Love Lost

Old 03-11-2009, 05:51 AM
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Love Lost

I am the parent of a teen who has lost a boyfriend just over one week ago. My daughter is 18, her boyfriend would be 19 April 9th.

Let me tell you about this young man. He had a very tough life, but always had a smile on his face and had the biggest heart a person could have. Even though his life was hard he was open to giving and receiving love. He was born to a Father that was drug addicted. He loved his Mother, she was his strength. At some point she fell into drinking and taking pills to cope. She passed away when he was 9. He was being raised by his Father in a state where his extended family did not live. He told me that he would sit on the floor as his Father was strung out and pray that his Father would not OD. As sick as his Father was, he loved him and had already lost his Mother. Other times his Father would disappear for weeks and this young man said he thought he would die of starvation. His extended family fought though the courts to get custody of him, he moved in with his Grand Mother in our state. Believe it or not, it took them years. He struggled there far to long.

My daughter was one of the first to welcome him into his new school. He later told me he knew he knew he cared for her at first sight. They became fiends, and eventfully became best friends. He was ashamed about how he was brought up, he was also using pills as an escape. His self esteem was low. Over the years of the friendship I watched his boy grow into a young man that had goals, hope for his future. He loved and respected my daughter as she should have been. He loved her with his whole heart. Through their friendship he had been using less and less often. I have to say that when he used he never did so around my daughter. He knew she wanted more for him, and he knew it hurt her. They began dating a year and 7 months ago after years of friendship. He was fighting a good fight ... looking forward to prom, walking across that stage and graduating, as well as planning a career for the future. We were all very proud of him! Just three weeks ago he told me he was happy. Maybe more happy than he had ever been in his life.

Last Sunday this young man shoveled snow for his Grandparents most of the day, went with his Grand Father and helped with chores around the house that were hard for his elder Grandparents to complete. He was always helpful and respectful. The next day my daughter began calling. He was sleeping late and that was not a normal thing. By early afternoon my daughter called and requested that someone wake him up. His Uncle put the phone down then came back to say. I have to call you back, he's dead. Her heart is broken. This young man had taken some pills, passed out, and suffocated. She does not blame herself, but that does not make the pain any easier to deal with. We all know that he wanted to live, he wanted to kick this habit he used as an escape. We all know he deserved a better life for himself. He was a good soul. Loving, caring, and thoughtful of others.

I watched my daughter collect herself and start making calls to their friends. Just as I had watched my Mother do years ago when my Father passed. In all her weakness she was strong. I watched her at her boyfriends funeral stand up and let the room know that this young man had a purpose, not to walk away without thinking of the good and bad that he has given to anyone that knew him. And that he taught each of us lesson's we shouldn't forget. I watched her tell the world not to measure him by the way he died ... but measure him by the way he made a room light up when he entered it, how he always had a smile on his face, caring words for others even when he was struggling with issues himself.

The first four days after his death were hard for me to watch her. She cried non stop for the first 30 some odd hours until she finally sleep. She was sick to her stomach and couldn't eat for days. I kept her home from school that week. My son had told me that this young man always walked my daughter to every class before going to his own. She went back to school yesterday and I know it was hard. Its half way through the school year and she has to deal with the loss and grief and still earn the right to walk across that stage at graduation. Prom for her is out of the question.

How do I best help my daughter threw this? Where do I begin? Shes having a hard time being at school because she is missing her best friend.

I know that some may judge this young man. I know some may judge me for not pulling my daughter away from him. Some have judged my daughter for her standing by him and assumed she was also a user. But he worked hard at having a better life and was worth good friends and love from others to lift him up and help him through. My daughter nor my family regrets any moment of time we spent with him. He deserved more than he got from this life.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:26 AM
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Welcome to the Friends & Family board.

People will be along with their experience, strength, and hope in the next hours; many are not on eastern time so don't get here until a bit later in they day, so take heart if a while goes by before people start posting.

Everyone here understands what it's like to love an addict, to see the person underneath the monster of addiction, and wish we could save them.

You will find love and support here, not judgment.

In the meantime, there are classic information posts at the top of the topics, both here in F&F board, and also in the Grieving board, that you may find helpful to read. We call them "stickys." So if you go to the page with all the post topics, look at the top of the page for the sticky section.

Come back and post as often as you need, we are here for you and your daughter. Since I don't have direct experience similar to your situation, I'll wait for others to post who have closer circumstances.

