One Year

I love you.

I never could have imagined 19 years ago that things would turn out as they have.  If I could go back, knowing what I know now, I would do things very differently…but I can’t…

What disheartens me the most is the pain and distress you must have felt  throughout your young life.  How alone you must have felt with a father that abandoned you, a religion that isolated you, a mother that left you, a step-father that wasn’t there, a narcissistic extended family that hardly bothered, and a brother and sister that looked nothing like you.  How alone you must have felt even when surrounded by others.  Everyone that should have mattered failed you.  I recognize and I will always know my part in your demise.   You were robbed of the life you should have lived by those that should have been there for you, starting with me.  You had no one by your side to help you understand the world and to give you the proper tools to navigate through life.  I’m saddened to think that you felt as if nobody cared about you, and I’m ashamed to recognize that in a sense nobody, including myself, cared enough.

So it’s not surprising to me that you clung to anyone that gave you the attention you desperately craved, even if it meant being kept in the basement by the person that “loved” you.  It’s not surprising that you tried different ways to relieve your despair…including drugs.  It seems that nothing else was working for you at the time.

Those that lose children to a drug overdose are different from other parents that lose a child.  Most parents that lose children have little if anything to do with their children’s death.  Cancer is cancer.  Accidents happen.  But drug addiction and death by overdose is different isn’t it?  It involves parent participation, or lack thereof.

You are the victim in this scenario…not me or anyone else.  If anything, we are the perpetrators.  True, I can be seen as a father that lost a daughter to prescription drugs, and on the surface that’s what I am.  But if I take a deep look beyond the surface of it all, I can see my contribution. Before I let any emotion arise in me that may make me feel as a victim, I consciously remind myself of my role in your despair and in your death.  I think about how I fell short of being a father to you, and how my absence affected your well being.  I have failed.  In this way, before I allow myself the privilege of any other emotion beside love, I feel shame…

You will always be in my heart.

I love you forever.

3 thoughts on “One Year

  1. I’m so sorry that Mikhaila is gone. I know you are suffering. The first anniversary of my son’s death is May 22nd and my heart is broken as well.
    Far too many young people die from drug overdoses, and there are many reasons for that. It is not your fault. It happens in families where the child was treasured above all else and the child had every loving advantage.
    The laws also contribute to overdose deaths by not making available Narcan, which can instantly reverse an overdose. A few states are implementing Good Samaritan laws which encourage friends to call 911 without the fear that they will be arrested for their own illegal possession of drugs.
    Too many people are dying unnecessarily. We need to stop rejecting young people who make a mistake or a bad decision when they try drugs and then unintentionally become addicted. We need to stop blaming people for this situation and just extend the hand of help.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry for your loss of Graham. This past year has been surreal and I don’t see how it can be different as the years progress. I take my days one at a time. I hope you are finding what you need to cope with losing your son. I know you don’t know me, but please know that if you ever feel you have no one to talk to, you have me. If you don’t mind, do you have a site or link you can share to get to better know Graham?

      • To answer your question, I don’t have a blog. Instead I have put together a website in memory of Graham that consists of blogs, websites, articles, videos and other resources for bereaved parents and siblings (your blog is included).
        I sometimes write comments in response to other parents’ blog posts (as I have here), but I don’t have a blog specifically about Graham. Part of me would like to and then I am just overwhelmed with emotion when I try to write anything. But I find that I can often identify with the writings of other bereaved parents. I look forward to more of your writings.

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