Dear Mom and Dad,
Words can’t begin to describe how sorry I am. I’ve put you in a position that no parent should ever face. I left – before you. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The natural order of things was skewed by my addiction. I can only imagine the agony you must be in. I know you’re angry, despairing and sad, all at the same time. If only you could reach back in time and pluck me from the path I’d chosen, but you can’t. You never could. God knows, you tried. I wasn’t completely oblivious to all you did for me. I always believed I had time and the truth is – I was too dammed smart for my own good.
I underestimated the power of my disease.
I know you tried to tell me this. But I wouldn’t listen. After I began using drugs I became desensitized. I thought I was immortal. I liked living on the edge. I felt so alive! Drugs filled a place in me that nothing else could. With them I was King. Without them, I was just, well, me.
Maybe that was part of the problem.
I never did feel right, about being me. I always needed something more. I felt entitled to nice things. I wanted the best. I hated waiting for anything. When I wanted something, it was all I could think about – until I got it, and then, I wanted something else. There were times I felt guilty for the stress I created in our family. But it was fleeting. The burning need inside of me was greater than anything else. This need had no conscience, integrity, or morals.
This need – was my addiction.
I know I hurt you. I rejected your love. I rolled my eyes at you. I called you names. I stole from you. I lied to you. I avoided you and finally, I left you – for good.
I was so smug.
There wasn’t anything you could have said, or done, to prevent this from happening. I thought I knew it all. Death by overdose was something that happened to other people. Foolish people – people who didn’t know shit about using. It wouldn’t to happen to me, no way, no how, not ever.
You begged me to stop. I tuned you out. Your words were like wasps in my ears. Although they stung, they were nothing more than an annoying buzz. When you cried, I cringed. When you put your arms around me, I wanted away from you.
And now – I want back.
But there is no back. There is only forward.
Please bring me forward.
Tell my story. Say my name. Have conversations with me. Include me in your celebrations. Rejoice in the time we had together. Cry, if you must, but not all the time. I know you’re sad. I know you miss me. I know you love me. I know you did your best. But you were never stronger than the disease of addiction, and sadly, neither was I.
Please don’t blame yourself, or me. It will only make things worse. We did the best we could. You must believe this. If you don’t it will be like me dying all over again, each and every day. We will stay stuck and that would be a tragedy.
Take the love you have for me, and put it into the rest of our family. Every time you want to hug me, grab one of them. Then it will be like I’m part of the hug. Give us a great big squeeze and I promise, I’ll feel it – all the way up in heaven.
I hope you find peace in knowing I’m free in a way, I never before was.
Up here there is no addiction. There is only love.
The kind of love that is greater than any of us will ever know, below.
You might tell yourself that I am gone. But you’re wrong. I’m right here.
I’m the wind on your face and the stars in the sky. I’m the raindrops, falling, outside your bedroom window. I’m the song of a bird and the dawn of each new morning. I’m the clouds and the sun and the waves in the ocean.
We will never truly be parted from one another. For love breathes life, even, in death.
I am flesh of your flesh.
Standstill – and you will feel me.
Love always, your child.