You’re no longer the Mom and Dad that I knew when I was alive. You seem hardened, edgy, with undertones of angst and pure exhaustion.
That day at the hospital, I looked on as mom’s knees buckled from under her as the doctor spoke the words of the most earth shattering news ever delivered to parents .”Your child didn’t make it ” I had passed away from an overdose. Dad tried to hold you up, and be strong but I could see how broken he was in that moment. In true Dad fashion he did what he always has done, he put on a strong face, and acted as the backbone of our family.
The days following, you both remained in a trance like state as the idea of me not ever coming back set in. I noticed you both trying to find normalcy by delving into work, grocery shopping, and other mind numbing activities. Both of you seemed dazed as you planned my wake and funeral. Picking out my casket, felt as though you were picking out furniture for the living room. The shock of it all struck so hard that I wanted to come down and shake you both. I wanted to hug you and as ironic as it sounds, I wanted squeeze you back to life.
As time ticked on ,you both remained in states of overwhelming grief that it was hard for you to do anything else but mourn, even when you didn’t want to. Mom has resembled a robot since my death, she is a mere shadow of the sweet bubbly carefree woman that that I once knew as my mother. I see how you both compose yourself in front of other family and friends. You thank those for the kind words they speak about me, but at night you retreat to the bathroom turn on the shower, and break into tears. Simultaneously sobbing uncontrollably and hyperventilating. I am looking on from up above, feeling so helpless. How could I have been so selfish? I want nothing more than to tell you how sorry I am, but more importantly, I want you to know that I am at peace. I want you to be at peace too. Perhaps that is selfish of me as well.
The community we live in, came through in droves trying to support you both in whatever way possible. Mom, do you remember last year when your dad died? We commented on the numerous casseroles that we received, from caring neighbors as a token of their condolences. It seemed like we had a year supply in our refrigerator for months following. It didn’t make much sense to me then, but does now. I see how thin you are, mom. Dad is worried, but also grieving hard in different ways. You arent eating or sleeping. I also see how lonely you both are. Losing me in the way you did, is a hard topic for others to talk about. It’s different when someone dies from a terminally ill diseases like cancer. There is no negative stigma or judgement attached. I know that others have expressed pity, for our family , over the manner of my death, not my death itself. Again I apologize, I know that you don’t like the idea of remembering me as a heroin addict, but instead as your bright little girl, and you so badly want others to do the same. Even those who do feel sympathy, can’t find it in themselves to address the disease of addiction. The isolation is crippling for you both.
The holidays are approaching, they were always so big when I was little. Thanksgiving was a feast, you always were the best cook mom. I think what I miss most is your homemade cranberry sauce. I know how trivial this sounds, but I miss so many little things that I took for granted. .
Christmas was always magical , both of you went to never ending lengths to make it so. I could always tell whether you wrapped the presents or if dad did. He needed a lot of help.
We always would decorate the tree together, you still have all the handmade ornaments I made throughout my childhood years. Mom treasured them and we always spent time reflecting on the memories attached, it was fun to reminisce regardless of how much we repeated the same stories throughout the years. Dad, I loved how you used to lift me up to put the star on. Last year you jokingly lifted me up once more , remember that? I was clean last Christmas, the first time in. 5 years. I am now so grateful that we had this last time.
Dad I’m so sorry that you will never get the opportunity to walk me down the aisle. Mom, won’t ever get to be the proud grandma she envisioned one day. A prideful moment , that so many of her friends will most likely boast about on Facebook. Feelings of emptiness and bitterness will take a front row seat, while many families will be celebrating birthdays, graduations and weddings. Please know that in these times I am with you.
I hoped that you would get a tree this year, but understand why you won’t. It would only symbolize the immense loss you have suffered. You no longer can pick up the phone to just say hello and tell me about your day. Most painful is what happened when we last spoke. I had stolen from you both, again , I was dope sick and just couldn’t bear the withdrawals. This time you decided to practice tough love. You both told me how much you loved me, but until I got myself into treatment, that you both would no longer support me financially or emotionally. This pissed me off. I screamed at you about how much I hated you and hung up. A week later, you received the phone call from our local hospital.
There is so much that I didn’t get the opportunity to tell you, this proves to be the most agonizing consequence of my death. I want to tell you that I love you. I love you so much, and I want you to know that I know, just how much you loved me. I beg of you to release any guilt you have. You both gave me such a beautiful life. What I need now is for you two to find the light again. Reclaim yourselves, move forward, out of pain and into strength. Don’t be afraid to talk about the family disease of addiction. I can promise you that so many other parents will come forth, sharing their own experiences with their loss. You need each other. Please, in my absence, speak my truths. Spread awareness. You may never fill the void, but you can nourish your souls within helping others who struggle with addiction . No matter what I will always be with you. As you both used to say to me every night before bed, “I love you to the moon and back.”If ever you are missing me, look towards the moon, and know that I no longer reside in darkness, but in the light.