I got this card from a dear neighbor, Roxann, on Charles’ birthday week. We used to live across the street from her family and watched her kids grow up before they moved away around middle school. They were the best neighbors. She and her husband have two lovely daughters.
I was hiking with friends, Bonnie and MaryJo, when we spotted this heart. Literally a heart in the woods that someone painted on the end of this log. This was the last place I would have expected to see a heart. Charles was walking with us.
My husband often goes to hike in the woods to find peace from his grief. I do the same with him or with friends. Being outdoors helps. It just reminds you that you are part of a larger grand scheme and allows you to get outside of your own head.
My sister-in-law’s sister sent me this. It was taken in Florida at my in-law’s condo. That was where Charles went with his grandparents a few hours before going to detox as a result of opiate withdrawal. At that point, none of us knew he was addicted to heroin. So you can imagine the shock of taking him to the hospital and they don’t tell the grandparents what’s wrong with him.
My father-in-law basically yelled to the healthcare worker f–k HIPAA, you tell me what’s wrong with my grandson now! And they told him he needed to go to detox. They didn’t say much else, but he got that out of them.
From there, we had to figure out what to do. From Virginia. We felt pretty terrible we’d sent him down there. We had no idea. Charles had no needles or any evidence of heroin use. He snorted it. I didn’t even know that was possible.
My baby started his miserable withdrawal in that driveway on that He died just 6 weeks later. I think this heart is my sign.
Charles always had a lively and colorful personality. He could make anyone laugh. I think that’s why so many couldn’t believe he suffered from depression. He didn’t get the chance to understand that it could be treated or that the world was not a better place without him in it.