My Marine and friend and son

by jOLYNN
(La Canada Ca)

Tyler entered college and got a bachelor's degree in Economics. He was a true extrovert, had many friends , many of whom he'd known since first grade. He was the funniest person I have ever known. He lit up the room and he loved people and did not pass judgment on anyone. I thought he'd pick a quiet office job but he informed us that he'd be joining the Marines to become a fighter pilot. He trained hard. Went thru a brutal boot camp(about 40% got cut). Then went to officer candidate school(Quantico, Va). It was even more difficult. They had to learn and do the most grueling , strenuous things but he made it and became an officer at age 23. WE flew from Ca to see him graduate and he was so proud in his uniform and I'll never forget how proud his dad was when he pinned a star on him. I got to see a young soldier give him his first salute. He became a pro marksman and was considered a lethal weapon in military martial arts. He was fearless and courageous, patriotic and ready to die for his fellow marines and our country. He was transferred to Pensacola FL and flew solo and was on his way to learning the fighters. To make a long story short, one day, we got a call from his roommate, our son was in rehab! We were shocked and so sad. How could it possibly be. He had no reason to turn to drugs but some girl offered him an Oxycontin and it suited his chemistry and off he went. He was sent home to us still on active duty. He told me he was on methadone which I found odd. His sister somehow tapped into his phone and asked me what "tar" was. My heart sank. I immediately asked him and he admitted he was using heroin. We put him in Betty Ford and he had an horrendous detox but was looking healthy again. After being there 2 months(supposed to do 3) he called and said he'd gotten kicked out because he hooked up with a girl from there. I said they could come here as he said she had nowhere to go. They started using at the house and I had no choice but to put them in a motel. He came over once and I was crying , I told him about the grave risk of relapse and that I did not think I could live without him. He kissed me and promised me he would not die. He was dead 4 days later. He was sensitive, funny, brave, good and kind and had the world in front of him and had accomplished so much. He spoke fluent Spanish. Played Sax and guitar. Tutored kids in math. Baked all of our family pies from scratch...even the crust. He was my hero and now nothing really matters. His birthday is august 21st...he would have been 27 years old. His favorite GROUP WAS Metallica AND THEIR SONG "nothing else matters" WAS HIS FAVORITE. it IS BEAUTIFUL AND SO FITTING.

Comments for My Marine and friend and son

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Nov 21, 2013
something I heard
by: Anonymous Joe's mom

I was watching a rerun of the closer, the FBI agent boyfriend of the main character said something I found so true: He said "when you speak to that young man, you want to believe him, but an addict becomes very good at lying and sometimes, you only see the person they want so badly to be, but I want to tell you about the topic you so want to avoid." They sat down and he said some things about his alcoholism and when he chose to quit...here was the key, there is a monster in the drug that is used (be it alcohol or drugs) that is in control until you can recover and not use again...that monster tells lies and both the good person and monster exists until the person has conquered the demon of their addiction or dies...when you wrote of Tyler and when I think of Joe, I think of the loving person, not that monster that would lie, steal, cheat, lose his life for the next high, because I cannot relate that to my son...not my son...no, he cannot be dead, I cannot let him lose that fight...but he is gone and now I have to recover from the pain of grief...because they are so much more than what they died from...I want my hug, I miss my lovely son, forever the thoughtful caring person who would not let anyone in to help with the pain, who would smile and deny that he was on the ledge again...one moment from giving in to the urge...Tyler worked hard to reach the great successes he had and I would give anything for him not to have taken that pill that caused his addiction, just like my son who took a prescription for a motorcycle accident injury that was his forever regret. All his life, I had said don't use drugs, but that specific prescription sent that down the tubes...I found out he had been trying to stop the issues for over 2 years, so I just don't know when the original problem started, just know it doesn't matter much since no knowledge can help him now. But really, my love doesn't stop with a grave, the memories will have to last us til we see them again. Best memories to you! --Joe's mom

Nov 20, 2013
like you...
by: Anonymous Joe's mom

my son's story is somewhat similar...Joe passed 7/8/13 and held his secret, we knew he was fighting addiction to opiates but he denied when asked if heroin, so we found out after he was gone. He had a vibrant personality, looked very healthy, made most smile with his smile. He was a charmer and knew so many things. He was really struggling because he did not want to be an addict. His fiance shared that he said the craving was like when you are starving for food and we don't mistreat anorexics, we offer medical aid. He knew shame, that he tried something he could not stop using. He was so much more than an addict and I miss him each day. I keep his secret, he died in his sleep in his own bed and if asked, there are no answers to why or what happened. Tyler and Joe sound so similar. As I look through pictures, I noticed how many recent ones had a more serious expression, he was working so hard to stay clean, but he slipped and died. my son was 33 and like most, would give anything to have 1 more day, one more chance.

