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Dealing with my son's death


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#1 jamiedefrain

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 04:26 PM

Hello mom,
i know the holidays are approaching faster than we would like and it would just be amazing if we could stop time and turn it back to that night knowing what we know now. But instead we get to handle another year, but you don't have to do it alone and i know you are aware of that. Dad and I are always here to pick you up just as you are for him and you guys have for me. our strength is in each other and is truly shinning it's brightest when we are together. I love you immensely. forever is a long long time and we get to endure it together. I thought you would be happy to know i posted under the loss of a sibling section as you have recommended. We will get through these holidays together. Me you and dad.

#2 ddefrain

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 04:36 AM

Hi Deneace (BJ's Mom)

I am so deeply sorry for your loss.  Neither of our son's set out with the intention of dying.  And you are right, how many people are guilty of getting into a vehicle with a few drinks under their belt? My son, was extremely intoxicated....he was traveling  Northbound on the Southbound interstate...Loren was a grown man, but he was at a New Year's eve party at the parent's home of another friend, they knew how intoxicated he was and yet they did nothing to stop him. My son made choices that night that cost him his life, but I am having a difficult time not screaming at those parents "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!"  So many factors went into play that night that ultimately lead to Loren's death. I am having a hard time not laying this at the feet of the people at that party. I want them to know that decisions that were made that night have affected my life and the life of my family forever. But, much of it is misplaced anger. I think that at some point in the future I am going to have to sit down with them face to face...I posted the following document on a website  www.alcoholalert.com in the weeks immediately after my son's death because it was important for me to voice to people that drunk drivers do die, and the pain that is felt by their families is no less.

My son was the drunk driver New Year's Eve [align=center]by Debra DeFrain
(League City, Texas) [/align] Our son Loren DeFrain, 28 of League City, Texas died on January 4, 2009 from injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident on New Year's Eve. He was the drunk driver. Loren left a party on New Year's Eve after heavy drinking with friends, he was so intoxicated that he somehow got onto Interstate 45 traveling Northbound in Southbound traffic. He had a head on collision. He was not wearing his seatbelt, so he was ejected through the windshield of his vehicle. The other driver thank God, was not injured. My husband and I were skiing in Taos, New Mexico when we received the phone call from our youngest daughter at 4 in the morning. Our son was in critical condition in Hermann Hospital where he had been life flighted. We got back home as quickly as we could, going to the hospital immediately upon our return to Houston. I was not prepared for what I saw. Our son was on life support with massive head and brain injury. He had multiple fractures to his face and legs and we were told he was not going to survive. We sat at the hospital with him for 3 days until he was finally pronounced brain dead on January 4th and we as his family are left picking up the pieces of our lives. Our children were all educated by us at a young age regarding drinking and driving. As parents we entered into a contract with our kids when they were teenagers that stated we would come to get them no matter when or where with no questions asked if they had been drinking or if they were with another driver that had been drinking. Over the years we have gotten numerous calls from our kids, and we always fulfilled our side of the contract. Our daughter was home this past New Year's Eve, and she let her brother know to give her a call if he was drinking and needed a ride home. Obviously he never called. The only one we have to be angry with is our son, and right now the only thing we are grateful for is that he did not take anyone with him. And while he was not the innocent in this accident, our grief is no less agonizing. We are still in the "what if" phase of our grief, trying to find a way to "fix" this, but no matter what we come up with as a solution, the end result is the same. The parent's of his friend that were hosting the party knew how intoxicated our son was and allowed him to get in his vehicle and drive. We do not absolve our son of responsibility, he made choices that night that cost him his life and plunged us into this horrific nightmare. But we as collective individuals and as a society do have a responsibility and an obligation to stop drunk drivers!! It is our duty when hosting a party or event to monitor the alcohol consumption of our guests and to ensure that no body is getting into a vehicle impaired. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to prevent the deaths of the innocent as well as the not so innocent by any means necessary, even if that means calling the police to prevent someone from driving while intoxicated. We would much rather have been visiting our son in jail than burying him. And whether it is the drunk driver that dies or more horribly the innocent victims that they hit, it is we, the parents, family and friends who carry the pain for the rest of our lives.



