I know myself by my old story. Losing my son to addiction has destroyed that story. What do I tell now about who I am and where I am going? I watch my words carefully, waiting for my new story to emerge, and searching wherever I can to find my way.

A mother should not outlive her son. Between life and death, a life should unfold naturally to nurture the next generation. I should have kept him safe. I should have kept the family intact. I should have worked less. I should have sent him back to treatment. I should, I should not, I should have. When will my guilt end? At times, I feel as if I have lost my sense of self, consumed by my guilt and his disease for too long. His demons won, and I want to desperately believe it wasn’t my fault.

An overwhelming wave of sorrow pulls me under. I have to come up for air. When I do, I sense there might be hope in my suffering. If I can let go of my guilt and grief, I might begin to heal. In this moment of surrender, I am able to breathe, and begin to seek my new place in the Universe. My wounded heart opens, as I accept my deep loss, yet I persist in trying to understand the tragic nature of this disease.

I want my son to be here with me, literally. Life is not the same without him. Yes, I often feel his presence, but he left behind a hole which can’t be filled. I know I’m offered an alternative to the emptiness. I can choose to transform or languish, to awaken or slumber, to connect or isolate. I recognize it’s my choice to go deeper. Some die young, so others can live deeper, more meaningful lives. I have to believe I am meant to explore my pain and share what I have learned.

When I slow down, I feel a sense of gratitude for this awareness; for the divine order of things and the spiritual side of my healing. I am grateful for the people in my life, who love and support me. I am grateful for my granddaughter, Olivia. She looks so much like her father, and I love spending time with her. She connects me to my new normal.

I am aware of the slight possibility of joy; to own my pain, but not to dwell in it. I want to show up for myself in the joy of transformation. This possibility feels like a beginning and an ending; the alpha and omega. I begin to let go of my old story and find meaning in my new normal. Mary Cucarola  –  August 2015

Comments 8

  1. Oh Mary, thank you for your courage in sharing your heart. Thank you for speaking up. You make such a big difference by breaking through the silence.

  2. Mary, I’ve chosen to comment here after coming from Facebook, because it seems like this blog means an awful lot to you, and it takes a lot out of you too. I want to support what you are doing with CFS, and it seems somehow like a tiny way I can support your effort. Facebook can seem too easy, superficial and fleeting, and this is really your creation.

    I think you are really brave, and smart as well, to be looking deeply and directly at the thing which has shattered your life, your story. Few have the courage to do that and they may live out their lives without really healing, or learning and growing from the tragedies that we all eventually encounter. Your story is not over, and you are writing new chapters, and living fully in doing so. I salute you, and wish you all the peace, healing, and love you can find, and create, in your life.

  3. I feel the same pain about Lisa. It is truly hard to overcome and it hurts constantly. As a father, you arę supposed to fix things and i couldn’t. I have a hard time getting over that. I still think I should have been able to fix that but she was too far gone mentally. Brenda helps me with that all the time.

  4. Post

    Hi Billy,

    I am so glad you can identify with my pain, and that you have Brenda to support you. I could not have made it without the people in my life, who love me and support me. Surrendering to the pain and grief, forgiving myself, and moving forward into my new normal are helping me to cope. Mary

  5. Post

    Hi Andy,

    I am so glad to hear your comments. Yes, Facebook is very fleeting and superficial, but it is a way to connect with people, and get them to pay attention to what I am trying to say, especially until we get our supporter base built up. Your heartfelt words mean so much to me. You get it. If I don’t look deeply into my pain and grief, it will eat me up and spit me out, and make me into an angry, bitter person. I am committed to sharing my journey, so that others might be spared or at least not have to suffer in silence. I am no saint. I am just trying to save myself. Mary

  6. Post

    Hi Ann,

    You are part of the reason I found the courage to speak up. This didn’t happen overnight as you know. My personal journey began in Telluride 5 years ago, when I decided it was time to take care of myself. I have to believe our meeting was divinely arranged. Mary

  7. Hi Mary.

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot over the past few weeks. I am glad to read this update. I respect your process and hope you can continue to heal and care for yourself as you navigate this future of finding your new self and footing. Thank you for sharing time with me and I have love in my heart for you and your granddaughter-I’m so thrilled you have her in your life! Take care and I’ll hope you continue to experience healing and grace as time moves on.
    Much love, Barbara

  8. Post

    I just saw your comments, Barbara. I am glad we got to spend time together in Greece, too. Thank you so much for thinking of me and supporting me through my grief process. Warmly, Mary

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