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.


Comments for I hurt so much

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Jun 18, 2014
by: Jolynn

What a traumatic way to find your dear son. I offer my deepest condolence. Finding him that way may be causing you to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Talking to a grief counselor would help you get thru it. I too lost my dear son last year to an accidental Heroin overdose. He started with painkillers and when they got too expensive on the street, he turned to Heroin at $5.00 a bag. We even put him in Betty Ford but he got kicked out after 2 months for hooking up with a girl. He died 2 weeks after they released him. He was 26 and an officer in the Marines training to be a fighter pilot. He was outgoing, funny, smart, played every sport, spoke fluent Spanish, was a belt from black in military martial arts. He had his private pilots license and was on his way to a brilliant future but the drugs hijacked his brain. How sad we all are. I want another chance with him. Keep thinking I should have known about his misuse of drugs sooner but he was never stoned when he was with us. He kept his secret tight. I wish you some peace. I write letters to him to say all the things I did not get a chance to say. I sleep with his shirt. Life is so sad now. The anniversary of his death is a horrible day as is his birthday and the Holidays have lost their joy. I am so sorry you lost your dear son.

Jun 14, 2014
by: robbie

i lost my son spencer ten months ago.its the hardest thing ive coped with in my life.believe me there have been a few.ive cried been angry .wondered why him and not me ive had to carry on as have a younger son.i probably got so wrapped up in grief he must have thought id lost the plot.but truthfully without him and spencers stepdad i wouldnt have got this far .people do not know what to say this makes you feel more isolated .i have days i cry and days i probably appear normal but inside i hurt so bad and i know il never be same person i was .but at least i had spencer in my life and i was proud to be his mam but i miss him so much.i never was a religious person but i truely hope we will meet again one day.left with no answers it gets easier but still hurts everyday

Jun 03, 2014
by: maryjo

I am so sorry for your loss and the way in which you found your son. There are no words that make this better and I feel like you, I want to quit hearing how it will get better. I want to hide, I do not want to talk to people but I discovered this forum and just hearing about other people's experiences and their loss makes me feel not so alone.

We lost our 27 year old son on Mother's Day this year, he crashed his car and we were told he died instantly which we had hoped. He had been taking adderall for a condition he did not have and was taking much more than prescribed. It is so easy for anyone to get that pill, it causes paranoia, delusions, mania. He had it all, we tried to get him into treatment but he kept telling us he was taking care of it but he wasn't. Now he is gone forever from our lives but not from our hearts and never will be. I don't think this pain "heals" it is not like a cut or something broken. Our hearts are broken, yours ours and all who have lost a son or daughter. We will always have a chronic sadness and ache in our hearts. We have another son, 28 I, we have to be strong for him, he lost a friend, a brother, someone who had been in his life since he was born and they were close. I am taking one hour at a time.

Yesterday I woke and felt ok, today I woke and have cried most of the day.


May 30, 2014
Jason mom
by: Leti

I feel the pain you have in your heart. I too loss my son almost two yrs now. It will be on Sept 14, 2012. My jimmy was a single father of 5 beautiful smart and well behave children. He lived with me at the time . On that morning we said our good bye and he always told me he love me and always thanking for helping him out. I told him I love him too and I would see him later that day. Well my son never made it to work that morning and had a heart attack that rolled his suburban and died insteadly. I was got the call on my way home. My daughter was waiting for me to arrive and run up to me crying. I still didn't know what happen. But when I saw my other son and my daughter and there dad and Jimmy's kids my knees just wanted to buckle. The pain in my heart is so deep that I just didn't want it to be true. I beg god why did he take away this wonderful father to these children and from me. I didn't want to live. A part of me went with my son. It's been a struggle for me and it's very hard for other people to understand how deep your pain is. This is your child. Jimmy was 37 yrs shy by one week before he turn 38 yrs. I have gone to support groups that did help me and honestly it took me about a month or two to go to one. I was still in denial. I wanted my baby back. I've always had faith in our Lord and had so many WHY'S about him taking from me. As time has pass on my faith has become so much stronger. I still have those bad days. A tragedy of losing your child is un natural. We will never be that person again and the void will always be in your heart, but I must say is I am looking forward when it's time for me to go home to The Lord. Our lord promises us that we will be together again. I'm praying for all of you as myself to move forward and it does takes baby steps. I never ever thought I would lose my child. Or I would of never had children. That's how painful it is to all of us. God bless you and your all in my prayers. Leti

