What I learned from my son’s meth addiction and death.

Dear Reader,

It’s been a chaotic and life changing year. I have accomplished to survive the pandemic, the loss of my only child, and to celebrate 30 years of marriage to my best friend. I learned a great deal about myself in the last four months.

1. I’m a true survivor and I will come back stronger for the future. More determined to make something of myself and my life and my son, Danny’s, life.

2. I come from a long line of survivors. My ancestors fought manifest destiny and being genizaros in Northern New Mexico during the Indian wars. If they had not survived their struggles, I would not be here today fighting my own struggles in this country divided by a wall.

3. My son taught me that love is  unconditional and that means no matter what your child says or does, you love them the best you can and cherish the moments together. Even the bad days, the hard days, the happy days, the drugs, the illness, the addiction, the heart attacks, the strokes, the clinging to life but wanting to let go. Your love does not end when their life ends. It changes and becomes grief. The grief tries to kill you. You survive and make yourself get up every day and do the work. You use your anger and grief to make yourself stronger. You learn and teach how to survive the loss.

4. You are nothing alone. You need friends, family, therapists, doctors and support groups to tell your story and to share your grief and anger. You do not face these challenges alone.

5. The world is a beautiful, wonderous, magical place full of miracles and tears, laughter, heartache and bliss. You have to dig deep to find the path to the light and follow it all the way to the end never giving up hope for a better tomorrow.

6. Life is fleeting. One day you’re here. One day you disappear. But your spirit lives forever. And as long as someone says you name, you never die. You live on in the memories of loved ones and in books and in songs and poems and movies and dances.

7. Never give up hope. Never. Because just around the corner there waits your destiny. I’ve been around the world and seen many things but I haven’t seen everything. I’ve seen heart ache and joy and misery and success. I am blessed.

8. Your childhood is not over. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

9. Love.

10. One world. One prayer.

6 replies
  1. Claire
    Claire says:

    Juliana, what an important and hearbreaking, yet soul-lifting, article. Everything you said is true, yet few come and say it. Bless you, and my heart goes out to you and your spouse.

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