Nov 05, 2013
A Day in August a tribute to my son
by: Jolynn

You were born on a hot August day my enchanting son. Half my days before you were dark and suddenly I had light with your birth and your graces sweet. I had more than I could ever own from Earth, having you. But your own life's lease was short and has caused such sorrow. In time you sickened, you were pressed to a death, too young for your fate. October was cool. No coat could keep the chill from my soul or body that day in October. you left too soon after so short a time of breath. You leave me in darkness and with death. It casts a shadow on the light from your birth as it is like a blossom on a cold, wet day. It has pearls of dew but they are really tears that must fall, wept for you. I hope now you are in a blaze of light far within a world so bright. You'll have no more demons, no more solemn times. I will search for you in all that is beautiful even in the blackest midnight. I'll look for you flying on azure wings and will search for you in the wind that breathes the Spring. In beds of violets blue and in fresh-blown roses washed in dew. I will watch for the lark to begin his flight and singing that will startle the dull night. I'll wait for each dawn to rise. I will scan the night skies. I will send you love in the slumbering morning. Search for you in sunsets of flames and amber light. I will whisper I love you and recall the sweetness that melts my heart. So, when the sun begins its flaring beams, I will know it is again August. A special month. It brings a day I will always treasure and it will bring all Heaven before my eyes. August 21st forever.

Sep 08, 2013
Music
by: Jolynn

Hello everyone
Music is therapeutic. I'd like to share a few songs that I think you'll find very emotional and expressive of the pain we are all feeling. Let me know if you like any of them. curious if you'll like them as much as I do.

Chris Daughtry "home" lyrics
Danny Gokey "I Will Not Say Goodbye" lyrics
Kenny Chesney "Who you'd be today" lyrics
Metallica "nothing else Matters" lyrics
The words have such meaning esp. if you've lost a child
Remember, what my son the Officer always said, "it takes courage to face the pain." we can do this in our loved ones memory.

Sep 07, 2013
To all
by: Jolynn

As I was reading so many of your stories, a thought jumped out at me. I lost my wonderful son who was an officer in the Marines and thought of a phrase he learned in the Marines.
We are all united by our horrible pain and are hurting...his words were "Courage is endurance for one moment more..."
"the bravest are surely those who have the clearer vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it".
All of us are very brave and courageous. Let's all pull strength from each other and not fold and crumble or waste away what is left of our mortal lives. We are enduring for one moment more we are going out to meet our grief knowing it's power but pushing thru in anyway we can. My Marine was courageous once, I'd like to think that I can be now, it does take courage to face the pain.

Sep 07, 2013
well put
by: s.jane.f

Jolyn--Your comments about the nature of addiction were well put. It's ridiculous the money we spend putting these people in the criminal justice system, when they need and deserve compassion and medical help. Imagine what they might have to offer if they could become healthy again.

Aug 27, 2013
Tyler
by: Anonymous

My story is the same. My son would have been 32. He was born healthy, athletic, smart, good looking, and was so loving. He was the best until his teen years when he starting using drugs. I'm not sure when the heroin started, but it took his life. I know he didn't want to die. He said that many times. I told him to please don't leave me heartbroken, and he told me he wouldn't. When he told me that he was high, and he died withing 48 hours of saying that. His grandmother who's 95, keeps asking "how did he die", and its really hard to explain...

Aug 25, 2013
about drugs that have been taking our young
by: Joynn

I want to thank you for your comments re my Tyler 2nd lt. US Marine Corp. I want to talk about brain chemistry...even though most of you probably know all this there are a few who may not. But we are "hard wired" for pleasant things. Babies are born liking sugar. In our lower limbic system also known as our "pleasure center", it is a primitive part of our brain, the reptilian. It is there that such drives such as food, thirst, sex(if we didn't enjoy sex, the species would die out), maternal instinct, everything we need for survival of the species resides here. Think of the craving for a drug this way. When a pleasurable drug enters the brain and the brain's chemistry says "yum, I like this" it will almost always continually seek more, eventually it may become addicted to that drug for pleasure and require a higher and higher dose to be effective, when we don't have that drug, the brain can no longer produce those feel good neurotransmitters on their own. It now depends on that drug to produce the feel good sensation or even just to feel normal and not horribly depressed. The craving is akin to you being really hungry and having someone say "well, just stop being hungry". You can not JUST STOP BEING HUNGRY your brain is telling you otherwise and you can't fight your brain. The craving for a drug comes from the same area of the brain. The limbic system overrides the neo cortex which is the rational part of the brain which tells us to stop and this is what addicts are struggling against plus it affects the memory part of the brain so even if they become sober for a while there can be "triggers" such as the tinkling of ice in a glass for the alcoholic that will set them off again. That is why relapse is so frequent and why people use despite horrific consequences and it may seem as if they don't care about those who are watching them wither away and self-destruct, it's just that their brains are telling them to use or they will die. They love us and don't want to be like this but they can't help it. Some can make it out of the grip of drugs with a lot of work etc. but we are losing are precious kids to heroin now because it's cheap. $5.00 A BAG AS Opposed TO OXYCONTION WHICH CAN BE $80.00 A PILL.
what CAN WE DO? I HAVE SOME IDEAS. I'll share later. It's too late for my precious Tyler.

