What Do You Remember?

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by Joe Mudd on February 19, 2012

Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to the anniversary of Richards’s death – it’s just a few months away. Or it could be because today is my birthday, and those family events cause me to reflect on the past. I’ve been thinking back on that time nearly three years ago, when we found out he was gone.

It’s strange what I remember of that time, and what I don’t.

The Night We Got “The Call”

I still remember that awful night like yesterday. The conversation with the coroner lady. Making Debbie get her car off the road and safely parked before I told her. The heartbreak of telling her.  I remember telling my boss I was leaving work, and why. The drive home is clear, as is meeting Debbie in the driveway when I got home.

All the details of that night are still with me. They’re burned into my brain, like a program on a ROM chip, permanent.

The Next Day and Funeral Shopping

Memories start getting cloudier after that first night. I remember going to the airport to pick Sarah up.

I know many people stopped by our house early that afternoon, but I don’t know who anymore. We got food delivered from folks, including some country ham from Carriss’ store up the street, that one of our neighbors sent over. That was one of Richard’s favorites, and a must have for Christmas mornings.

I know we went funeral shopping that afternoon. They didn’t have Richard back from the medical examiners office in Frankfort yet, but were expecting to get him later that afternoon.

There were a lot of details to figure out. I pretty much deferred to Debbie and Sarah on the church readings, songs and such.

We went downstairs and picked out a casket, then looked at the vaults to put the casket in. When the funeral director showed us one made from “football helmet” material, Debbie lit up. She was sure Richard would be pleased with that.

I know we had many more visitors that afternoon and early evening. I don’t remember who.

The Yard Crew Does Work

The next morning, a beautiful Saturday, my family showed up with yard equipment. My siblings and sibling-in-laws, their kids, and my dad went to work getting our yard mowed and cleaned up.

I remember feeling sort of put out about it at the time, because I was looking forward to the solitude of riding my mower around for a few hours. That was very selfish and dumb of me. All those people in my yard loved Richard too. They were in pain, and didn’t know of any other good way to help us deal with this.

I love all of them, and I’m ashamed of myself for how I felt.

More visitors and more food showed up at our front door. I don’t remember who or what.

At The Visitation

The next day was Sunday, and the first of two days I think of as “Showtime.” It was time to put on the best face we could, and send our kid off properly. It was the last thing we could ever do for him here – the last chance to be his parents.

We spent most of the day at the funeral home for the Visitation.

It’s all just a big swirl of colors and faces, sounds and voices, twirling around me. It all just joins together in a massive blur. A big fog.

I recall a scene from the Wizard of Oz, when the tornado picked up the house with Dorothy. The house was up in the clouds, spinning around and around. I felt much like that, but I was inside the tornado and it was spinning around and around me.

The details are completely gone – except for two things.

The “Sorry For Your Loss” Man

The first thing that stands out was something I thought was funny.

We were standing in a receiving line of sorts, early in the day. Debbie, Sarah and myself, plus at least one of my sisters and my dad were in the line. We were greeting our guests. I was the last one in the line.

An older man came through. I don’t know who he was. He may have known Debbie, or been married to someone that did. Or maybe he just liked going to funerals.

I watched him as he made his way down our little line. He’d take the persons hand and say, “Sorry for your loss,” then move to the next person and repeat it, “Sorry for your loss.”

I’m sure a lot of people told us they were “Sorry for your loss.”

Something about the almost casual way he said, “Sorry for your loss,” and nothing more, reminded me of my youthful days playing sports. After a ballgame, the players of each team would line up facing the other team. We’d then walk past each other, and either shake hands or more often just slap hands and say, “Good game. Good game. Good game,” as we passed each opposing player.

Maybe you meant it, probably not really, but it was just something you did. A tradition, part of the game.

That’s how it seemed to be for the “Sorry for your loss” guy, and I found it humorous. Yes, I have a strange mind.

The Message, Or The Messenger?

The only other detail from that day I remember now involved one of my co-workers.

