peace. The peace he struggledand fought for for close tosix years. I loveand miss him always. .
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