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Cheryl

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Day 8 Feb 3 2022


Conpie

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I don't know that anyone will ever read this but me. You may not want to read it because I am pretty blunt about drug addiction and some of the details of my son's death.  If you do read this, maybe it will somehow help another family from suffering and going through what we have gone through.   I need to work out all the thoughts, fears, regrets, love and yes anger that are now part of my every waking moment.  We always knew this could happen but when it did we were totally unprepared.  Connor im going to tell your story so please don't be mad.

Connor passed away of a drug overdose sometime on 1/27/2022 between 130 am and 6am.  The night before Connor came home at 830pm.  He had been working out at the Y with his girl friend.  I was napping on the couch.  He went up to bed around 930pm and went into our bedroom to get his dog at 130am and that was the last time you were seen alive.  I was up at 5am, your dad told me as he was leaving for work that you like you were in an uncomfortable position and that I should wake you up before I went to work.  D Kang your little brother was staying home to practice for the clarinet competition on Sat.  I got ready for work and went to wake you.  You were on your stomach.  I rubbed your back and said Connor get up and take a shower.  You didn't move, your skin was warm and pink and then I noticed you were not breathing.  I flipped you over and was horrified to discover that ... let me say that I should not have started CPR, I am a nurse and CPR instructor but my mom brain refused to register that you were long gone.  I will pray for those images to be gone from my brain for the rest of my life.  I screamed for DK to call 911.  He was on the phone and put them on speaker.  He helped me to get you off the bed.  I was doing CPR and he jumped in and helped. (be proud of your little brother)  He took a break to call your dad and he came home and started helping me do CPR.  You had a syringe in your hand that I took and threw so no one would get stuck.  It seemed to take forever but the paramedics did arrive and take over.  They told us to go down stairs and we went in the kitchen and waited.  The police also arrived.  There were many people in our home.  We knew you were gone before they told us.  They had to call the Coroner, what funeral home do we want...many questions.  I couldn't stand that you were up there all alone.  One of the paramedics went to sit with you.  Yes you do remember you were working on becoming a volunteer and knew them all.  The police took your phone and let us know they would be investigating and would let us know.  The coroner said it would be several weeks before the tox screen came back.  We, dad dk and myself went into the bathroom to sit while they prepared your body to transport it.  They asked if we wanted to say good bye and we all said no.  You see we had said goodbye to you so many times in the past 8-9 years and now you were already gone.  I regret that I didn't get to hug you or tell you how much i love you or how proud I was of you one last time.  The image was too much for me to bear and your brother was the one who needed me now.  So now Connor lets talk about all the stuff that came before this horrible day.  There were some really good times and some not so good.  Throughout it all we tried and we stayed together as a family.  We never gave up or quit loving you.  

My husband and I were unable to have children.  One day at work the social worker called me to her office and asked if we had considered adoption.  The birth mother was in prison and looking for some to adopt her child.  She was a drug addicted prostitute and your race and father were unknown.  We talked and said yes.  She was released from prison and disappeared.  On Dec 13 1999 I received a call from the hospital that she had shown up and given birth to you.  She wanted a closed adoption, what would your first name be and wanted 2 pictures.  We took you home at 3 days old.  I sobbed every time I looked at you.  I couldn't believe that someone would give us such a beautiful gift.  You were the only baby in our family so everyone wanted to love you 24/7.  After the first several weeks, colic set in and you shook and screamed constantly.  It was a very difficult time.  There were many fevers and ear infections in those first several months.  We would later discover that you were born addicted to crack cocaine but they had been unable to notify us because of confusion with the paperwork.  By this time we had it sorta figured out anyway.  Those first few years were great.  You tended had lots of tantrums after you turned 4 but we dealt with that.  You attended preschool, went to kindergarten and moved on to 1st grade.  When you were in 1st grade we received a call from the school psychiatrist asking that we take you for a mental health eval.  There was nothing specific that they would tell us just they they felt you needed a formal eval.  After the eval we were told that although you were young, they felt you were bipolar.  The school agreed and thus began a round of medications , therapists and counseling.  You attended cub scouts, soft ball and started wrestling.  You loved all things nature, bugs dogs cats and fish.  We started going to Cape Hatteras every summer with grandma and grandpa  when you were just 18 months old.  I will never forget the fun we had and how much you loved the aquarium and pirates museum.  You had a hard time making friends but things continued as normal.  By the time you were in 3rd grade, they had your medications stabilized and were were a straight A student with lots of friends.  Around this time we were contacted by one of my previous co workers who was pregnant.  She didn't want another baby and that is how Baby Bryan came into our lives.  We had 3 incredible months with him and then his biological father found out he could get financial assistance if he had custody.  Although we had several attorneys, we could not win custody.  After this, things were difficult.  You decided that since I gave your little brother away that I might give you away too.  I would drive you to school every day with you crying because you were sure I was giving you away.  This was the worst time in my life because not only had we lost Bryan but we had hurt you.  You finally realized that we loved you and would not ever give you away.  We gave it another year and then tried infertility treatment one more time. It didn't work.  My father had been an only child and I was determined you needed a sibling.  We found an orphanage in China that had several special needs boys who were up for adoption.  We read and read and finally decided on D Kang for your brother.  He was 2 years old and had repaired cleft lip and palate.  The process was long.  We wanted you to understand adoption and to see the country your brother came from.  So in 2009 we all traveled to China to bring your brother home.  It was a very long trip.  We knew when we met him that there were going to be issues but we also knew if we didn't take him that he may not survive.  D Kang was 24 lbs at 4.5 years old.  It was obvious that he was starving. He had cuts and burns all over his body.   So we all came home.  D Kang had lots of problems (severe reactive attachment)so more in home therapy, group therapy, school therapy and psychiatry.  This is not D Kangs story but the first several years were stressful.  You continued and remained on the honor roll and advanced program through 7th grade.  

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I am so sorry your beloved son is gone. How horrific for you to find your son. :( My prayers are with your family.

I am raising my grandson due to family drug issues. Our fear has become your reality.  I know your heart is beyond broken.

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Thank you Conni,

This is a club we did not sign up to join.  You are so wonderful to be raising a grandchild.  I know that must be difficult.  One of my son's biological sisters asked if I could be her daughters grandma, since her own mother is the only one surviving and she is a drug addict also.  This made my day and I really hope she was sincere.  Otherwise my surviving son doesn't want children.   

This was always our fear.  Everytime i didn't know where he was I would worry.  I have lived in dread for years.  Its not an if, for us it was more a when.  I will pray for you.  

Cheryl

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Conpie:

So very sorry for your loss. You sound so valiant. Please know others care. Thank you for all you do in your caring profession. Please give yourself lots of time. Condolence to your entire family. 

 

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