Aug 22, 2013
Tyler
by: s.jane.f

Dear Jolynn,
Oh my god, what a tragic and shocking story—my heart goes out to you. What a wonderful boy/man Tyler must have been. The boy part of him made a mistake, as boys do, and he paid so dearly for it. I was struck by your statement, “It (Ocycontin) suited his chemistry and off he went.” Exactly the same thing happened to my son with methamphetamine. Many young people today foolishly experiment with these drugs—they’re everywhere. Most are lucky and don’t become hooked. But it suited my son’s chemistry too “and off he went”. He died in March at age 19. Yes, he became dependent on this fiendish drug, but he was much more than an “addict”, such a shame-filled word. Like Tyler, he was a beautiful, kind, smart, funny human being who did not choose his disease. I am grieving not only Vaughn’s death, but the psychological/mental pain he suffered during the last part of his life. I am trying to survive his loss as well as struggling to recover from the incredible stress, which you will well know, of being helpless to stop the self-destructive behavior caused by the drugs. These boys, and many others described on this site and everywhere do not deserve condemnation. They were beautiful souls with so much to contribute. I can tell how much Tyler loved you and knew you loved him. I am trying, with difficulty, to follow the advice I will give you, which is to be gentle with yourself. Surely we did everything we could—under extremely difficult circumstances. It’s truly impossible to control another, even our beloved children. I wish you healing.

Aug 21, 2013
Sorry
by: Anonymous

So so sorry for the loss of your beloved son , I too lost the love of my heart my youngest son at the age of 26 .I loved him more then my other children coz he had a heart of gold . Forgive everyone n loved everybody ,, I lost him on the 21/2/2011 n still hurt so much for his loss ,still not enjoying life no matter what ,, one thing I know for sure he's trying to reach me in a way ,,,

Aug 20, 2013
Your son
by: Kate

My heart shares your pain of loss of a dear son. I lost my son,my friend 9 months ago. These stories on here hurt. They touch home with the pain. My son drank out at a club and ,someone offered him cocaine. The mix took his life. Very hard to accept,everyone loved my son. Even an occasional try can be deadly. We love our children so much it is hard to breathe without them. Hugs..

Aug 20, 2013
My Marine and friend and son
by: Doreen U.K.

Jolynn I am sorry for your loss of Tyler to an untimely death. Such sadness since Tyler devoted most of his life to training for a career that was close to his heart and one which he excelled in. All lost now due to drug addiction. Drugs are the scourge of the human race since they are claiming more and more lives every day and crushing the families left behind to grieve this loss of the one's they have loved and lost.
The class of drugs used are so potent they are almost impossible to overcome and give up. Every parent is broken from the day their child puts the first drug in their body. We just have to look at all the singers/celebrities who have lost their life due to drug addiction. To know that there is little hope for those struggling to overcome. Many go into Rehab and then go back into this lifestyle. I am sorry for your loss and the loss of everyone from this lifestyle and the sorrow for the families left to grieve their loss.

Aug 20, 2013
A monster on the loose
by: SoSadDad

Jolynn, I am so very sorry for the loss of Tyler. He sounds like the kind of person we need to lead this country into the future. Alas, the drug I call the monster is taking more and more lives with each day. I have suffered through the addiction and deaths of both of my daughters from this monster in the last three and a half years. The long journey and constant struggles and disappointments and helplessness and hopelessness are hell by themselves. But to watch them succumb is almost more than a parent can stand. I wish I could take your pain; no one deserves to suffer the loss of a child, no matter the age or the reason. The monster is so dangerous, knowing not class nor wealth nor religion. It takes on all comers. And we are left with a life sentence of grief. I'm so sorry.

SoSadDad

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