She’s someone I think a lot of, but I would have classified our relationship as pretty casual. That day at the funeral home was the first time I’d seen her outside the factory we work in. It was the first time I’d met her husband.

After introducing me to her husband we stood there chatting.

She told me, “Remember what you believe in, and hold onto that.” I was tempted to ask her if she knew what that might be, because I wasn’t sure I believed in anything right then.

There were hundreds of people at the visitation that day. Some of them I didn’t know, others I love dearly and they mean a great deal to me. I don’t remember anything they said.

Another lady I worked with was there. She’s someone I was very fond of and I remember feeling a lot of comfort when I saw her. We talked for a long time. I can’t tell you a single word she said.

That message, “Remember what you believe in,” somehow has cut through the clutter. Like a lighthouse beacon shining through the fog, it still whispers to me, “This way. Over here, follow the light.”

Is it the message? Or is it the messenger that make those words stand out?

We’ve never talked about Richard’s death, the funeral, or any of that stuff since that day.

Still, I hear her say those words often.

And I’m still working on it.

At The Funeral

Monday, and as Ed Sullivan used to say, time for “A Really Big Show.” The funeral. Show time again.

Another day of swirling colored fog.

The church was packed. I have the general impression it was a really nice service. If my kid hadn’t been laying in that oak box at the front of church, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it.

I seem to remember Father Bill did a great job. He gave one of his best homilies, but the only reason I remember a word of it, is because it’s printed in the beautiful memorial book Sarah made for us.

Once again two things cut through the mist. Neither of them is humorous to me this time, but one does bring comfort.


We sat beside the casket at the front of church.

You might guess, Debbie was crying. Not wailing. Not even sobbing out loud. She was mostly silent, the tears slowly dripping down her face.

What I remember most is how her whole body trembled.

We held hands through the service. I could feel the quaking as we touched one another. It lasted the entire service.

And there was no way to make it go away.

That’s burned into my brain too.

Chris and Susan Go Solo

As I said, the service is a blur, but I have the impression of beauty. I’m pretty sure the choir area was full of singers and they sounded really good.

One song, and two singers in particular, Chris and Susan, made it into my lifetime memory bank.

The choir sang In His Time. I’d never heard this song before, but it was beautiful. Chris and Susan each sang a verse solo.

Though several years older than Richard, Chris also graduated from St X High School. So they had something of a connection. He was a long time member of the choir, but I’d never heard him sing alone before.

Susan is the wife of our choir director at that time. She was part of our bell choir, but I’d never seen or heard her sing before. I don’t believe it’s happened again since that day.

They both did a great job.

These two people stepping out of their comfort zones like that, just to help us get through the funeral, and to make the service special to us really means a lot to me.

Susan couldn’t even talk about later, when I went to thank her.

I own them both a lot.

What About You?

Going through the darkest days of my life, you’d think I’d be able to remember more. But I can’t.

Some things had great impact, and I’ll never forget them. Most is just a blur.

What about you? What do you remember?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Roberta Korntved February 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I’m only 7 months past my son Austin’s death so many of the details are still there for me. The one I felt was most ridiculous was the box for the box. We are at the funeral home. How can I describe my child to you in a few sentences? That just isn’t possible. Next we are downstairs in the room of caskets. I’m unusually calm about this. Picking out the right casket – the one Austin would pick if he could. Probably the last decision I’ll need to make for him. It was easy – – it’s definitely got to be blue. We all agreed, no question. I’m thinking good, that’s over. Then they walk us to the other side of the room and start to explain the vaults. The box for the box. This is the point it all became so absurd for me. Why do I have to make decisions about material, color, etc. for this box too? I start to feel panicky and need to get out of this room of boxes. That was the last straw. I couldn’t care less. Grandma feels ‘this one’ is necessary to keep him safe. Perfect, give me that box for THE box.
The blur of people at the visitation. Four school bus loads of kids from his high school – – and this was during summer break. It really warmed my heart — but Austin felt like he didn’t have that many friends. I’m sure he was proud of the line.
The funeral the next day – – I remember the need to get to the church as early as possible. If Austin’s there, I want to be there too – – this is the last day I get to “see” him and I intend to stand there staring at him until they close the blue box. They let me tuck him in – – that was another tough moment. But I wasn’t going to let anyone else do it. He was my baby after all!
The silliest thing – – I walked down the aisle into the funeral following his casket. But that meant I head into the pew first so I ended up sitting the furthest away from Austin during the ceremony. As his mom I found that strange, and wondered if anyone else noticed.
His procession was a mile and half long to the cemetery. I remember thinking how tickled he was to be causing such a fuss through town.
I remember not wanting to leave the cemetery. He should be getting into the car to come home with us.
Its so strange how I have to keep reminding myself that he’s gone. My daughter started college 4 weeks after he passed. Just this last weekend, I was visiting her and we were carrying grocery bags into her dorm. A passing thought, why didn’t I bring Austin with to help carry this stuff? And then a quick reprimand to myself. Its a daily struggle that I’m just now starting to comprehend.


