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Nine Months Gone/Mother's Day

Keven liked Mother's Day more than I did. When he was a kid he'd get me a gift with the help of his aunt Therese, or he'd make me something. If he happened to be in jail on a Mother's Day he'd write me a long letter telling me how much he loved me. Of course, I'd go visit him for the occasion. Jail visits were part of life.

Truth: this Mother's Day is going to suck.

As the 9 month mark of Keven’s passing draws near, it’s unbelievable to me it’s been nine months - that means in three months it will be one year! One year since the most important person in my life took off for what I believe to be a better place. Life feels so different.

Here’s an excerpt from my book (rough draft):

When I lost Keven everything changed. From that moment forward, I felt like I was living in a different dimension. It felt like being underwater. Everything around me seemed blurry and sounded warped. On the outside I looked the same, but my inner landscape was filled with dark paths of sadness and pain. I had to make choices - avoid the dark paths and feel less trauma, or walk the paths and allow the raw emotions to surface.

Therese and I talked about Keven constantly in the first few months, always on the look-out for signs from him to remind us he was still with us. We felt he was still close by and talked to him as if he was. Some day I’ll share about the signs he sent.

My outlook on life changed. So many things seemed trivial considering losing Keven. Life was really pretty simple, all that matters is loving the people in your life and treasuring time with them; gratitude for the positive things and being kind to whoever you meet. That person who cut you off, or the scroungy looking kid on your street, or the woman in line in front of you that seems arrogant and rude, who knows what they have going on in their lives? Most people have some type of stress or heartache, at least periodically.

What if we were all kind to one another? Would Keven still be here if that was the case? He’d been beaten down and dismissed, kicked to the curb, left for dead. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t believe in “tough love”. I loved him through it all, and he knew my love was unconditional. I tell myself it’s not my fault, I am not to blame, and I MUST believe that or I would never know peace again.

I get comfort knowing Kev’s pain and suffering are over. Watching him struggle year after year and sink deeper into the darkness of his own mind and his substance abuse was torture. That’s the only positive of his death. He’s no longer in pain.

When the Coroner and her assistant were at our house that day, the assistant looked at me as I sat broken and crying, and said, “Suicide is such a selfish act.” I stared at this dude in disbelief. Did he just say this to a grieving mother who lost her son hours ago? I wanted to get in his face and say, “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” and possibly called him an asshole. But I could barely move.

In Keven’s case, it was not a selfish act. It was his only option for peace. I’d like to think that he could have pulled himself out of the pit of blackness, but he couldn’t. I also knew, because he’d told me so many times, that he felt I could handle it once he was gone and that he’d be doing me a favor because so much stress and worry and sadness would be gone.

Here is a letter I wrote him a few days after he died:


I love you with all my heart. You changed my life for the better the day you were born. You know I didn’t plan on being a mom, but when you came along, I felt a love so deep I never imagined possible.

I’m not mad at you. I understand completely. I believe you’re at peace now, no; I KNOW you are at peace and are FREE from the constant torment you experienced here. You gave it your all; you tried until you were too exhausted to keep trying.

On that last morning you told me you didn’t think you could ever stop using. I didn’t see that as a hint at what was going to occur 15 minutes later, but you’ve been telling me for years this is how it would probably happen.

I’m sorry all my efforts to help you weren’t enough. I know you didn’t want to hurt me. Your mind was not always your own, you did everything possible to relieve the pain. This was your last option, and that breaks my heart.

I can’t describe how much I will miss you. I will never hear “Hey, Mom?” again. I will miss your voice, your hugs, your beautiful green eyes, your amazing intelligence and kindness, your giggle, how you teased me, I will miss seeing how much you and Sugar love each other.

I will miss hearing NF, MGK, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Eminem. etc. blaring in your room. I will miss watching TV with you and fighting over the radio station in the car (until we realized we both preferred KROQ and ALT 98). I will miss you coming into my room in the middle of the night to talk.

There are so many things I know you know, and you know I know - like our secret language we used in the ocean when you were just a kid. We were a team.

Until we meet again my Precious Keven, you will be in my heart.



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