Of course, as his mother, I have immense guilt over Leo’s death. I saw the signs, but I chose not to question them, I decided to look the other way while my son was changing and slipping away. I thought I was a good mother, giving him room to grow. I wish more than anything that I had talked to him more, had questioned why he had become so aggressive and so disinterested in his former passions. I wish I’d gotten to know his new friends, to see what they’d been up to.
Deep down I know it’s not my fault. I know I’m a good mother, and I’m in therapy to try to work through the overwhelming grief and guilt I feel. I won’t even try to describe it here. Until you have lost a child, especially from a drug overdose, there are no words to do the feeling justice.
So my advice to anyone who suspects even a little bit that a loved one may be struggling with any sort of addiction is this: don’t look the other way. Don’t ignore the problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get help for your loved one.
But also, my advice to anyone who has been in a similar situation that I’m in now, grieving the loss of a loved one to drugs: don’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault, no matter how much you blame yourself. Get help for yourself to get through this. Take care of yourself and those around you, while honoring your loved one’s memory.