Joe Mudd February 22, 2012 at 2:46 am

Hi Roberta
I know what you mean about the box for the box. They start out showing you the really fancy one’s, so when you get to the plain concrete vault you’ll naturally say, “Yuck.” You know you can’t put your kid in that.

I think the one we got cost more than the casket – for something no one will ever see.

It’s crazy. But this whole thing of burying your children is crazy, isn’t it?


Rebecca Carney August 1, 2012 at 7:51 am

Those of us who have buried our children have had to deal with things that no other parent would even dare to imagine. Everything just so surreal – an overused word, but one that fits. Even now, 10 years later, I sit and shake my head at all the choices we had to make…so many choices, all of them feeling so laden with the horrendous weight of “Goodbye, precious child.”


Kathy May 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Our son died very unexpectedly a little over 2-1/2 years ago. He was 21 at the time, struggling with life, making poor choices, but actually finally “getting it together” somewhat, and then boom . . . his life changed.

We received a call early in the morning of 09/23/2009 stating that our son had been found unconscious and paramedics were en-route with him to an area hospital. We had 100 miles to travel to get there. I remember my husband praying out-loud, “God, please breathe life into Adam,” while he drove and I made phone calls asking for others to be praying. It was as if we knew before knowing what the outcome would be.

I have blocked out so much of that morning and of the days that followed, but as time moves forward, bits and pieces are coming back. The one thing I can’t erase from my mind and interestingly enough was never forgotten, is the sound of my screams when I saw the group of people waiting in the family room of the ER. As I was escorted through the doors to the family room, I saw a large group gathered in the room waiting for us. The instant I saw their faces, I knew. It was then that I screamed and collapsed in the isle of the ER. All I needed to see was their eyes. I knew instantly that our son did not make it. At that moment, it was our life that changed.

You spoke of the seemingly shallow statements made during your receiving line, “Sorry for your loss,” etc. I remember well those comments and wondering in my mind, “Are you really? Do you really mean that or are you just saying a bunch of fluff to make us feel a little better?” Awful, I know, but none-the-less real thoughts and feelings that I had.

From one grieving parent to another, I am truly sorry that you have lost your son and I appreciate the words that you have shared in your blogs. I stumbled upon it the other day while searching for anything to read concerning the loss of a son. Yes, it’s like I can’t get my hands on enough material. It’s like I “need” to read and read and read more about others that have been living this type of loss. Maybe it’s to affirm that we’re not alone in our grief. I’m not sure. Anyway, thank you for your sharing.

Blessings to you and your family. May God continue to give you strength for each day. We will one day see our sons again. It will be a Glorious Day!


SadMama July 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

Please take a look at the site I put together since the sudden and shocking loss of my son 10 weeks ago. I, too, have been searching everywhere for things to read by other grieving parents. I’ve been putting them all together in one place:
You may find some sliver of comfort in the words of some of the parents who are writing beautiful blogs.


