My 37 year old son, Erich, died of a heroin overdose

by Patricia

My beautiful, intelligent, artistic yet troubled, son Erich died of a heroin overdose on March 7, 2013. He had battled heroin addiction for the past 6 years and was "clean" for one year when the seduction of this drug lured him back. He was dealing with legal issues related to his addiction; something that cropped up from a minor incident more than a year prior to his death. He once told me that he never stopped thinking about heroin; it was always in the back of his mind. He used this drug to ease the pain of whatever life handed him. The stigma and guilt related to his death is very challenging.

I lost a child...a child I loved and cherished. No matter what the circumstances were resulting in his death..he is gone. And, I miss him. This emotional roller coaster ride is like nothing I have ever endured. I feel as though I am expected not to experience the same type of "grief" as those whose child has died of an illness or an accident. It is a strange feeling. But, he was once my beautiful baby, my inquisitive little boy, my troubled adult son.

My remaining children (a daughter 36 and a son 33) have provided a source of well as my grandchildren. I am grateful for them and cherish them...but it does not lessen the sadness and grief I feel for the loss of Erich.

Comments for My 37 year old son, Erich, died of a heroin overdose

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Sep 16, 2013
by: Melanie Rowan

I lost my 23 year old son Ryan april 12 2012. I wrote a story on here a Mothers Journey thru Grief. There is a book When A child dies from Drugs ON amazon. IT saved my life. I am so sorry for your life. Parents from all over the world feel your pain. Let us comfort you please.
Your son is pain and addiction free now and is looking down and saying thanks for loving me.
Melanie Rowan.

Apr 28, 2013
Our sons
by: Sandy

Reading your story was very much like reading a story of our son who also died of a heroin overdose less than a year ago. He also voiced many of the feelings that your son did. No matter how long he was away from it, the craving was always there. It made the difficulties in his life easier to deal with. Most of the difficulties were a result of the drug. I also understand the pain you are going through as I face it every day. My son was only 27 and we miss him every day. Not a day goes by that he is not in my thoughts. I am the one that found him and it is hard to lay down at night and not relive that day. I wish you the peace I wish I could find.

Apr 08, 2013
Lost My Son "Kyle" to addiction
by: Terri

On June 15th, 2012, my oldest son took his last breath to Fentanyl, Cocaine and Heroin that he had just been introduced to earlier in the year, Saturday is his birthday and it will be his 1st birthday I have been without him in 25 yrs, the grief I feel as a mom will never be able to be explained, he was my best friend and we could talk to each other about anything. Wednesday will be my first attempt to see a counselor, and if I dont seek any help from her, I don;t know how I will be able to function with the rest of my life, I have a 21 year old that is also fighting depression and some addiction, he is completely a different kid, he is just like his dad, doesn;t communicate well with me, very much unlike his older brother that passed away, the world is a very different, sad place, I have read every grief book, and bereaved parent book that they make, that week he overdosed, we were going through some bad legal stuff with his daughter, so the guilt I feel on a daily basis is overwhelming all the time, hopefully seeing this counselor I am going to see will help ease some of the pain I am feeling, I am very sorry for the loss of your son, its hard to imagine there are other parents going through the very same thing I am, may God comfort all of us during this terrible time.

Apr 08, 2013
Not Alone
by: Anonymous

An addiction is an illness, just like cancer. Your loss is no less than any other parent who loses a child. I am currently grieving the death of my mother. You are not alone. I promise you that. Not only are others grieving deeply along with you, but your son is beside you in spirit. He always has been and always will be.

Apr 08, 2013
My 37 year old son, Erich, died of a heroin overdose
by: Doreen U.K.

Patricia I am sorry for your loss of your Adult Child Erich. It is never easy to cope with the intense grief of losing a child/Adult Child. As mother's we rear our children as best as we can and hope they choose a lifestyle that will make us happy. BUT. We live in a troubled and complex world with all its' difficulties and often young people turn to drugs as a way of coping with the stressors of life. We had it much easier and we weren't exposed to the drug culture. Our children are very vulnerable and exposed to this reality. We live with many social stigma's. Even counselling and therapy was very stigmatised and now part of our society. You are now having to live with the loss of your most precious son due to an addiction that is hard to overcome IF EVER?
I am reminded of my sister phoning me to tell me of her troubled son of 30yrs, and how she was afraid for his life. He faced depression and was put on medication that caused suicidal tendencies. Her son threw himself in front of an express train 6yrs. ago. She was mad with grief and needed a grief counsellor to come to her home to support her. She could not function at all. It has been a most painful 6yrs. and still on going but she lives now with less pain but will have these scars forever. To lose a CHILD is an unbearable experience for a parent and the siblings. It is a much harder grief to cope with and to move out of.
May God comfort you and your family from this tragic loss and bring you the Peace you need to go through this valley of grief.

