How to cope after losing child to drug overdose

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It’s been 10 years since we lost our son, Josh, to an overdose of morphine and methadone.

Sept. 22 was a tough day. Josh would have been 30 years old on that date.

We were dark, down in our hearts remembering our Josh. But on that very day, a phone call came from a woman who had lost her son two and a half weeks previously from a prescription overdose.

She was reaching out to someone who understood and shared her anguish.

“When will I stop crying?”

“When will I feel better?”

“How do I cope?”

“No one understands how I feel and what I’m going through.”

“How long will my grief last?”

“The guilt, ‘what ifs’ and the ‘if onlys’ are eating at my mind and soul every day.”

I advised that a momma never ceases to cry for her baby. “You’ll feel a little better bit by bit, but you’ll finally find, someday, a new normal.”

You cope by getting involved with people such as yourself, but mainly, turn to God.

Your grief will last your lifetime.

The hole in your heart will never heal.

As for all the what ifs, if onlys and the guilt, these are all self-destructives and negatives that will only drag you deeper into despair and darkness.

Do what I did.

Pray sincerely for God to take all of those negative feelings away from your heart, mind and soul.

He did all of this for me, but He left the sorrow.

Anchor yourself in God and in helping others as Doug, my husband, and I have done.

Helping others is the best medicine.

I talk with and write to (not email) this despairing mother frequently. This is our medicine, because this is what our son, Josh, wants.

Doug, with many others, started the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition.

We are very proud of what we have accomplished; however, there is so much more for us and our community to do.

Our coalition was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel on Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

Please go to our website: roaneantidrug.org.

We invite and encourage the public to come to our meetings. We meet every second Wednesday of each month at noon at the D.A.’s office, downstairs, at Brentwood Landing.

Anyone who needs us is encouraged to call our director, Sarah Stevenson, at 224-0205, or call us, Doug and Jayne Jackson at 882-3698.

We want to help others with drug or alcohol issues because this is our purpose in life.

Supporting and helping others is our mission.

Jayne and Doug Jackson