Pam February 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I can really relate to the comments and feelings you are expressing here. Thursday will be the 1 yr anniversary of suddenly losing our beautiful 30 year old son, Jason. I hate using that word “anniversary”. It is supposed to represent a happy event, another year of life together. But it is the only word I can think of to use. He was similar to how you describe your son. He was a dad to a 7 and 3 yr old and pinging back and forth between being on the right path and then making some not so smart choices. He had a wife who not only enabled his behavior, but encouraged it. We got “the call” in the afternoon from the Chaplain at the local county jail. My husband took the call and I knew something was terrribly wrong, he fell to his knees and said “how, when?” and I knew. He shared the news, I was in a fog. I asked him to repeat it “what? What did you say?” and then the grief hit me like a tsunami. My husband had to call our younger son and tell him, we all cried. The long drive to VA (we are in FL) and then all the decisions-the casket, the service, etc was just so hard and unimagineable. How do you pick out a casket for your child? Not your parents, your child??! Then there were his babies to comfort, so confused. That was one of the hardest things, seeing his babies who he loved so much in such pain and chaos. We made it through the “visitation” thing, but I have to say we had people come from 12 hrs away who knew him when he was a kid and loved him, very kind and loving support. The service was a blur, nice I guessed.
I have spent a year walking through this grief and as the date approaches I am remembering good things, the warm, giving man he was, but the pain stricks the heart out of nowhere sometimes and it takes my breath away. My friends who have been through this say that it never goes away, but gets “easier” which is hard to imagine. I don’t think there ever could be anything easy about losing your child. I do have the comfort of knowing in my heart that he is in the Lord’s arms and I will see him again, that gives me amazing comfort in the hard times and lets me work through this with some sense of hope. And..I am so sorry for your loss, as I have at least an inkling of how you might feel.


Micky March 16, 2014 at 10:51 am

I know what you mean about needing to read and find things you can relate to, that others have gone thru. I am the same. After almost 2 years since my son died, I still am looking for the “magic words” that are written down, somewhere, that will answer all my questions. Why? What happened? and Why…again.


Lanette July 19, 2012 at 12:14 am

The five year anniversary of my son’s death from a vehicle accident is July 25. He was 18. I guess I also needed to read something on the loss of a child. I never wanted to go to a support group. I had the opinion that I didn’t want to “share” stories and I had no support to provide. But, reading the experiences of other parents online has been so helpful. Many times I found that my reactions were “normal”. I saw that the importance of your child not being forgotten was a common feeling. One thing I heard Marie Osmond say (and I can’t quote verbatim) is, it doesn’t make me sad when you ask about my child that died, it makes me happy that you remembered that they lived. This website was a special way to keep your son’s memory alive and to benefit others.


Rebecca Carney July 22, 2012 at 11:02 am

I had never been one to journal before Jason died. When my sister came out for Jason’s memorial service, she brought a journal with her. I started writing the week after he died and have continued since then. It seemed to give me a voice to say those things others didn’t want to hear. It has also served as a record for the journey.

Some things from “that day” (and the weeks that followed) I remember so clearly to this day…and I will never forget them. Some things are a blur.


Marie Ackermann October 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Tomorrow will be 6 months since our daughter death.Sahvanna 27 years old,was walking and hit by a motor cycle. She lived 22 days after the accident. The first 2 days she smiled or tried to with the injuries. She move her rt toes and rt fingers slightly when asked then she would go back to sleep. Had total of 17 surgeries in first week. All major organs damaged. About day 19 neuro. Dr. informed us that she was basically brain dead due to blood clots to her brain. In the past she had made her “if ever” request to us. So we called family to see her if wanted, the next days would only be us our son and his wife. I remember kissing her at birth and holding her hands and feet. That is what I did a few minutes before she died kissing every part of her I could to say I love all of you always. I can’t remember large parts of those days total fog. But holding her in bed putting my fingers through her hair saying love you over and over. I know she couldn’t hear me but I hope her heart did. I cry daily and think of her most of day. I recall things that I didn’t see and hear things but know she is sleeping in death. my family has moved on I am stuck in that hospital bed holding my baby girl DRs now say I have PTSD I don’t sleep in my husbands bed my crying yelling in my sleep keeps him up at night one of us has to work and it isn’t me. I have seizure disorder so all this and trying to calm not to have a seizure I hate this pain for all of us who have lose a child. never know pain could be this deep Thank you.


