My son Jimmy- forever 26

by Veronica DeBorde
(Richmond, Virginia)

The perfect smile

The perfect smile

The perfect smile
At his wedding rehersal

My 26 year old son passed away 2 years ago, Dec. 30, 2011. He needed heart surgery because he had endocarditis from using heroin. He battled drugs since he was 14 years old. He survived the surgery (25% survival rate) and lived for 4 months. The doctors had to completely rebuild his heart; he had 2 valve replacements, the other two reconstructed along with some grafts. He was on Coumadin to keep his blood from clotting around his mechanical valves and to keep him alive. After months of set-backs and hospital visits he started using heroin again. To top that off, the heroin he was buying was laced with rat poison, which is a form of Coumadin. This caused him to have a severe stroke that caused blindness, paralysis on his left side. Because he was shooting up again he contracted MRSA which caused an aneurysm on the graft on his heart. He had his stroke on Christmas Eve and the doctor said he had 2-3 days to live. He managed to survive for a week. He died in my arms. The priest said I was blessed that I was able to bring him into the worlds and also hold him when he left. I am grateful that I was able to be there when he left this world but it is also a vivid memory that haunts me. There are days that I get angry at him because he did it to himself and there is other days that I am glad he no longer has an addiction. I really dread this time of year because it was such a dark time. I work at the hospital that he passed away at and the smells and visual images of this place bring it all back. I thought for sure this year I could feel a little less pain but it is as sharp and fierce as the day I had to tell him he wasn’t going to live. I am afraid I will feel this pain the rest of my life. Does it every get better? He was so full of life and funny. He would help any stranger in need, always looking for someone else to help but couldn’t help himself.

Comments for My son Jimmy- forever 26

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Jan 05, 2014
so sorry
by: barb

im so sorry for your heartache loss,,,im so terrified to loose my 28yo son to herion..i think i would just stop breathing...or at least sure would want to...

Jan 02, 2014
by: Veronca

I found myself crying less frequently but I still have days that it just pours out. I don't even know what sets it off. I have been told by many that it took them 4-7 years before the felt normal. They still hurt but they are functional. There are days that I feel completely disabled. You are in my thoughts and are not alone.

Jan 01, 2014
My heart goes out to all
by: Marcie

I too had to let go of my son to drugs. Different drugs same result however, It has been the hardest path I have ever had to walk. It happened 2/21/13. And all these first without him seems to be ripping what was left of my soul out. I swear when everything stopped at 1:25pm that afternoon I never thought I would breath again and part of me died that day. I seem to cry daily at some point and time during the day the pain is just too great to bare and tears just come.
Tommy was one of the funniest young men I ever knew myself. He was always in trouble in school for being the class clown. And oh how I miss the many laughs he brought into my life. And it's like my laughter stopped with him too. People have said it's time to live again, well this Momma has yet to be able to go into this world and not cry and it's really hard to move forward when all you do is go places and relive in your mind way back when we did this or that. And the tears just roll. Does anyone know if this gets easier? Will I ever be able to go to McDonalds without just losing my mind and balling like a fool? He was 24 years old but 3 days before he passed he was in my car and we passed a McD's and he said Momma please just two small fries. And thank God I stopped and got him those two fries. Man I will love and miss him till the day I see him again. I just have to believe that one day I will see my loving funny son again. I really don't think I could go on if I didn't truly believe one day we will be together again.

Dec 31, 2013
your son
by: Jolynn

I am so sorry for your loss. I too, lost a son to Heroin. He did not use drugs in jr. high or high school. He was an overachiever and played every high risk sport. He had a bachelor's degree in Economics, taught kids math. Joined Marines and became an officer at age 23 yrs. old. He was one degree from a black belt and was considered a lethal weapon in military martial arts. He was a pro marksman. They flew him to Florida to begin training to become a fighter pilot. He soloed and got his pilots license and was on his way to a brilliant future. We got a phone call out of the blue that he had been put in rehab! We were shocked and saddened. Some girl gave him oxycntin and he loved it so off he went as it suited his chemistry. They sent him home although still on active duty. He was home a couple of months and died of Heroin overdose. I sleep with his shirt even though it's been 1 yr. I write to him. Like your son, Ty was funny. In fact the funniest person I have ever known. He had many friends, many of whom he'd had since 1st grade. All his friends were shocked. The grip drugs have is too powerful for some people. A very lucky few are able to beat the stranglehold but once Heroin or meth comes into the picture it's usually a battle till the death. I'd like to believe that I will see my funny son some day. Life would be too painful to think otherwise. Maybe our 26yr olds are paying attention to us right now. Let's ask them to be buddies and wait for us to join them. I am so sorry your dear son died. He sounds like a terrific young man.

Dec 29, 2013
Your son and mine
by: Anonymous

My son died of Heroin as well. What a grip it is on lives. He too had to take a blood thinner after an injection gone bad. When he was done taking the blood thinning shots, and was cleared he was so happy. Said he just wanted to get better. But he was gone from an overdose two months later. I'm so sad, and mostly want to be by myself. Its so hard going on without them. I just wished I could have saved him.

Dec 29, 2013
Thanks to all
by: Veronica

It is hard but to hear your stories make me feel normal. There are times I feel like I am crazy and it is good to know that I am not the only one that goes through this pain. I pray for all of us that we may one day feel less pain. God bless all of you.

Dec 28, 2013
Your son
by: Kate

I'm so sorry you lost your son! 13 months ago I lost my son and the pain is still so hard. I do not know when or if it will get better. We have the hardest task ever to face.any mother knows how horrible it is to loose their child to death! My son mixed alcohol and cocaine and together they create a third drug that stopped his heart! It seems people do this a lot not knowing the risks! We had plans for Thanksgiving as a family and instead we were making a memorial. I am still so sad,I still cry and I guess as I see from your writing I will at tw years too. It's so hard. My heart goes out to you. I know your pain.

Dec 28, 2013
To Jimmy's Mom.
by: Jean Bee

I too had a Jimmy. My son died not from drugs but cancer and another son, Robert died after 2 surgeries that left him in pain always, from suicide. But I lost them both in a little more than 2 yrs. and so I know your pain. I miss them terribly. God will help you and the Holy Spirit is the comforter who is ever present in your heart if you only call on Him to give the comfort you want. May He be near to you now. No words I say can do it but He can.

Dec 28, 2013
So sorrry
by: Anonymous

I am so so sorry for your loss - unless you live with or are around someone who has a addiction it is very hard to understand the hold it takes on a persons life. I hate that there is such evil in this world like drugs. You asked if it ever gets better - well it will be 3 years since my forever 28 yr old son passed away. It gets different - yes I still grieve "deeply" - the tears can come forth in a heartbeat - my mind has learned or I have learned to turn away from certain thoughts - I pray oh Lord do I pray for peace in my heart and to chase the thoughts away and try to find a happy memory. Christmas is hard and I am sure for you with the passing of you son at this time even harder. yes some days have gotten easier to get through than others - I still feel very alone though - I have a husband and another son - but I still feel alone. I have no words - just thoughts to share with you . Day by day ..... If you are a mom of faith - Pray. God Bless You

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