Hugs and support to you,

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:30 AM
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SoCopasetic, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to you and your daughter. My son died of an accidental heroin overdose on Sep 4, 2008. I know what your daughter is feeling. No one here will judge you. You should not feel ashamed. Addiction is a terrible illness that many people just can't fight. It's just so painful that we couldn't help them.

Joey's mum
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:37 AM
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Hugs and prayers for this young man and for your daughter and you. My deepest sympathies for the loss of this young soul.

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:58 AM
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I'm thinking back to my days in high school, and at that time my school was pioneering a program called peer support, which was groups of high school peers available for discussion groups, mediated by a trained counselor.

I'm assuming your daughter's school counselor is aware of the young man's death, but is the counselor also aware of the specific type of relationship that your daughter had with this young man, and also that he was an addict? With this information, perhaps the counselor could help facilitate the coming months in school with your daughter, working with teachers, etc., to give her allowances due to her grief, etc. Or perhaps the counselor could help select a suitable group of peers where your daughter could have a mediated discussion with other of her grieving peers.

At any rate, some professional third party grief assistance would be very helpful to your daughter, especially in this meaningful last year of high school with graduation and prom and other landmarks she will have to navigate.

Perhaps somebody here can post with their experience in such matters. I have worked in hospice and with grieving adults, but not with adolescents. But I can say that having assistance via a professional can give her a structure to work through her grief, learn to talk about it and process it, and make much more progress in her grieving process than just trying to muddle through it the best she can without such knowledgeable assistance.

There are probably local grief hotlines you could call to get other ideas and references, as well.

And of course, there is always your local Nar-Anon group, which is a support group of friends and family of substance abusers. Many of them, unfortunately, will have experience with knowing an addict who died. Nar-Anon is free and open to the public. If there are no Nar-Anon groups local to you, then you are welcome to try Al-Anon, the sister type group for friends and families of alcoholics. The principles and issues are much the same between groups; it's just the substance in question is slightly different. You would be welcome at either, and some communities even have Al-ateen, which is Al-anon for teens. Google any of these terms and you will find their websites that will direct you to a local meeting finder or phone hotline for assistance.

As our F&F moms come along and post, they will have insights, too.

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:30 AM
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SoCopastic, My deepest sympathies to you & your daughter. You'll find no judgement here. Addiction is a terrible disease that has no boundaries, absolutely wonderful people are struck down with this disease.

catlovermi has some good recommendations to perhaps help with your daughter.

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Old 03-11-2009, 12:30 PM
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My husband is an addict
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I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read your post. I went through a very similar situation directly after graduating high school with my best friend. She had a similar family background to your daughters BF and also used pills to escape. She was brilliant, worked full time, attended college full time directly after graduating HS. She had a very promising future but the pills got her and I was the recipient of the news in a similar fashion. She had moved out and in with her step dad 2 weeks prior to her passing and I came home one night with 10 incoherent messages from her on my machine, I tried to reach her but her step dad said she was sleeping. The next morning I called her step dad to tell him she needed help and he said it was too late. That was by far the most difficult death I have ever dealt with. I've lost my mother, father, grandmother and numerous in laws but nothing compares to losing a friend at such a young age (in my opinion). The grieving process was so slow for me especially because her room was still set up nad had the majority of her possessions in it. I didn't seek professional help after that and I deeply regret it as I had nightmares for years and blamed myself even though I knew it was not my fault, deep down, I felt like I could have prevented it although I would never admit that.

Now as a 25 year old Mom dealing with my husbands addiction I have sought help, I personally like the NA meetings that I attend with my husband. I try to educate myself about addiction so that I can better understand where the addict in my life is or was coming from. I also think catlovermi has some great suggestions. This is her senior year in HS and although it is going to be difficult, she will get through this.

I am very sorry for your loss and I send big hugs your way for you and your daughter. :ghug3 It is very sad when drugs claim the life of someone we know had so much potential.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:47 PM
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I have no advice but wanted to send you and your daughter strength and peace during this difficult time. Your post almost brought me to tears.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:14 PM
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Thank you for visiting us today.
Thank you for seeing a young man with promise, for keeping the light he shared in your heart, and for reminding others that this boy gave more than took, addict or not.

I am the mother of an addict, and I can't tell you how appreciative I am of your thoughts and your feelings.

You, your daughter and this boy's family and friends are in my prayers.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:46 PM
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I pray for peace for your daughter. I am sorry that you both are going through this. Thank you for a wonderful post about a wonderful human being.

I am the mother of a 28 yr. old addict son and appreciate that you were able to see the wonderful person aside from the drugs he used. I pray that there are some people in the world that see the good human being my son can be.

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