Ive been dancing around, and trying to ignore, a subject that is weighing heavily on me lately.  I found out, 2 months after the fact, that old friends of ours lost their child to a heroin overdose 2 days before Christmas.  These are good people, financially stable, solid marriage, house in the suburbs, dog in the backyard kind of people.  They spent their lives raising this child, and his two older siblings.  the siblings turned out healthy and, for the most part, well adjusted.  This child, the baby, turned from a life of promise to the dirty world of a drug addict.  For years apparently.  He fought it.  He told his grandfather, just days before he lapsed into a coma, that “this wasn’t the life I wanted”.  He was arranging yet another trip to rehab.  And then he stuck a needle in his arm and died.  DIED.

I am having trouble understanding and accepting this.  For many reasons.  Our own daughter, who I have alluded to in this blog, nearly died 6 years ago, from an eating disorder.  Along with the eating disorder came medications and drinking and I don’t even know what else.  She spiraled out of control for years.  YEARS.  After treatment for the eating disorder she suffered intermittently for the next 41/2 years with various demons that dug at her soul and threatened her peace, her sanity, her life.

And although it wasn’t heroin addiction, it was an addiction to many dangerous behaviors and substances.  And, like the parents of this poor young man, we couldn’t fix it.  WE COULDNT FIX IT.  And I think that the root of my struggle right now is the realization that our child lived, and their child didn’t, and so many children don’t, and we don’t know why.  And I thank God, every minute of every day, for my daughter, and her life, and her child and the husband who loves her —- but the uncertainty of this ability of an outside influence or idea or substance to completely and fully change the children we bore and raised and loved into a ghost of themselves – into a helpless victim, is chilling.

So I dance around it.  I try to support my daughter in her life. I try to comfort friends and advocate for children everywhere.  But I try to avoid the reality that life is so very fragile.  No matter your faith or you love, your pocketbook or your topography — your balance is tedious at best.


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