I hurt so much
A week ago today I found my 30 year old son, Brandon, dead and still can't get the image out of my mind. I hurt so much that he was dying while only a few feet away.
It is normal for my son to sleep all day as he works the night shift. He has battled addiction for years and we finally, after years of in and out of therapy, thought he was truly on the way to recovery. During the past weeks we often commented to him how our "old Brandon" was back, full of laughter, positive outlook, and a joy to be around. He was even scheduled to go to an in-house therapy for two weeks and was looking forward to it.
Our Sunday, May 18, 2014, was like any other running errands, relaxing on the deck, watching TV -just normal everyday stuff. When Brandon's employer called we thought, "uh-oh, someone has overslept." I went downstairs to his room and banged on the door but no response. I could hear the fan and just thought, something is wrong, so I took the door knob off as the door was locked. I looked through the door knob hole and saw the bed was empty so thought he must have left earlier and locked the door by accident. I then looked to the left and that is when I saw him slumped over his desk. I knew he was gone at that second.
Still, I rushed into the room and yelled his name while patting him on the back. He was cold. I then ran out of the room yelling to call an ambulance. I stopped. I turned around and ran back into his room to grab his wrist to check for a pulse. I knew he was already gone, but I had to check. I stopped when I realized that riga-mortis had already set in.
I yelled at my wife and oldest daughter not to come down stairs. The rest of the night is a blur, but I remember the coroner telling us that he had passed between 6am and 8am Sunday morning. I found him a little after 6:30 Sunday evening.
I have some anti-anxiety medicine now to help me get some sleep but every time I close my eyes I still see him slumped over his desk and I can feel his cold, lifeless body.
The only thing I can hold onto is that the Coroner said he did not suffer and simply stopped breathing while asleep. We won't know until the toxicology report is complete (5 weeks or so from now) what he took, but the Coroner thinks it was heroin, which was Brandon's drug of choice. Did he overdose, or was it heroin laced with something else.
My son did have problems, there is no denying that. He was, however, a good person, loved people and never judged anyone. I want to just yell and tell people to stop smiling. To stop being happy. To stop telling me things will get better. I smile. I say I know time will heal. I say all they want me to say, but I feel empty. Just empty.