There’s a kind of relational magic that happens when people who have experienced the same or similar struggle get together.
In an instant, their hearts are bound in mutual understanding as they look one to another and say, “Me too. I thought I was the only one.”
It was well into the second year after Dominic ran ahead to heaven that I found an online bereaved parent support group. After bearing this burden alone for so many months, it took awhile before I could open my heart to strangers and share more than the outline of my story.
But, oh, when I did! What relief! What beautiful support and affirmation that every. single. thing. that was happening to me and that I was feeling was normal!
We talk about a lot of things as if they didn’t reflect a real person and a real life.
Addiction is one of them. And let me just tell you, every single number is a life and behind every single life is a family.
Statistics are easy to toss around until one of those numbers represents YOUR child.
My son was not an addict. He was a health nut. But he liked his motorcycle and never saw the contradiction between spending hours at the gym then putting that beautiful body on a fast moving, unprotected engine-on-wheels. A helmet was not enough to save him that night.
Addicts don’t start out wanting the life so many of them end up living.
I admit I’m full of words. When my mama came to pick me up when her best friend was babysitting for awhile, she said, “You can’t have her yet, she’s telling me all kinds of things!”
More than once my mouth got me in trouble.
It’s still the source of most of my problems.
But for a time after Dominic left I found that the only words I could muster beyond what was absolutely necessary were written in my journal. Because the words I wanted to say were bitter and harsh and tasted bad as they came up my throat and threatened to roll off my tongue.