Friday, March 20, 2009

A Friend's Grief

Today finds me still in boxes and just sort of paralyzed by the magnitude of everything! My best friend just found out that her drug addicted sister (who's first child my friend adopted and is raising since his mother didn't KNOW doing heroin was bad for a fetus!) has been charged with causing the death of her 3 yr old. Authorities found lethal doses of Methadone in this child's body. Needless to say my friend is devastated! I can't even describe to you the hysteria and profound grief in her voice as she called me yesterday in the morning to relate this news. It was the type of grief that just knocks you down, the type of emotion that seems unfathomable to survive.

When she first learned of this child's existence 3 years ago she called the authorities and informed them of this person's child rearing history, of the fact that she had already adopted one child this person had lost custody of. She talked to Child Protective Services, the local police, caseworkers , even private investigators and attorneys and was only able to learn that her sister was already under investigation, that being a drug addict doesn't make you a bad parent (ARE YOU KIDDING?) and that nothing could be done until she HARMED this child by abuse or neglect! What is it in this country that makes it okay for someone who is a documented drug addict (by virtue of having a methadone prescription you are sort of admitting that ok?), who has already lost custody of one child because of neglect and endangerment to give birth and be trusted with that child??

I have often said it floors me that anyone can give birth but you have to have a license or permit to do almost anything, build something, have a business etc. Another thing that constantly amazes me is how multiple children can grow up in the same home and turn out so differently. How something inside of a person can be so broken that they do unspeakable things?? How even the smallest dysfunction within a family can cause so much harm in one person's life and be overcome by another. My friend and her sister were raised in an affluent area by older parents who adopted both girls because they could not have their own children. My friend says her parents really knew nothing about parenting and really should have never had children. Perhaps they are not to be credited with the wonderful person my friend is nor the dysfunctional person her sister became.

My friend is one of those people who never had anything bad to say about anyone, she rarely gets angry (but when she is WATCH OUT because she's a redhead!), she is emotional and passionate, extremely bright and articulate and just all around a person you want on your side. She's had more than her share of bad luck in the past couple of years beginning with a serious motorcycle accident in which her husband lost his leg and almost his life. That was an incredible time of grief and trauma for their whole family while he recovered and struggled to regain his ability to provide for their family. They have struggled financially to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. It has worn on my friend, she's often been depressed and felt hopeless during this time. She's hung on though and found lots of ways to stretch what money she could get her hands on. This week things were looking up as her husband began a new job and she was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately the light was a train with the news of the death of this poor innocent child!

There will be more days of grief as more is learned about this situation but if you are the praying type please pray for comfort and peace for my friend, pray that this child who has left us was loved during her time on earth by those around her, that even as her mother caused her death that she did not suffer other pain prior to this horrible end. Send positive energy and light if that's your belief system as well because my friend... she could use all of that she can get as well. I am finding that adulthood is filled with times like this when there's nothing you can say that helps, nothing that gives the magnitude of comfort you want to give to your suffering friend, nothing you can provide that can fix or make it better. Time has a way of healing us... the period of time required varies and sometimes it's really hard to imagine ever feeling better but we do eventually heal enough to be thankful for the good things and able to live with the bad.

Peace and love to little Jessi.

1 comment:

Joell said...

So sorry and my heart goes out to your friend...and so do my prayers. Such things have no explanation. And as friends of those who are suffering, often, we can only offer our presence, love and prayers. Somehow it doesn't feel like nearly enough.

Jessi is safe now and my prayer is that your friend's sister will have a moment of clarity and find and accept the help she so obviously needs...and that your friend will find her way through her grief. So so sorry...What a horrible, unnecessary tragedy.