My sweet son 1-26-1985 to 10-12-2012.
by Theresa Frye
(Allen Park, MI)
My husband and i were celebrating my birthday in NYC when i returned the call from the police. The officer didn't really want to be the one to break the news to me but I cornered him, "Is my son ok?" i remember him saying, "I regret to inform you..." and nothing else. The rest of the night is a haze. i talked to my family, the coroner, the funeral home, my son's girlfriend, my boss, the travel agency but barely remember any of it. We spent the rest of my birthday in agony, my husband staring at one wall and me at the other, both of us so shocked that we couldn't
even cry. In a city so crammed full of people, we were never so alone.
That was now just over two weeks ago and it's all seems so surreal. i keep looking at Andrew's picture to remind myself that he's gone. It doesn't seem possible. Admittedly, my son had addiction issues - mostly alcohol and xanax - and we'd had done everything that we could think of. There were many hospital visits and police visits and jail visits. There was rehab and there was yelling and fistfights and demanding and begging and crying. When it became painfully apparent that our help was not helping him, we kicked him out, though we landed him
softly at a small apartment not too far, not too close. He
started college, he found himself a job that he biked 17 miles to get to, found himself a new girlfriend. Things finally starting looking up for him. I knew that he still abusing alcohol and pills; I just kept hoping that he'd chose his new life. the night before we left for NYC, he bought liquor and snorted some Oxycontin,a risk that he'd taken dozens of times before. This time he just wasn't lucky. His friend left him snoring at about 2 am
and by 8:30am, the time that the plane to NYC was boarding, he was dead. His girlfriend found his body around 12:30p.
While we waited for the cause of Andrew's death, I searched for all of things that i should have done but didn't. Maybe if i'd put him miltary school as a teenager
his addictions would have been brought under control. If i'd moved out of this area, he wouldn't have had contact with all of those bad friends. If i'd convinced him
to join the military, he would be safe now. My husband's blamed himself for the conflicts and the intense anger toward Andrew that he'd been carrying for years.
The actual cause of death has brought me some peace. Andrew did not commit sucide. He did not die of the addictions that we'd try for years to pry him away from.
His was a reckless event, typical of my son; his was a lethal drug/alcohol combination which he'd discounted from the first time he'd tried it. He always thought he
was smarter than everyone else.
The shock is just starting to wear off and this is first day since my son's death that i haven't cried - though the day isn't over yet. i too believe that i've been
grieving my son for a long time. i loved having a little boy. His teenage year were trying but it's been his adult years that have been the most difficult. There was always the promise of who he was supposed to be. Sometimes i'd see that man- he was funny and smart and witty. He loved his family and was gentle with children. He wanted his own children and would probably have been a great dad. Many of Andrew's friend told me about the great advice that he'd given him along with a place to stay for a couple of day and food. And boy, oh boy, he was a huge momma's boy; i talked to him every day. Now he'll never have a chance to be the man that is he was destined to be. i won't see him get married. i'll never have grandchildren.
i don't know what comes next. The holidays will be rough -i hear the first holidays without your child are the worst. i don't know how i will feel when i see everyone else
with their son or daughter and my husband and me without Andrew. How wil we celebrate his birthday is in January without him? i know that my birthday will never be the same. What i fear most is the quiet, that time when everyone else goes back to their lives and me
and my husband go back to ours, the time during which i have to come to terms with the fact that my son isn't just visiting someplace and will return shortly.
He's gone. i had to leave him behind. i have to leave him behind. it's not something that i'm ready to do - not yet.