May 29, 2014
Jason Lee Byron
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous
Many of us part from loved one's where we have been outspoken or hurt someone by something we did or said. THIS IS LIFE. We don't get angry or pushed to the edge for no reason. Something done or said towards us sets off in us a response that we can't take back. Equally the other person was part of the equasion of what triggered off your response. It is now time to Let go of the on going pain that left you feeling guilt because he is not here anymore for you to say sorry to. He died due to using drugs. His CHOICE of lifestyle. You are not responsible as to how he used the money he borrowed from you. You also had a responsibility to voice your opinion and disappointment that he did not use the money you gave him for the correct purpose. You also say you helped him with his alcohol problem. The word you used is HELP and GAVE two of the actions that say you loved and cared enough for Jason. He abused your trust and care and so the responsibility rests with him. Time now to look at this problem from this perspective and not beat yourself up forever for not being able to put to right your text message. Remembering that it is not easy speaking the truth or confronting anyone but in the end the Bible says. "Faithful are the wounds of a Friend." Sometimes there is no easy way to say something but by being direct. You are not responsible for how Jason reacted. But if you feel you did react in a way that hurt Jason. Then let it go and FORGIVE YOURSELF. Remembering that you GAVE and you HELPED HIM.

May 28, 2014
sorrow and pain in grief
by: Joe's mom

I really related to your story...my younger son, Joe passed away unexpectedly July 8, 2013 and I still feel what you described. I did not see his lifeless body but believe once his spirit was gone, the body was not my Joe, that is what made him "gone". I miss my son, his smile, his laugh, his care for others when he felt so bad some days. I can echo your pain, and I wish each day for my son, as you will for yours. The pain is less raw 11 months later, but like you, I sometimes say what will allow the other person to move on as whatever they say will not ease my internal emotions. Sometimes, I go a few hours without remembering but then, it is there again. I wish you and your family any peace you find and know from your words that our sons were somewhat alike and forever special in our hearts. I have found some relief in reading the stories here, occasionally writing a few words, knowing other parents are were I am emotionally and offering care when I can. I find it is better to feel the pain than mask it, so this first year, I chose grief counseling and coming to this site. Each of us must find what works for us, as we relate to many components but just like our child, our grief path is unique. We share the sentiment that we want our child back, have to accept we cannot have our dearest wish and we are expected to find a way to live on. We can either think of them and smile or think of them and cry...sometimes at this point I do both at the same time. Blessings and hugs.

May 27, 2014
Your son
by: Kate

I lost my loving caring kind son of 39 years a year and a half ago. My heart is still in devestation .
A mixture of alcohol and cocaine caused " accidental death"
So horrible a nightmare. You do go on but the road is rough and hard. Your heart will always miss him. Take one day at a time. No one knows but ones who have been there. My heart is with you.

May 27, 2014
Jason Lee Byron
by: Anonymous

He disappeared from my life two years ago I was mean to him in a text, he used to borrow money and not use it for what he said, he was a drinker but he tried so hard to stop, he wanted to stop I tried to help. I loved him you see. He moved away and stooped answering texts and no one would help me find him to say where he was I wanted to tell him I was sorry. I found his old face book and wrote messages that went unanswered I wouldn't give up though and finally searched through all his friends and contacts and left messages for the to pass on my number..it was then that I saw it RIP Jason his photo was there so he died a year ago and I didn't know. Heroine the coroner said when I called today or opiate toxicity and he is dead and I didn't get to say that I lived him

