Maybe I will help to hear a different perspective. I am just a mom and a RN.. but mostly just a mom who lost her oldest son to an OD in the summer of 2015. My heart broke the day his heart stopped beating. No, it shattered. I have yet to recover. Oh sure, I get up and go to work. I smile. I say I am ok. I lie. I still cry everyday, though not all day anymore. The guilt is overwhelming. I mean literally overwhelming. Why couldn't I save him? We nurses are "fixers". I was supposed to protect him. I was supposed to be able to help him. I could not protect him from this monster. Every bit of my retirement is gone, gone to rehab that did not help. One last relapse took his life one month after he was best man in his brothers wedding. I am grateful for that last happy memory. It is all I have left.
When people learn I have lost a son, and ask what happened. I have learned to be honest now. I find it helps to tell the truth...I still get that "look". I can hear it..."he did it to himself", "it was his own choice", "he was just a junkie"....
"His name is Ryan. He was 30 years old. He started on medication to treat an injury and when he could not get that medication anymore he went to heroin. He tried to get off it and could not. I spent my retirement trying to help him. I was handed a life sentence of guilt and sadness when he died. I have often thought of joining him, the missing him is that bad. It took his dignity, his soul and then his life. He was not a bad person. You would have liked him. His life had meaning. I loved him without judgment. If you know someone struggling do whatever you can do to help them and never give up hope"
Ryan is buried on my farm in Tennessee, under our oak tree. His grave was dug with our own shovel, and prepared by his brother, his cousins and friends, his mom and dad. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We had a home funeral. A sundial is his marker and marks the time till we are all together again.
Visit Ryan at: Ryan P Frye at Virtual Memorials.com and say "hi" Learn more about my journey at:
You have a hard job. Addicts are fighting demons we can not begin to understand. Addicts are people with families that love them, they are more than the disease of addiction.....Remember that as you work with them. You may be the only one they have.
Thanks for all you do...
Just a mom