Ryan Michael Robert Stanley, 28

by Jacquie Stanley
(N.J.)


My son, my buddy, my heart, you left us May 1st 2014. You were the best son a mother could ever ask for. I am eternally grateful for the 28 yrs I was lucky enough to have here with you on earth. It's hard to write because I can't seem to find words to express how horrible this all is for me. To lose a son period is horrific but to lose a son to heroin addiction
is so incredibly senseless! When he finally told me of his addiction he said he just did a few party drugs with his friends. He had an amazing group of friends, these were NOT low life kids. Ryan said he was addicted to opiates before he even knew what happened(he didn't understand why it didn't happen to his friends although he was glad it didn't) The course of his addiction was so typical. He could no longer afford the opiates so he moved to heroin which is cheaper. He waited too long to tell us because he was so ashamed and he didn't want to disappoint or trouble us. That was so Ryan, always looking out for his family. He got a tattoo when he
was 18 that said "family values" across his chest. He lived that until the day he died. When our family was struggling financially because I became disabled with a back issue he worked so hard and gave us his paychecks to try and help save our house. He was only in his early 20's when he was doing that. I didn't want to take his money but he insisted. That was my Ryan. He always put our family, his friends and everyone else first. He was the epitome of unconditional love. He lived it every day. Over 300 people came to his Life Celebration, all ages and from all walks of life including his high school Spanish teacher and our car mechanic.
Even grandparents of his friends were there. Not ONE person, on facebook, in person, or at his Life Celebration mentioned his addiction. NOT ONE. People spoke only about how kind and truly special he was and the positive impact he had had on their lives.What a tribute to my son. I struggle now to believe that he was an elevated soul who had finished his works here on earth and it was simply time for him to return to his heavenly father. I trust that he is no longer in pain and struggling with his demon addiction. I pray for his peace and all those who have succumbed to the monster heroin. It robbed him of his future, it robbed all of us who loved him of having him in our lives, it took away his ability to find a true love, get married and have children (something he
wanted very badly) and it robbed him of his very life! That said, I miss him every second of every hour of every day! My heart breaks anew each morning. I don't know how to do this so I simply be and hope time will reduce this horrendous pain. I have to try and move ahead because I know that is what Ryan wants for me. I hope one day I can find some happiness again. Please pray for peace for my beautiful son Ryan Michael and strength for me.

Comments for Ryan Michael Robert Stanley, 28

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Oct 16, 2014
To Barbara
by: Jacquie Stanley

I just read your post now. It has been a while since anyone has commented. I check back from time to time and was pleasantly surprised to see your note. Hearing from others that truly understand through their own experience helps so much. It is so disturbing to hear about so many young people who were and are so loved losing their lives to drug use. I so wish there was some way to put an end to it all! I do not want one more parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, lover, friend to lose a cherished loved one to the nightmare of drug use!!!! And yet, I know it happens day after day.
It is good to hear you say how this horrific pain will begin to ease. I awaken each night crying myself awake at least once. You are so right about the worse part being the finality of it all. All the nevers....never again kiss him, hug him, hear his voice, touch his face, see his smile and on and on! I too find some comfort in praying
My son Ryan spoke of himself as agnostic. He would say he doesn't know what to believe about God and religion. Like many young people, he said it would be easier for him to believe if he had some kind of proof. He was still questioning and searching which I don't think is unusual for his age. That being said, Ry was the most kind, caring and compassionate person. As I said in his post he knew how to love unconditionally, something some people don't learn in an entire life time. I don't think he ever intentionally hurt another human being or any living thing for that matter. He even caught insects that had found a way into our home, caught them without hurting them and released them to the outside again. No he wasn't perfect of course but he tried very hard. I recently had a minister tell me he couldn't promise my son was in heaven and he would only be there if he had accepted Jesus as his personal savior while he was still alive. I thought I would lose it right there in church. How could a person as beautiful a soul as my son be stranded out there by himself alone in the heavens or worse!!!! Who can accept that for their child. It took me a while to process all this. I do believe in an afterlife....I did long before I lost my son. I had to struggle my way back to my own loving God to believe this couldn't be true. I would never try to alter another's personal beliefs but for me I can't believe God and or Jesus would abandon my son (or anyone else) in this way just because he hadn't matured in his own beliefs. I'm not sure why I am sharing this here other than to vent a bit and maybe see if any other grieving Mom had experienced this. It just helps to share.
So again Barbara, thank you for your kind encouragement. I am soooo sorry for the loss of your own son. If you ever feel like telling me more about him I would love to hear. If you use facebook you can reach me there or write another note here. I don't use my email too often and forget to check it a lot. My prayers to you, your son Stephen and your family for true healing and peace.

