Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not Alone


Yesterday, my sweet running buddy Heather said goodbye to one of the most precious people in her life, her 22 year old son.

Although I didn't know Andrew well, Heather and I had many talks about him during our runs throughout the years and I saw Andrew from a different perspective - through the heart of a mom that loved him so much and would have roped the moon for him had he asked her to do so.

My heart is so broken for my friend as she mourns the life of her son that she loved so much.

Through this devastating and heartbreaking time, I've seen so much courage from his family. From his obituary to the funeral service itself, they've done everything possible to give hope to those who are suffering and in a dark place in their lives. From their own broken hearts, they are reaching out to others who are also broken. What a powerful testimony of love and grace.



Andrew's obituary was so beautifully written by his amazing mom, I only saw it fitting to share bits and pieces of it here.

Andrew, 22, passed away on July 21, 2017.

Andrew struggled with addiction and depression. In the end the depression is what took our beautiful son. Right now we as parents know no answers. But this is what we do know and will hold on to. Andrew was a smart, funny, handsome, quick witted, athletic son. He had a smile that would brighten our day. He had a big heart and always had a soft spot for animals and stray dogs. Andrew was excellent at skate boarding. Andrew enjoyed going with his dad to hunt in Texas. Andrew loved his niece and nephew and his face would light up when they would call him “Uncle Andrew.” He enjoyed trips to New Orleans and loved New York. On our last evening with Andrew, he smiled, we laughed together, we made plans for the weekend, we hugged, said “I love you, see you this weekend.”

If you have family or a friend who is struggling find a way to help reach out, be kind and compassionate. A smile and laughter are sometimes hiding the darkness. If you are struggling with addiction and or depression tell someone, tell a friend, tell your mom or dad, or sister or brother. Reach out, there is help. You are loved and by reaching out others will be there for you to help you through the darkness. In lieu of flowers, show acts of kindness, tell your kids every chance you can you love them and hug them when you can, even when they try to pull away.

Please be in prayer for my sweet friend and her family. Pray for peace, comfort, and strength for the days ahead. It's so hard to see the world continue to go on when it seems as if your world has completely ended. I can't even imagine the pain they are feeling right now.

And if you're in a place where you feel as if the darkness is overtaking you, please reach out - there's always someone there who loves you and cares for you and wants to help you. You are not alone. 




13 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear this. It hurts my heart. My cousin had a similar struggle and so we have seen it from the inside-out as you have. Prayers for her and the family. <3

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! It hurts my heart to see my sweet friend so broken. Such a sad time.

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  2. So so sad. I am so sorry to hear about this, and i cannot imagine what they are going through. :(

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  3. My heart goes out to the family. I applaud them for their bravery in writing the kind of obituary that they did. I am sure it will help others. My daughter attempted suicide last year. The pain our children feel is real, and mental health needs to be addressed. The stigma needs to be lifted. Please thank you friend for me and send her my condolences.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Becky! Thanks for sharing your experience. I will send your condolences her way.

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  4. There are no words, I feel so sad for the parents and the family.
    My son Andrew has has very similar struggles so it was very hard to read this but I am glad you shared it.

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    1. Oh Karen. I'm so very sorry to hear that. I'll keep your Andrew (and you) in my prayers!

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  5. I can not begin to imagine the pain this family is feeling. I am so sorry.

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    1. Thanks, Meranda. I can't imagine the pain, either. So so very sad.

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  6. My heart goes out to your friend Heather and her family. I cannot imagine losing my son, and cannot even begin to imagine the heartache they're experiencing. I'll be keeping them in my prayers.

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    1. I feel the same way, Kathryn! I can't even imagine how she feels!

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  7. I'm so behind on reading blogs because of work right now. I had a few moments today and since I enjoy your blog so much, I was going through and reading posts that I had missed. I read this post and it made me cry. As I was growing up, I suffered from that type of deep depression. And on the other side of the coin we lost my brother to addiction when he was the same age as Andrew. So I am very familiar with that world. I love her "in lieu of" and even though I didn't know her, I will show acts of kindness where I can in memory of Andrew. You really don't know what someone is going through and that little thing could make their day. Thank you for sharing.

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