#3 welovedrew

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:34 AM

Oh, my...DD, BJ's mom, Jamie, Claudia, etc. As you can see, we are all so new at the loss of our child. I have to struggle every day, just to get out of bed to go to work, I don't cook anymore (I basically don't eat too much), I was an athlete...working out 6-7 days a week, before I lost Drew and now I come home every night and drink and smoke. This is a habit that I thought was discusting before all of this happened. My husband doesn't understand why I cry every night and is just about ready to leave me. But, we have a daughter that we feel would be devastated if we were to split up. We live in an area where we really don't have any close friends and our families live miles away. Life basically is so depressing! The one thing that I could count on was that my son would come home for dinner, meet us for dinner and he was also always there for any special occassion. He died 4 1/2 months ago. He was drunk and someone gave him some drugs and he overdosed. He was not a regular drug user and it was too much for his system. He was 24 years old, finished college, worked about 60-70 hours a week and had just had a falling out with a girlfriend. To top it off...I had been mad at him for 2 months prior to this and did not speak to him for 6 weeks, until the week before he passed. I apologized for yelling at him and not speaking to him. I also told him how much we loved him and that we would do anything for him. There are days when I have so much guilt...I feel that, if I had still been talking to him 2-3 times a week, he would still be here. But, my stupidity, and anger at him, complicated the situation. Therefore, I live each and every day worrying about what was going through his mind and if I had something to do with his death. That kid meant the world to me! We were so very close and now "poopf" he is not coming home....EVER. I know that everyone grieves differently and for different periods of time...will this ever get any better?

#4 bjsmom

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:25 PM

Hello ddefrain, my son was 19 when he died in a car wreck on November 9, 2008. Alcohol was involved, although he was under the legal 0.08 BAC level. I don't/cannot remember how i survived his funeral or the planning of such. I barely remember the visitation or who came to show their respects. This is all such a blur! All i can think of is him, his life, his ways & his beautiful nature. He did not want to die but wanted to live to see another day. You are right, people's opinions do alter once they think that "alcohol" was involved. Almost like, "yes, that's what happens when you drink & drive". Yet, i wonder how many adults drink those 2 glasses of wine with their meal & then drive home safe & secure. I wonder how many adults drove home tipsy when they were teenagers? Was it just was not their time? It has now been 5 months and i still wake up thinking of my son, still close my eyes & he is there; he is constant & forever in my thoughts. I may be unrealistic but i hate the way life continues, still goes on, even though you feel your heart has been ripped from your body. Daily chores, like going to the grocery store, are so hard. Most people cannot understand but always ask the same question, "how are you". What you want to tell them would frighten them away, so you answer politely, " i am ok". You tell them want they want to hear, as they really don't want to hear the truth anyway. Sometimes i hate to step outside my door, hate being confronted by people. Yet, i hold my head high & dare anyone to say anything cross. I do this only for my son as he was, & will always be, worthy of this. My very small family of 5, but now 4, means all to me.
I have a small picture frame that says, "Family means believing, loving & supporting each other; family is the essence that helps define our very identity". I believe in this with all my heart; our children deserve nothing less. I am so sorry for your loss; i would not wish this pain & heartbreak on anyone. You are in my thoughts.
Deneace(BjsMom)


#5 no40corysmom

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 02:37 PM

I am coming up on one year......and all I can say, is the last year is a complete blur.....some "good" moments.......lots of bad ones......most of it wearing a mask, just to get through the days............

If I didn't have the Lord holding my hand.......I'm not sure I would have made it......I just keep looking up......it's my strength............

I know I will never be the same though...............


#6 shorty16

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 12:24 PM

Dearest DD

Boy can I relate to not being able to hold a thought in my head.  For the first 5 months after Brian's death, I was on autopilot.  Waking up to the reality my 16 year old is dead is just too much for anyone to handle.

I am approaching the 10 month mark and at least I can think and even multitask now.  The brain will clear (somewhat), but reality is there.

You came to right place.  BI is my sanity.  I really love these people.  No one understands the loss of a child more then a parent who has also lost a child.  I never knew this deep of a grief could exist and one could still survive.

Come visit us when you can.  Tell us about your beautiful boy.  We are here for you.