Sep 27, 2014
You are Not Alone
by: Barbara Mahan

Dear Jacquie,
I'm so so so sorry for your loss. I too lost my son to drug addiction on Jan 29th of this year. I don't think he was addicted to Heroin but the combination of cocaine and Heroin is what killed him. He died alone in a motel bathroom in Houston, Texas. I can promise you it will get less intense, the pain if unbearable the first few months, I do know what you are going through. I have been to Hell and back many times during his long history with drugs and bad choices starting at the age of 13. We tried rehab, drug court, he joined the Army, there were many people praying for him and our family. I too have come to believe that my son was an evolved soul who came here to teach us something about unconditional love. As mothers we know there is no love on earth that comes close to the love of a mother. My biggest hurdle then and still is feeling like it is final and that there is no connection that will ever satisfy the longing for his physical presence. But then I remember the endless struggle, the shame, the lies he told me to keep me from worrying, the emptiness he felt, and the sadness of losing everything and everyone he ever cared about, he had a wife who divorced him and two small kids. I ask God over and over why why why? We will never know why, but we can begin to heal by reaching out to others who are suffering, and try to educate others about the disease of addiction. I thought my heart would explode from the pain some nights when i would writhe in bed, I couldn't find any kind of relief, but gradually little by little it did start to lift. I found that praying for him seemed to spark some kind of supernatural uplifting in my spirit. Every time I do that I feel better. I just want you to know you are not alone and I will include you in my prayers starting today.

Jun 21, 2014
Our boys
by: Jacquie

Dear Maryjo and Stacie,
Thank you so much for your comments. It breaks my heart to know so many of us are suffering from the loss of our young sons. Yes, the pain is excruciating, and I believe only we (the ones experiencing it) can truly know the depth or level of pain we have been subjected to due to our loss. It gets confusing for me too. I'm trying to work through my grief and somehow go on living because the pain and loss is too huge and because I know that's what Ryan wants for me. The confusing part however is I feel like if I start feeling better I will be letting go of my son and that thought nearly destroys me. As you know, this thing is entirely unacceptable anyway you look at it. I feel such a loss of control because I'm a "fixer" and this one just can't be fixed! I am trying to use my faith and cling frantically to my belief that this is not our true home and Ry has just returned to his real home and is safe and happy in the presence of our one true God waiting for all of us to join him there. I also strongly believe that my son is finally free of the torment of his addiction and this gives me some peace. The problem is, I wanted him to be free of it and still be here with us. I wanted him to live a long happy life, get married, have kids, all the stuff he looked forward too, all the stuff a mother wishes for her child. So round and round my thoughts and feelings go. Just a little chaotic right? I'm sure you both understand and are having similar experiences. As much as I hate that others have to go through this, it's comforting to know there are people out there who really really know what it feels like to lose your precious child. Maybe we could be there for each other based on that truth. I am so glad you both reached out to me in this way. My prayers will be with both of you and your families. If you would like to be in touch I am on facebook and my email address is jasrn1j@yahoo.com.

Jun 18, 2014
My Condolences
by: Stacie

I recently lost my son on 6/6/14 in an automobile accident. Justin was only 22, and was excited about becoming a father this November. Like your Ryan, my Justin is my world. I have constantly cried, I cannot sleep, cannot eat. This all feels like a nightmare..I am just praying I wake up soon. This is killing me slowly. A part of me died with him. I cannot fathom going another day without hearing his voice or seeing his bright smile. It's like someone has ripped my heart from my chest. I am so sorry for your loss. We all need the support of each other because we are the only one's who truly understand the hurt. I have had co-workers and friends tell me, "I'm sorry, I don't know what to say." And it's true. There is nothing anyone can say to ease the pain. Prayers are with you.

