Sometimes I feel as if I’m living in the middle of a bad dream. Everything involving my son right now just seems so surreal. Just when I think I’ve come to grips with the fact that my son is probably going to spend the next several years of his life in prison, something triggers my anxiety and I feel like I’m back at square one. It reminds me of the feelings I had when my sister, father and brother passed away suddenly. I just couldn’t take it in. It didn’t seem real.
My son’s final sentencing hearing is scheduled for the end of this month, on my sister’s birthday. The closer the date of the hearing is, the more anxiety tries to suck all of the joy out of my life. Accepting that my son is going to prison, is accepting a loss. A loss of the dreams I had for him. So, I guess it’s just an ongoing process, just like the grieving process. I know from past experiences with grieving that it will take time, and there will be good days and bad days. The bad days really stink. There are very few days that I don’t cry a little. Sometimes the sadness of what my son must face just needs to be released through tears.
It helps when I remind myself that there are many things to be thankful for in the middle of all of this. A few weeks ago, a young man in our community nearly froze to death as a result of his addiction. He survived, but had amputations due to frostbite. His parents are good people who have been through a living hell with him. I know if my son were actively using and out on the streets he would be in danger every single day, and that I probably wouldn’t know where he was located, or if he was even alive. At least now I know where he is, and when I talk to him now, it’s my son I’m talking to, not the addiction. For that, I am grateful. With God’s help, I will keep using gratitude and the knowledge of His love for both my son and me to get through the next few years. I know the Lord will bring good from this, it's just that getting there is so hard.