I buried my mother on December 28. She lived a long and good life, and she was ready. Days later, my friend’s son died from the disease of addiction. Two deaths, but two very different circumstances. When I went to the funeral home to support my friend, we embraced while she wept from a place that ripped open my heart and tore at my soul. She sobbed, saying over and over again, “I didn’t know. Why didn’t I know? Why couldn’t I have done something?”
My tears were the answer. No words to comfort her, no truth that could quench the enormity of her son’s tragic death. It is every parent’s greatest fear that her addicted child could die. The seriousness of drug addiction is often too horrifying to look at. My mother’s death brought grief to my heart, and my friend’s son’s death brought despair to my soul.
Today, I will honor the lives lost to addiction. I won’t sweep them under the rug and I won’t be silent. I will acknowledge the severity of this disease – it is a battle of life and death. My sons and I will continue our fight against addiction. We stand next to the parents and their fallen loved ones. We ask God to ease their pain.1592