Can I tell you something? Something happened yesterday. My friend died. And you know what else the World kept on turning. Nothing changed. There was no great change or shift in the World. The sky didn’t open. There was no bright light. Just one second he was here and the next second he was gone. Like forever. And you know what else. I don’t know what that means. That terrifies me. One second here. Then your not. Where did you go? Will I ever see you again? These thoughts drive me crazy. In these moments I panic as I realize that time never stops. Not now not ever. Time moves on and so do people. Make the best of the time we got. For however long we got. It seems so easy when said out loud…right?
The more I obsess on what happens to us when we die. The more I worry. Losing some one isn’t going to get easier. All these ones are mini blips compared to who they take next. I saw the fear in my friends moms eyes. The quiet desperation as she gripped my hand. “She asked what would happen to her after all the people are gone?” How true is that? We only find time for those we care for only after it’s too late. I hate that thought. I hate where I am in my life. Life feels perfect except for the obvious. Now with the loss of my friend. Not just my friend. My husband’s friend. This was one of his childhood friends that he grew up with. He lived just down the street with his mom. There was a whole group of them that lived within a 2 block radius. They were that group of boys that got into everything together. They also experimented with things together. Alcohol, marijuanna, even a few lines here and there while at the summer cabin when they were 16. Nothing too major. I think my husband was one of the first to try oxy’s. Our friend would laugh at him as he spiralled further down into that cesspool of addiction. Just like so many of our youth who were prescribed that drug for broken arms, gunshots, overall pain. Oxy’s was prescribed like candy then ripped away once these boys got hooked. When there was no chance of getting that drug that made all of lifes problems go away that is when the true dance with the devil started. In conversation we have no idea how his got so out of control. It is not that he wasn’t loved. But at times it may have felt that way as we all tried to impose a bottom that would be impossible to hit.
Watching the horror unfold was like wading through quicksand. We all knew what was about to happen. The only thing I could be was positive. I had so much hope for the whole room. This is what I have been practicing. I know it seems like a weird thing to practice but in times like this there needs to be one person in the room with a level head. I wanted to break down. I wanted to yell and scream but I knew those emotions were saved for those closest to him. I of course felt the pain and the loss that intensified with human touch. Every time I took the long walk down the hospital corridor I had to calm myself. I had to search for the inner peace that was somewhere inside of me and be that reassurance that everybody so desperately needed. There is no right or wrong way to feel in these situations. Time heals all wounds. Well I guess they don’t heal all of them. Watching the devastation rip through this family I know this is what happens to all of us at some point in time.
We need to pray for the living and somehow give them hope. Hope that there will be a brighter tomorrow. Hope that he still lives inside of all of us. He is free from his addictions and in turn so are we. We never have to worry about where he is, if he is in pain, if he is suffereing. He paid the ultimate price for our own salvation. He moved on to a place where he could no longer hurt us. Hopefully in time he will help guide us to be better people. Maybe he could help us see who we truly aspire to be and maybe he will light the way for us to reach another addict who is suffering alone. I think that is the worse feeling. The idea that he died alone. If only he overdosed with somebody with him NARCAN could have been used. Maybe I just need to accept the fact that this was his storey and this was his ending. He was meant to be where he was in that exact time. Piecing together what happened, if that even matters, nobody knows for sure. We all thought he was smoking heroin but in the morning light all the secrets come out and the person we tried so desperately to hide from the outside world comes to the surface. I found out in passing conversation that his drug use had escalated. He started to use something called a speedball. This is a mix of meth and coke. This drug was changing who he was. How can you expect anything else from a drug that is cooked by the worst of the worst. These people who cook this drug ( I am pretty sure they use it too) don’t care about you. I don’t even know why they care about money. They have so much blood on their hands and they still don’t care. You think watching all these people drop around you would make you feel bad. You think that seeing the news of 20 young people who overdose on the route that you sell on would make you sick. You think that finding out that your regular customer just died would wake you up. Drugs are the epitome of selfishness. You sell everything including your soul to get your fix. You don’t value yourself or life anymore as you become just a shell of that person you once were. There is no going back from this. All it takes is just once. Why would you want to waste something so precious to end up in a box?
