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[ Personal Narratives ]

Dear Son: The Letter I Would Have Sent Had I Known Opioids Would Take Your Life

Hi sweet boy. Today is nineteen months of life without you and it’s so hard. I spend a great deal of time contemplating time travel in my mind, if only it were possible. If I could write you a letter and send it back in time for a young adolescent Jordan to read………

Dear son,

I know you are young and you have your whole life ahead of you. I know you are curious and bored and that you think that you are bullet proof…….you will live forever. I know you think that it’s all part of growing up….doing stupid things, taking risks, experimenting with alcohol or drugs……you think that’s what all young people do. I know that you think that I’m old, and that I don’t understand. There are things that you can’t just experiment with, things like opioids and heroin. “Experimenting” with something means you try it, you see what it’s like, you stop, you move on……you’re in control……you continue growing up. You can’t experiment with opioids and heroin because you can’t stay in control. Opioids/heroin will jump in the car, push you out of the driver’s seat and put the gas pedal to the floor, there is no stopping it. You may manage to slow it down a little, but you will lose the ability to steer and crashing is inevitable.

And your mom, she will be a fatality in that wreck too. She will wake up every day and have arguments and full discussions with her own mind. She will argue that you’re not gone, you’re only 21, you can’t be dead. She will wake up and begin another day without you. She will spend most of her time in a fog. She will try to avoid public places for fear of seeing your favorite cereal in the grocery store, or seeing a Scooby Doo video in the check out line that sends her into hysterics, and turning on the radio is like a game of Russian roulette……is this the time that a “Jordan” song comes on and starts the endless flow of tears, how just about any food item she cooks has dire consequences…….Jordan loved bacon… pancakes were his favorite…..he loved when I made steak on the grill…….chocolate chip cookies… some dough for Jordan, and she will contemplate time travel, at work she will see dates and they take on new meaning……when Jordan was here….after Jordan was taken……and every date prior to 9/26/2015 she will say in her crazy mind….that’s a good date….lets go back to that date, she will open your closet and cautiously peer in as if something is going to pounce on her and devour her……and something far worse happens……she realizes that she is still here alive and the thought of a ferocious monster leaping from the darkness is a much more appealing alternative and she will quickly close the doors, and all those movies that you watched together laughing over….she cries when she watches them now……she cries watching Super Bad, she will keep an eye out for a cardinal that appears in the back yard….she even talks to it, things that she took joy in doing will mean nothing…….there is no joy left, and she will become jealous of other people in recovery that are getting engaged and having children…..where is your wedding and your children, and there is no telling what will trigger anger or tears or remorse, how she will have an gaping hole in the center of her heart that continuously bleeds….but a slow bleed….it won’t kill her…..but death seems like a much kinder alternative to the permanent state of slowly bleeding to death, and she will constantly wish she had said so many things. She will wonder if you knew how much she loved you? Did you know that she would die a slow painful death to give you back your life? Did you know that she constantly thinks about the life you should have had……she already had your future wife picked out? Did you know that she had pictures in her mind of what your children look like? Did you know that she had plans for holiday dinners and family vacations…….you’re supposed to play the guitar and sing?

I know that there is no such thing as time travel, and I know that it is too late for warnings and precautions…..the fatal crash has occurred, and your mom has become the barely alive mostly insane woman. The only thing I can do now is try to warn others, to deter them from that path………….

Dear son/daughter…………….please don’t try opioids/heroin💜💔