Colleen, Brian's Mother Forever

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#7 hotrod

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:19 AM

Hi Again DD,

I am glad you returned and found the uplifting messages from all the warm,knowing parents here at BI.  Yes, you are so right.  We have all experienced the feeling that after a few short months, the support system seems to move on and are looking for us to exhibit "recovery".  This is the time when the loss is becoming "real" and so very painful.Alone and with no where to go with my grief I found this Board andit has saved my life.  It was suggested that you connect with the larger group on "Loss of Adult Child Board so you will receive immediate caring rresponses to your post.  When you feel up to it, it is a life saver. 

Fathers also post, so if your husband would like to participate he is most welcome.

I underrstand the weekends being hard and the reality of Monday coming in so please come here and let us share your pain.

Praying for your peace 

BETTY/STEPHEN'SMOM

GOD BROKE OUR HEARTS TO PROVE HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST

#8 ddefrain

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 05:57 AM

I want to thank each of you for the overwhelming support. As I read the stories and the postings, it saddens my heart for the loss that each of you has suffered and the irony does not exscape me that only through your horrible tragedies are you able to relate to the all consuming pain that my husband and I are experiencing.  It helps to realize that there is life on the other side of this although right now I am not sure what that will be. I believe that when you come out the other side, you are forever altered.  How could you not be when you have lost a part of yourself???   I have to remind myself everyday that he truly is dead and is not ever coming home again.  Monday's are particularly bad. We did not see our son Loren much during the week because of work schedules, but every weekend we would spend one day doing all of the yard work, planting flower beds, home repairs etc....I think that I actually subconsciously wait for him to show up on the weekends and then on Monday, another weekend has come and gone and he is still dead!!  I think one of the worst things is that at 3 months, people expect that you should be "getting over this" and it has really only just begun. It seems like all of the support that we had during the first month is now gone.  It is hard to believe that life moves forward, but it does.  It feels like I just woke up a week ago and looked around and OMG, it is April, I am not sure everything that has occurred the last 3 months.

#9 ericasmom

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:26 AM

To those New to this pain, I am deeply sorry, wish you never had to know it but because you do, this is a good place to be, this forum. Please find your way into loss of adult child if you like, we are a strong family there, always with an open door to those new. Each of us knowing what it is that keeps you awake, makes you exhausted, depletes your hope, all that and more, but we are also the ones who understand the steps toward feeling more hope, finding a smile in a day, learning to trust the world a bit more agian.  As far as folks saying things that cut like a knife, we have all dealt with that as well, and encourage you to speak of it with us to gain the support you need to face these hardships. There is nothing easy about this time in your lives, though one day in the distance, there will be laughter and happy days again. It may sound vulgar for me to say this in the light of early loss, but it is said with the hope that you will let us walk in front of you leaving big old footprints leading the way from this day into the next.

Peace one day,

dee

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#10 mikesmomrs

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 02:27 PM

I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, Loren.  I, like others here, welcome you to this site, and please know that you will find MUCH understanding and love and support here...we all know each other's pain, no matter how our child died, or what was going on in their lives before their passing...the pain is excrutiating, always there, but, as hard as it is for you now, in this new, raw pain, to understand or accept, these are the hard, terribly searing painful days, and things will eventually soften...the pain never goes away completely, but the softer pain allows us to breathe a little easier, to sort out our feelings somewhat, and allows us the strength to forge ahead, if for no other reason than to honor the life our child had to leave too early. 

It must be terribly difficult when others tend to minimize the pain you feel, as if that makes you feel better...I guess they will never know, and prayerfully will never know, the pain is there, no matter what the circumstances.  We love our children, no matter what, and that is the way it will always be.

love and peace,

carol  mikesmomrs

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#11 4everjoeysmom

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:14 PM

Nothing can minimize the loss of your son, Loren. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. It seems it's harder now than it was in the first month, because your shock is beginning to wear off now. You are at 3 months. That's about when I felt the crushing weight of losing Joey, and it was a long journey from there. Joey died on July 31st, 2006 also from an alcohol related accident. He was "literally" run over by a freight train. The images of his death consumed me for some time..the what-if's, all of that. Take it moment by moment, a day at a time, and do please know that no matter how some may judge and say stupid things, there are others who know your pain and are willing to walk the darkest of all journeys with you. You have friends here, and you can count me one of them. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ~Claudia (4EverJoeysMom)
I am just an ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey...
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#12 saadjalu

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

Hi,

I am so sorry for the loss of your son.  I lost my 28yr old daughter Christmas night which you can read about under "My Story" if you feel like it.  I guess I can't give you much encouragement because I am where you are. I understand the "what if's" because they occupy my mind on a regular basis.  I have so many moments where I don't want to be alive but then other times where somehow I do get the strength to get out of bed.  This is a nightmare, a "hell on earth", I think.  Everyone here is dealing with the loss of a child no matter what the circumstances were, it does not matter.  It's a loss of such magnitude that every day I wonder how I will survive.
This is the first board I have posted on and I feel a lot of love and support here......I think you will too.