May 27, 2014
It does get easier..
by: Lori

I too loss my 30 yr. old son, When he died a part of me also died! It's been 8 months now and I still have some bad days. I thought I couldn't live without him and I was so lost. But as time goes by it's getting a little easier, I still wake up thinking of him and fall asleep thinking of him. I did go to a grief counselor for 4 months and that helped me get through my rough times. I'm still on anxiety meds and they help! I know the pain you are going through, it will get easier, but I don't think the pain of losing a child ever goes away! I try to keep busy, so the emotions don't start to build up again. This page has helped me get through my grief, knowing that I am not alone, and have support out there. My heart goes out to you, and your family..

May 27, 2014
Respecting Death
by: Doreen UK

Being born in Scotland I grew up in a small Scottish village. One of my more memorable childhood memories came back today.
Whenever someone died, the neighbours living across the road from the deceased, would close their curtains/drapes/blinds which was a way of RESPECT to the family of the person who died. This would be done for a few days out of RESPECT/HONOUR.
A tradition that I remember from childhood of how a community respected a death. Sadly this tradition may have ceased now since I moved countries. Perhaps other people can draw on memories around a tradition they remember of, when someone died.

May 26, 2014
your son
by: Anonymous

I lost my 30 year old son to a heroin overdose a little over a year ago. I still feel that emptyness. I can't believe it happened. I am functioning, working and going along in this world. But it is a different world. A sadder world, and I'm not really happy. I do have some good moments and enjoy friends, but then I think about my son, who I miss so much. I will always miss him...and love him.

May 26, 2014
You Grieve In YOUR own WAY and TIME.
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss. I have a little different thought about grieving. It's my belief that you should not try to stop the thoughts or the pain. If you are hurting, HURT. FULLY FEEL THE emotions and let yourself grieve. There is no timeline for that. Some people seem to get over things quickly and maybe some do but I'd wager that most of them are stuffing the pain and I know that eventually it will be released there are a lot of things that we hear from people and things we've said to people in mourning that doesn't really help them. I try to say what I mean. Don't let anyone tell you how you should feel or for how long. They are your feelings , no one Else's. I've always heard it said that time heals and we get over things. But I heard a new one, one that I think is better. We NEVER get over our grief, it just gets easier and another said Grieving is my way of honoring my loved one. I believe it helps to speak to your beloved, out loud . It's very possible they hear us. So if you need to forgive them, or ask for forgiveness. Maybe you want to share the events of your day or special event. Some people will feel better and may even sense the presence of their "person" let your friends and family know what you need from them isn't so much advice as support. And by posting your story and journaling your feelings in a public forum will help so many other hurting people. Thank you for your bravery.

May 26, 2014
I hurt so much
by: Doreen UK

David these next few days/weeks will be the worst of your entire life. You have lost a child and this is the worst loss for any parent. You should try and see a grief counsellor if only to take the edge off of this RAW GRIEF. I remember the first week of my loss of my husband 2yrs. ago to cancer. It was the worst of my entire life. I could not function for 6 months. I could not move off the couch. I have had a relapse and lost my motivation to do anything. I have returned to the couch. I don't know when this will change.
I can echo how you feel when you see life go on and people laughing, joking, enjoying life whilst your world has been blown up into pieces as if you have been in an EXPLOSION. The pain is UNBEARABLE. You feel as if you have been crushed. You want to stop the world and get off. It feels irritating that Life is going on as normal for everyone, and why can't it for you. This is normal. I wanted to scream. I watched TV and resented seeing people being happy, untouched by any tragedy that I had endured. I didn't deny them their happiness, it just seemed very inappropriate and disrespectful to my grief. The only way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. I still can't look forward otherwise this LONELINESS and EMPTINESS Swallows me up. DEATH alters us forever. WE are never the same people anymore. Do anything and everything good for yourself and family now to start to heal from your loss. It will take a long time for you to recover from your grief. But you will recover. I am sorry for your loss.

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