I miss everything about Alex. I miss talking with Alex. I miss watching Alex play with his son. I miss Alex every single day. I will forever remember Alex as a kind, caring, loving, and giving son, brother, grandson and father. 

My beloved son Alex had a disease, an addiction to opioids. Alex, like so many others who are addicted to opioids, desperately wanted to be sober, and he tried many, many times. Like so many others today, his addiction cost him his life. I felt many emotions; anger, despair, a sense of hopelessness, all to varying degrees. I wanted professional help to sort these emotions out for me to remember the beautiful person my son was, and to move forward and appreciate life for all it has to offer. Many family and friends recognized my grief and from countless people in my life came the encouragement to “call Cornerstone of Hope.” I followed their advice, and I am grateful for the Cornerstone of Hope Overdose Support Group facilitators and for my fellow group members for walking with me on my grief journey. The group setting allowed me to meet other people who really understood what I had gone through and how I was feeling and hurting. We bonded from our similar loss. 

I learned at Cornerstone that there are numerous symptoms of grief that one may not even be aware of and are unique to each griever. The symptoms may not be the normal grief emotions one may expect. I was told that it is okay to feel what I feel. It’s how you process and deal with these emotions that impact your ability to constructively move forward. I felt a sense of relief to hear these words.

The exercises that we did in our group sessions and the assignments at Cornerstone were extremely therapeutic.

For example, one homework exercise was to ask three people five words that they would use to describe Alex. The result was a clear pattern and supported my belief that my son was a good person. As difficult as the issues are related to addiction, the true loving character of the man Alex was shined through.  Caring, thoughtful, kind, a loving father. These were the common words used to describe Alex. I don’t think anyone was saying what I wanted them to say. They were speaking from the heart.

Without Cornerstone I would have never thought to ask people what they thought of my son. How this helped me was amazing. It made me feel good to know what people thought about Alex.

The grief and anger that comes with losing a loved one to this disease can at times feel unbearable.  

Am I angry about Alex’s death? Yes, but I am not angry with Alex. We have a drug addiction problem in this country.  Good people are dying, at record numbers. With my progress that I have made at Cornerstone of Hope, I have now turned my pain into purpose advocating for reform and change. I could not save Alex; however, I can perhaps be a small part of change to help save others and spare other families this horrible feeling of grief.   

I love and miss my son, Alex. By sharing my loss and grief journey at Cornerstone of Hope with others, I honor his memory and my hope now is to inspire others not to hide, to not be ashamed, and to seek the hope and help that you need and deserve. Please call Cornerstone of Hope at 216-524-4673.

Addiction Recovery Resources:

  1. Safe Passages
  2. The Lantern Center for Recovery