Apr 07, 2013
Dear Patricia,
by: Pat in Missouri

I am soooo sorry for your loss. It is a shame that some people in our society think that addicts are not worthy human beings. In the 21st century it is past time for people to be educated. Addiction, of any kind, is an illness and heroin is especially difficult to beat. Just think of the strength it took for your son to get clean. It's obvious he was trying to stay clean, but must have gotten in over his head with some financial issues that occurred, while he was using. It was too much for him to handle. The power that drugs have over the user is very strong. Erich was at a very volatile point in his recovery and, for whatever reason, he slipped back to using. A year of being clean is not that long, after 6 years of using. He must have felt overwhelmed by the financial issue he was facing and had not yet learned how to solve life's challenges without the use of the heroin.

Because of what your son was dealing with, it might be helpful for you to seek help from Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. These are support groups for families or any loved ones who have a family member who is a drug user or alcoholic. They will be able to help you better understand what your son was going through. A grief support group is also a good idea. People in support groups are helpful because they are all going through the same thing. They are not judgmental.

Your son was no less a human being than anyone else. You gave birth to him. Of course, you loved him and miss him terribly. Now that he is gone and was not able to fully conquer the demons of addiction, this is your opportunity to honor your son by getting your own help. Grief is difficult for everyone, but you are also grieving over your son's illness and, somehow, feeling guilty for it. I truly hope that you will reach out for help. You will be so glad that you did. It will help you gain a little more sense of peace and understanding for what happened. I send you many hugs. I hope you will let us know how you are doing later. Pat

Apr 07, 2013
Thank you
by: Patricia

Kate and Momxoxo...thank you for your kind replies. Kate, I am very sorry for the loss you have experienced...and have read and reread your post and it has made me feel as though I do not walk this path alone. I only wish Erich would have stuck to a little pot and alcohol. This afternoon I lunched with my daughter; as much as I love her dearly and I know she is also hurting, I am just not ready to power shop, etc. It has only been one month.

Momxoxo: You are an amazing woman and from your post I sense a very caring and loving human being.

Apr 07, 2013
your son
by: Kate

I cried over your post. I understand. I lost my 39 yr old son Louie, to an alcohol and cocaine mix in Nov. Louie had gotten away from drugs he did in his 20s~`~~ but a night out with old
friends and a depression from a break up, he turned the wrong way and is gone. Cocaine and alcohol create a toxin called caoexthylene and it is toxic and can stop the heart. It did. The autopsy/toxicology Dr said it is russian doesnt always cause death but can at any given time it is in your system. For my son it did. Devastating!! I miss my son! I feel as you do,thats my little boy,my friend,my love. I have other children also and grands but Oh no one can take the emplty place in my heart for my Louie!! I have begged God to daily help me and he has,I dont know how I have gotten this far down the road. I have to close the door on the thoughts man times because the pain is overwhelming. When I do go in I wail in pain!! I am so sorry you have to know this depth of sorrow. On here we do understand so sad to say. You are not alone n grief on here,we all care. Hugs sent..

Apr 07, 2013
Don't even think of throwing that first stone!


I am so sorry for your loss. I might be out of bounds but I can see where you are coming from with the social stigma attached to the tragic death of your son. I had one son who after much legal trouble finally admitted that he was addicted to Meth. I also have my suspicions that my other son had used it as well. I recall all too well the fear of his safety and being relieved when he was in jail. At least he was safe. We cannot change the troubled path our kids take regardless of the endless love that we feel for them. He is presently a pot head and alcholic with a amazing articulate job. He is extremely intelligent and these addictions are after work and weekends. He is cutting back on his drinking and I am very proud of this.

I also have a child who is gay, another who is autistic, one I suspect had tried meth but is clean now. We Love our children fiercely and protectively. We can not be with them at all times and pray constantly for their safety.

It is a roller coaster of emotions we feel in grief and in life, fearing for our babies.

So...I hope that I was not out of bounds letting you know that regardless of who our kids are what they have done or might do we love them. So when we loose a child I Dare anyone to tell us How to grieve. and they damn well better not act as though suicide or overdose is not an acceptable or sinful way to die.

Walk a mile in a mothers shoes and see what true Love and Courage is


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