Jun 11, 2014
your son ryan
by: Maryjo

Dear Jacquie,
I am so sorry for the loss of your handsome son. Who knows why our children do what they do? It is such a mystery. Both of them had everything to live for and were so young. In my younger days, drugs were everywhere and easy to get, back in the 70s but I never ever did any of them. My brother did and would tell me about how cool they were. I was afraid. I won't even take a pain killer unless I am really in pain.

Maybe there are aspects of a person we just would have no way of knowing and if our sons were ashamed they would do everything to hide their addiction.

Our son worked with former addicts. Did he think he was smart enough to not get addicted? He persuaded a psychiatrist to prescribe adderall a highly addictive amphetamine. Just because it is prescribed does not mean a person can't get addicted. When we finally realized Jaie was an addict it was too late, any questioning we did angered him and he wouldn't talk to us. This was not the loving son I had known.

Some of his friends did know though and did not want to make him angry and lose his friendship so they kept quiet. They miss him, some had been friends since about the age of 10, they will have to live with their unfortunate decision to keep quiet after we, his mom and dad, had approached them.

Addiction runs on both sides of our families and I talked to both sons about that. Our older son I don't believe has ever touched drugs. He too will not take any pain medication unless in serious pain.

You and I have lost 2 beautiful sons, it is hard to accept. I've talked to 2 other people who have lost adult children and they have both said you never feel the same and there is always a sadness that does not go away.

I'm glad I found this site though because I know I am not alone, there are other mom's going through this pain, dads/families too. People who have not experienced this can't understand. How could they?

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. As you said, our sons are no longer feeling the torment of addiction, and I sometimes think that is what they go through.

Sincerely
Maryjo

Jun 05, 2014
to the two anonymous people who wrote to me.
by: Jacquie Stanley

Thank to the two Anonymous people who responded to my blog. I'd love to hear your stories if you would like to share. We speak from the same heartache. Maybe some how we can help each other along this horrific journey. Any way if you wish to share and you use Facebook you can send me a friend request. If not you can email me at jasrn1j@yahoo.com. Just put something in the subject spot so I will recognize who it is from. Either way I will pray for you and your families and hope that some sort of happiness will reclaim your lives once again! Bless both of you and your families.

Jun 02, 2014
my story too.
by: Anonymous

I lost my son as well. Same story ashamed. He wanted to get better, but wanted to do it on his terms. He died a little over a year ago. I'm going on and finding some happiness, but I will never stop loving and missing him. Its so sad for us all. Take care.

May 31, 2014
same story
by: Anonymous

reading your post seemed like its my sons story,he left me 6 months ago,time will heal you,just be brave,our sons are in a better place waiting for their mothers to arrive one day,take care

May 30, 2014
Thank you Doreen
by: Jacquie Stanley

Doreen, thank you for your kind and insightful words. I'm sure you have a lost loved one also because you are on this sight. I would love to hear your story and offer you comfort as you have done for me: one grieving soul to another. If you have a facebook account you could send me a friend request. If not, my email address is jasrn1j@yahoo.com. Thanks again for taking the time to leave his thoughtful message.

May 30, 2014
Ryan Michael Robert Stanley, 28
by: Doreen UK

Jacquie I am so sorry for your loss of your son Ryan. A mother will be broken forever from losing a son. It is so good when family and friends can look beyond the addiction to drugs and see the person that was, is, and could have been had he been given a good long life.
Life is full of tragedy, heartbreak, and sorrow and few of us escape this tribulation. Knowing your son as you did will comfort you that God gave him to you, and he blessed your life in every way. The Pain from Grief and losing a loved one is beyond words. A loss that tears at one's soul so that life becomes unbearable every waking moment.
Don't try to push yourself forward. You have to let grief do it's work of slow healing. Even if we have the attitude of mind to move forward, many of us can't for many years. You didn't do this to yourself. Your world exploded in front of you and now you are trying to pick up the pieces and go on. You won't be able to do this for some time. No amount of wishful thinking. Positive thinking can move us forward fast. We try our best to structure our day and our life but someone is missing from our world and this is what will impact our life forever.
This is the reality of what death did to you, me and countless others. We do our best to wade through life, but taking ONE DAY AT A TIME is the only way forward. Life does change in time, and this is all we have plenty of. You won't always feel so torn in two, but you will heal with every tear that falls. May God comfort you and give you the strength of each day.

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