Jan November 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

In a few days it will be 8 months since my husband and I received a call from my husband’s boss (the sheriff) asking if we knew where our daughter was. When he told him, there was silence at first and then my husband began to holler. He was told our daughter had been shot and was on her way to the hospital. His boss told him to use his patrol car and come right away. Within a minute we were frantically flying to the hospital, which was just 5 miles away. When we arrived we were greeted by at least 2 dozen people, many my husband’s co-workers in law enforcement. They led us into a “family room”, where they told us our daughter had expired. The Dr. told us they did everything possible to try to try to save her. At that time we learned that Lindsay had been followed by her ex-boyfriend (a doctor she had broke up with in Jan. 12) to her new boyfriends house in a small town about 12 miles from our home. The ex-boyfriend jumped out of a rented truck with the handgun, confronted Lindsay and they argured. Her new boyfriend (of just a few weeks) heard the argument and called 911 when he saw the gun. While Chase was on the call he saw the doctor shoot Lindsay and her fall to the ground. He ran to his door to go outside to help her, and he heard another gunshot and the doctor shot himself. Lindsay was just 22 years old, and just starting her life. The doctor was a lying SOB. He had started a reltionship with her telling her he was in a process of a divorce. In January she found out it was all untrue, he was still at home with his wife, so she broke up with him. He must have been infatuated with a beautiful, young, smart girl……..and had never had anyone tell him no.

The evening after the terrible news is a blurr…… Actually the next day is also. Many people in our community brought food, drinks, plates, plants, etc. About 4 couples of our wonderful friends handled everything for us at home…greeting people, recording who brought what, making sure foods were sitting out, etc. Alot of family was in and out of the house.

I remember going to the funeral home on Friday and doing all the arrangements. Bits and pieces of it. My husband picked out the casket and I chose the vaults. The vault is a pink and white swirl, with glitter on the lid. One I know she would love. The funeral director was wonderful. She guided us along with way with great care and comfort. I wanted Lindsay’s nails done (she always had nails….and one had had all been broken and chipped). She had a nail person come in and do her artifical names, and some one from the hair salon do her hair extensions.

My husband and I had to go shopping for something for her to wear. Due to the gunshot wound to her heart…and the autopsy, she could not wear anything low cut. It is pretty hard to find a turtleneck in the Iowa at that time of year. Let alone something a 22 year old would want to wear. We found a leopard dress with a higher front to it. Lindsay loved leopard, so even though it was all the way to her neck, she would have loved the print.

The visitation was on Monday. We set the time from 1pm to 9pm as she had friends in the medical field that worked 2nd shift. There was a line out the door at noon, and my husband and I greeted the last friends to see her at 9:30pm. We said hello, listened to condolences, and alot of “I don’t know what to say” for 9 1/2 hours, never taking a break. And I would do it all over again for Lindsay.

The funeral was held in a large church and was as beautiful as a funeral for your 22 year old daughter could be. The minister was comforting. Two of Lindsay’s friends sang a duet together with about a dozen other girls singing the last chorus line. Once the service was over, we proceeded to the cemetary. News reports had the funeral processional as 5 miles long. What a wonderful send off for our daughter, the baby of our family, and our only daughter :(

My husband and I try to remain strong, and rely on our faith alot to give us that strength. I visit Lindsay often, usually once or twice a week…and it makes me feel good. I want to know she is okay, and I keep her headstone and surrounding area neat and tidy like she kept herself.

Thank you for listening to our story. Each time I’m able to express it, it gets a little easier. Domestic violence is a terrible thing…and one that needs to stop. As time goes on, I’d like to be more involved in support groups to help people through. And see the signs. We knew this man, and never would have imagined he would take Lindsay from us like he did.


