A mother is planning a funeral for her kid, a kid who had been a fixture in my home. There are so many parts of this story that I cannot tell, because its not my story to tell. So I’ll tell you the parts that I can.
I went to a Town Hall type meeting a few weeks ago. The Police Commissioner was there. Members of his department, high-ranking members discussed how addiction had affected their families. They discussed how they knew that they could not arrest us out of this crisis.
Right before making multiple arrests that were front-page news.
Local social service agencies were also at this Town Hall meeting. They spoke of the importance of awareness, the need for treatment that was accessible, and other things that I can’t remember because I was stuck on the headlines I knew were coming, headlines that talked of 50 or so arrests in my town, arrests that were designed to, well, I don’t know what they were designed to do because I knew that all of those arrests were not going to end the crisis.
Kids I loved were still addicts, some in recovery, some not there yet. The arrests that made the front page were not stopping those kids from using. Those arrests were not stopping the deaths that were still going to come.
I’m not blaming the police. I’m not blaming the social service agencies. Well, not really. Maybe just a little.
We cannot say that we can’t arrest ourselves out of this crisis and then make multiple arrests in various towns and then put the arrest numbers in our local news as if those arrests are doing anything.
No. Really. They are not.
These kids are burying their friends, some who had been arrested. The deaths of their friends have not stopped them from using. You know why? Because they suffer from addiction.
It is not a choice.
So the news I received today was especially heartbreaking because I don’t think we are any closer to figuring this crap out.
Another kid that I loved, that my kids loved, is dead. I will be going to another wake where I will feel tremendous guilt for thanking God that I am not the mother receiving visitors. I will go home and thank God a million times that out of all of the problems I have, burying one of my kids is not one of them.
I will see a ton of kids that have grown up in my home shedding tears for their friend. I will hug them and tell them that I love them and worry that some of them will be next and say more prayers that it will be the last wake I go to all while knowing that its not.
There are people who will read this and think they are somehow immune to this. They’re not, but I’m not going to argue with them. Instead I’m going to tell you to hug your kids, tell them how much you love them, hug them again and tell them you love them again.
There is a mother out there tonight who would give anything to hug her kid. Instead she’s planning a funeral.