Jamie


#13 hotrod

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:52 AM

Please be sure that Loren knew how much you loved him.  You were doing all you could to Help.  Again please come here and post your heart out.  I know it is one minute at a time.  I just sat for hours reading  It helps.

Stephen was 41 when he passed  His problems started 3 years earlier and I like you try to live with him to enable a change.  It did not work.

I believe Stephen and your son Loren are in a better place.  Stephen was in pain and AA did not work for him.

I will continue to pray for your peace,

 

Betty

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#14 ddefrain

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:55 AM

Thank you for your kind words and let me express how sorry I am for the loss of your son Stephen. How old was your son?  I have a difficult time speaking about Loren's death with people.  It seems as soon as I say the words that he was the drunk driver, it seems to minimize my loss in their eyes.  I actually had one person say to me "well, it was only going to be a matter of time".  So, I have been quite careful not to speak about it other than with members of my own family who share that same sense of loss.  My husband and I drove home 15 hours from Taos New Mexico to Houston Texas. The drive was horrible...I was afraid he was going to die before we got there. He never regained conciousness in the hospital and while a part of me knows that is a good thing, the other part of me wanted desperately for him to know how much we loved him.  This is the first forum that I have ever joined and I think it is because I don't know what to do with all of this pain.  I wake up every single moring and when I open my eyes all I can say is "really?? I get to go through another day"!!!!  We are not even at the taking it one day at a time stage, there are days we are taking it hour by hour which is actually a huge improvement over minute by minute. 

#15 hotrod

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:25 AM

Hi

 

I am so sorry to hear of he death of your beloved son Loren.  You have come to the right place.  I have found love, warmth and understanding on this Board like I have never Known.  You are very early in this most painful of all grief journies and what you are feeling and how you are functioning is familiar to all of us.  Please be gentle with yourself.  Come here often.  I often just come to read some days and gain strength.  Please do the same.  If you feel like sharing whaever is on your heart you will be accepted and understood.

My son Stephen, passed away 22 months ago after a brief battle (which he lost) with alcoholism.  I understand the what if and if onlys.  Thanks to this board I have reached a quiet acceptance that I did all I could, and that my son's life , like your son's enriched me 100 fold.  I miss him everyday.  I remember wonderful days and they warm my heart.

In time your pain will ease but it takes time.  Please take care of yourself and come back often

Praying for you and your family

BETTY/STEPHEN'SMOM

GOD BROKE OUR HEARTS TO PROVE HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST

#16 ddefrain

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:33 AM

Our 28 year old son Loren died on January 4th 2009 from injuries he sustained in a car accident on New Year's Eve. He left a party after heavy drinking, got in his car and drove northbound on a southbound interstate, had a head on collision and was ejected through the windshield of his car. Thank God, the other person had only minor injuries. My husband and I were skiing in Taos, New Mexico when the accident happened. Our 22 year old daughter was at home when the call came from the hospital, she in turn called us and the nightmare began. I almost feel like I handled our son's death better the first month than I am today. My emotions seem to be all over the place. I can't make a decision or hold a thought in my head to save my life. He is on my mind continuously, no matter what I am doing.  Our son moved back home with us last November. We had been going through a difficulty time with him concerning his drinking. We attempted to get him involved with AA, but it was really hit and miss with him on attending meetings. My husband and I are going through the  "what if's" and while I do know that he is dead, it is like a loop playing in my head searching for solutions and of course at the end of the loop, no matter the solution, he is dead. We have not joined a support group in our area, and am not sure that I can share my feelings with a group of people. I have tried to read the grief books and have purchased several, but I am having a difficult time sitting still long enough to read them let alone retaining anything I can read. I feel confused, sad and extremely empty.




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