We all live these sheltered lives of being to scared to fully embrace who we dream to be. I mean my friend dreamed of being sober, having a job, reconnecting with his wife. I saw the way his face lite up when he talked about that. His face also began to overshadow as you saw that demon come up inside of him. I never saw a man so quick to leave. I was making breakfast for all the boys and in the middle of everything he picked up his son and ran out. The devil had a hold of him and he was never going to let him go. Now we have to find a way to. I thought maybe today would be a bit better. It takes days for me to even complete anything. I don’t want to feel this way but this is just grief. At times I get so angry at him. All he had to do was come here. Hindsight, right? That’s not all he had to do. He had to also stay clean. It was important to my husband’s sobriety and for the safety of everybody in my household that he was clean. The same ultimatum was given from his mom and his wife. We made the same choice that so many of us make. Some of get caught in the sense that the addict just decides that he is invincible. I guess that is what happens when you are brought back to life a few times. You expect that there will always be somebody there to save you.
As we all try to understand exactly what happen more and more of the storey begins to come out. An hour before he overdosed he messaged another one of his friends who would use with him. This is another one of their childhood friends. My husband and another buddy just had the conversation of who they thought they would barry first. Not the best of conversations to have but that is the reality when your friend is lying and hiding who he trully is. The buddy being on house arrest decided he couldn’t leave. And our friend decided that the walk wasn’t worth it. Or maybe he was going to do the walk but get high first. Two friends could have died that day. I told my husband to tell him that. If he would have come over they both would have od’d. There is no way to try and figure out what happened. Everybody thinks he escalated to this new drug of speedballs. The text he sent to his friend though indicates heroin. I guess the point is…we were never going to save him. If he came through this time it would only be the next time or the next time. What if his son had found him? What if his son had found his stash? Towards the end he was getting these violent outbursts. What if he hurt his mom? Wife or friend? Where we always supposed to take a step back and let this behaviour be ok? I could make deals with the devil to protect him but why would I? The reality is he would have done anything to use. We couldn’t have stopped him. Rehab, detox, love, positivity, life, family, his son….the only thing that moved him was getting high. That’s the reality. No sugar coating. Just facts.
Picking up the pieces of the shattered mess that is left behind the focus now has to be brought back onto the living. If we are all born for a reason his must be for that little boy that he left behind. That is the only good thing that came out of his life. Our love, our protection, our grace needs to go to him. I suggested to the family to tuck away all of his Dad’s belongings. His cell phone, charger, wallet, jewellry, his favourite clothes. Tuck it in a box and mark it to him so when he turns 16 he can see who is dad was. Every child wants to know where they came from so we should try to preserve who his dad was. My heart aches the most for that sweet lil boy. I know in their grief they are just trying to find a way to survive. I write not only to heal but so in time there is a record of these days. I don’t want to use names so not to upset the family in anyway, just in case. But I do want to try and reach out to others and to heal myself. Loneliness is an all consumming emotion. The lethal mix is when you add in drugs and alcohol. These temporary vices will never fill the pain. They are designed to. They are meant to numb then slap you in your face with your indiscretions. I am still struggling with the loss and I feel myself drawing myself within myself. It is my coping mechanism. I have to remind myself that his isn’t my storey. That I have two very special ladies staring down the fork in the road trying to decide which direction they want to be going down. Just a week ago there future looked different. They were angry, frustrated, sad but they had their husband/son. Fast forward and now he’s gone. Nothing happened. The World didn’t stop. There were no signs, no angels, just the hole in our hearts where we kept him. We all thought that it would never happen to him. He even thought that way. Now here we are picking up the pieces of a life taken to soon and another victim of this ever growing list that this disease has claimed. To any of you struggling reach to me. I may not know all the answers but what I do know is our lives are worth living and together we can take the necessary steps to begin to heal and hopefully grow.