Donna December 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

It has been 2-1/2 years since that awful day. I was baking a cake for my girlfriend’s college graduation that evening, and my husband had just opened the garage door to leave for work when we heard the loud knock on the front door. I will never ever forget the look on Mike’s face as we were so puzzled who would be knocking on our door at 6:30 a.m. on a Friday morning in June.

Because I was in the middle of removing the cake from the oven, Mike went to the front door and I heard voices and he called me to come into the living room. It was 2 police officers, a young man and a young woman. They asked us about our youngest son Jake and of course I beamed! I was so proud of our Jake, he was at the time completing a college internship at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Then they asked us if he had any identifying markers on his body. We both mentioned Jake’s sonic tattoo which was on his right calf, and he also had a cleft lip and palate so there was a scar over his lip.

At that point the female police officer suggested we sit down, but I couldn’t – I honestly couldn’t imagine that she was about to tell me that Jake had died – my first thought was, Uh-oh – he ended up getting in trouble, and he landed himself in jail. But, then she talked about the car accident, he hadn’t survived. I think I was in disbelief, mainly because we were in Wisconsin, and Jake was in Florida – the poor officer didn’t have any of the details, all she could tell us was that he died. She was very kind, gave us phone numbers to the Coroner’s office in Florida, the highway patrol, etc.

We tried to reach our oldest son but couldn’t. His work schedule was a little goofy back then and he wasn’t responding to our texts to come home ASAP, he was sleeping. Mike ended up calling the highway patrol in Florida and received the details, to this day, I cannot discuss them openly – it was horrific to hear how my baby died.

We just sat still for a good hour – we didn’t hug each other, console each other – we were numb. Finally, something came over me and I realized I had to cancel an appt that day, call a funeral home, call family and friends, etc. And I had this damn cake sitting on my counter waiting to be frosted. My girlfriend told me to throw it away, but honestly, it was kind of nice to have something to do, so I finished the cake while waiting for family to arrive. My sister drove me to my friend’s house to deliver the cake later. I have not made that cake since, nor do I have any desire to.

When I look back, I am surpised at how I was able to keep my composure during all the planning. We weren’t very religious at that time, so we were planning a memorial instead of a funeral. My brother had just graduated from seminary, so he was the officiating Pastor. Jake loved musicals and was involved in show choir and drama during high school. So, the memorial planning turned out to be fun, because it was so personalized to Jake’s passions. We had 3 songs during the service – one of the songs was from Rent, one from Wicked, and the last song was Smile. Jake was famous for his smile and good nature, it was the perfect way to end the service.

Jake had moved away from home at 19 to Madison which was 90 miles away from where we lived. We couldn’t believe how many people reached out to us from Madison, and the number of people who drove the 90 miles to attend the memorial. One of Jake’s Disney friends started a memorial page on Facebook – by the time we had the Memorial (1 week after death), there were over 450 members on his memorial facebook page.

We were in awe at how many lives our beautiful Jake impacted. I don’t remember too many details of who said what to us while in the receiving line – I just remember we had both rooms of the funeral home filled to capacity. The funeral home had set up a monitor to allow the 2nd room to view the service as it happened. After the beautiful eulogies given by Jake’s dear friend, Jake’s dad and Jake’s brother – we went to club where we had a room reserved. Olive Garden (Jake was a waiter there before he went to Disney), gave us loads of Spaghetti and Salad for after the service, I remember how grateful I was for that. The weeks after were very hard, I felt like people just wanted me to have the service, and then get on with my life.

It was grueling – work made it worse as I worked in a hostile work environment. 2 months after Jake’s death my boss actually told me that it sounded like I might be depressed. I wanted to slap him. How dare he judge me just 8 weeks after my son died! I honestly don’t know how I survived the first year, but I did.

I still am in pain, I have been able to smile again and laugh – but Jake is still in my thoughts constantly. I miss his laugh, his smiles, his hugs. Holidays are very difficult and family celebrations are horrible. It is very hard for me to celebrate with others when I find it so sad that I will never have such celebrations with Jake.

