Mikael was the heart of our family. He never lost his kind spirit and always made family get togethers worth going to with his dancing, jokes, playfulness, and just the love he had for his family. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He treated his friends like family and would give you the shirt off his back if needed.
Tyler’s death has changed our family forever. Having to call his then 21 year old sister, who was in college across the country, to tell her that her brother was dead, was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. To know that she would have to fly home alone, with a crushed heart, was unbearable. Having to tell his 16 year old brother, about Tyler’s death wasn’t much easier.
The fateful day arrived on May 17, 2015. There will never come a day, hour, minute or second that I stop loving or thinking about my son. Child loss is a loss like no other. Theo was an incredibly loved young man.
Friends flew across the country to be at his funeral, and the incredible sadness about how his death could have been prevented just permeated the air. Because of the embarrassment he felt, he never asked his friends for help.
I want to open the eyes and hearts of those who have not experienced addiction or watched it demolish the lives of loved ones. I want to provide some form of encouragement to those who struggle with addiction. I want to shine a beacon of hope and community to the families and friends who love an addict.
As a parent of a child with substance abuse disorder (SUD), you always carry hope within your heart. This hope always lead me to believe that there was no hurdle that we could not overcome. I always took it one step at a time and began living life just that way. Approaching each problem as it came and knowing that somehow, we would fix things and life would eventually be okay.
As her mother I don’t think there will ever be a day that I don’t get that sinking feeling in my stomach and that pain in my heart when I think about her. Tears come so easily now. There are days her life seems like it was a dream and then I remind myself, she was here and she mattered and she was loved. Oh how she was loved.