The only people who know what I’m feeling are you all – those of us whose child has died. It is out of the natural order of life. We grow up expecting to say good-bye and bury our parents, but our children are supposed to outlive us.

I am truly grateful for what Jake gave me for 22 years. He was such a good person, he’s the kind of child everyone hopes they have. Kind, compassionate, generous, and always looked for the good – he always found a way to see the positive in everything. Some days I think of what Jake would do, and I think I’ve turned into a better person since his death because of what he taught me in his short 22 years.

Sorry for rambling on – boy, I’ve never put it into words before didn’t realize it would be this long.


Micky December 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

There is a hill about 2 blocks from my house that has a big rock at the top. Through the years the local kids and such have gone up there and painted it blue, so that it has become a landmark in the area. My son used to love to climb up there and spend time just looking out over our town and being by himself. Every morning, I look up at “bluerock” and tell him hello, good morning, I love you. It helps me feel like we’re still connected somehow.
Todd died March 25th, 2012 from a heart attack caused by heroin. He was 35. He had made so many mistakes in his life, and payed for them every time…He was just starting to get his life back on track…going to NA, seeking counseling, and getting sober. He met a girl…and ended up in jail on a DUI and it pushed him right into feeling like a failure. He gave up…He decided that if he was gonna be a loser, he may as well go all the way and let this girl talk him into doing heroin for the first time. Which was his last time.
I was not at home and I remember the look on my husbands face when I walked in the door that night. I knew something was wrong, but I fully expected him to tell me something had happened to my Mom, who is 94. The words coming out of his mouth were a LIE! They had to be! Not my Son! And then I called his siter and said, “get here” and thats the last clear memory I have until the memorial service. Its all a blur…people tell me I handled everything well..I just don’t remember it all. I know my friends and my daughter were there and the flowers and food all showing up…I just didnt register much of it till later.
At the Memorial service, so many of Todd’s friends spoke of what a good person he was and how funny he was and how he had been thru rough times and they all saw him doing so much better. It was a affirmation that he was a good guy…which made it harder for me to understand why God would take someone who was trying so hard to be better. It still is a hard question for me.
The crying hasn’t stopped…just slowed down…and the missing him is just as intense as it was from day 1….Christmas is really hard this year…I keep missing all the things we used to have, whereas my husband is missing the things that will never be. I just need a hug from him…a smile…I keep remembering him saying all the time..”What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, and what doesn’t kill me better start running.” I am trying to adopt that mindset….


Donna December 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

It’s okay to cry – everyone grieves so differently and definitely at their own pace. You’re still experiencing the all of the 1sts without him, after having him for 35 years.
The pain will never go away, but you will find, in your own time and way – that life still does go on. You will always miss him, but I think that you trying to adopt his mindset is a great start to some real healing. I believe that we never fully heal, we learn to live with this tremendous wound to our hearts.
Hang in there, I know what you’re going through…


natasha September 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I remember arriving home at 9pm from a neighbor’s bbq with our two daughters and my husband checking on our 16 year old in his room. I remember the way my husband screamed “Call 911”. I remember a phone being in my hand, I think my daughter dialed, and then I remember running into his room and seeing my husband pulling him off his bed onto the floor. Some throwup came out of his mouth so I remember thinking he was going to be okay. The next thing I remember is being at the hospital and after a while going into the room where they were working on him and having the nurse ask me if I was sure that I wanted to be there for “this”. Then they looked at the clock..and I looked at the clock.. 10:15.. and then I remember them announcing the time of death and I thought “what the bleep are they doing?” It was as if I was in a dream and I still feel that somehow they were wrong about that. It’s impossible to me that he was fine when we left him that evening and that a few hours later..all on his own..he wasn’t.


john March 15, 2014 at 12:45 am

I am so sorry for any parent who has to go through this. So many tragic stories. So many similarities — and at the same time every situation is unique.

We are about six weeks out. It is just now seeming real.



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