Posted in Death, Friendships, Grief, Life

The Startling Death Of My Son’s Best Friend

My beautiful ocean scene with the words an unexpected death
Canva

Sometimes, we just don’t have any good answers for our children, especially when death is concerned. Sometimes, we just cannot make the pain go away. I had to fight myself against issuing generic platitudes to my grieving son because no answers were sufficient for the questions that he had when he lost his best friend suddenly.

Don’t be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Richard Bach

I have four kids and two stepchildren that are the center of my universe. My youngest son, and third child, has suffered a tremendous loss at only the tender age of 13. His best friend and sidekick died. For the sake of his family’s privacy, I will call this young man Daryl in this article. Daryl will be remembered by more than his family. My son is going to make sure of that.

Daryl was a bright thirteen year old boy that liked to play video games online and basketball outside of my house with the local neighborhood boys. My son, Nolan bonded with him quickly over their mutual love for Kobe Bryant, dark humor, video games, and attitudes.

Daryl had fought and overcome cancer three times in his short little life. He had most recently gotten the stats to indicate he was beating it again.

You never heard him complain, but he had a life filled with pain. He would be missing in action during the worst parts, but continually stayed in contact with my son via online messaging. My son was not one to talk about it. Like many boys are apt to be when it comes to emotions, he dealt with it in his own way and still does.

When COVID came around, Daryl was confined to his room. His immune system was already battered so his parents weren’t taking any chances by not issuing a strict quarantine. They spent the summer playing video games online and plaguing each other with dark jokes and pranks. They were showing their love as boys will.

School

Three days before school was to be let back in session, Daryl’s mom went to wake him and found that he had passed away in his bed. Though he was beating the cancer, he had passed away from a sudden aneurism.

Nolan found out later on that day and came to tell me right away. They had played on the X-box the night before and he seemed fine, my son told me in shock.

As grief tends to do, it had a delayed reaction on Nolan. He would forget for a moment and then he would go to text him and remember. He would get online and remember.

I believe the grief took a toll on his immune system because within days he was fighting a huge swollen gland from a sudden bout of mono and strep throat. Days after getting on antibiotics, he developed a mono rash. He ended up missing the first two weeks back to school.

I didn’t realize how deep the friendship had gone until I took him to school on his first day. Signing him in, the office staff all gathered around and hugged him and told him how sorry they were. It seemed that the boys were something of a duo at the school.

A beautiful art general

Art

A few weeks later, I came home from work and went to greet all of the kids, which is my routine when I come in the door. After I greet the animals, of course.

I found Nolan in his room thumbing through a journal. He told me that for art class they all had to keep an art journal with drawings, thoughts, and the such. He said that after class the art teacher had given Daryl’s art journal to him.

Without me even telling him, he told me that he wanted to make a copy for himself and carry the original to Daryl’s mother. The image of the young boy’s self painted image in the journal made tears well up in my own eyes. Not to mention the fact that my teenager, famous for no empathy towards anyone but himself within our household, was showing empathy towards Daryl’s family.

I took the journal to work and made the copy. It was filled with what you would expect from a thirteen year old boy being forced to journal, but I knew the gift would be a priceless artifact given to a grieving mother. Another link to a love like no other.

This will not be the last time my son experiences a tragedy. I am proud of the way he has handled this loss and the way he continues to keep Daryl’s memory alive by talking about him. All too often, people try and drown pain away by ignoring it. Only by dealing with our emotions will we ever truly heal from any heartbreak or pain.

There is no explanation for a life cut that short. I won’t lie and say it’s part of a plan I’m not privy to. The only thing I can say for sure is that where he went has to be so much better than what he went through here during his short, pain filled existence.

Hold your loved ones tight. We never know when a moment will be the last.


I know this was a depressing article so if you would like to laugh now, here is a link to my latest Medium article about being a Golddigger!


Posted in Family, Friendships, Ideas, Life, life lessons, Relationships

What In The World Is An Empath?

Is is just someone who listens to their instinct?

An adult hand reaching down with love to hold the hand of a young child.
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I am a very straight-laced, down to earth person with gypsy tendencies. I can also be described as a redneck with an affinity for leopard print. Also, as a tomboy who loves long, dangly earrings. Or an uptight prude, if you’re listening to my children. So, I’ve always scoffed at those who labeled themselves as empaths.

According to the dictionary, an empath is a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. However, I don’t think most of us that use the word think of it as paranormal activity. It’s almost as if our souls sense the other person’s soul. Our souls communicate nonverbally.

I just thought I was sensitive and/or paranoid.

As I grew older, I noticed my ability to read the vibes and intentions of others got better and better. Suddenly, I felt the bad vibes of the people I had been friends with for years. I tried to ignore it and told myself I was being paranoid. But, after my vibes turned out to be correct on two back to back occasions, I started paying attention.

The first example was when I started thinking my first husband was cheating on me. I ignored my instinct. I called myself paranoid. I would’ve saved myself a lot of heartache if I had paid attention.

The second time was when I felt a sudden coldness between myself and someone I had considered to be a best friend. She just stopped calling me. I knew instantly she wasn’t my friend anymore, I just didn’t know why. I found out just weeks later that she was badmouthing me to other friends. I realized that I had felt this coming. The reason didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t need people like that in my circle.

I can read the vibes of most people around me and once I focused on that, my sales at work far surpassed the quota I had always worked hard to barely meet. I started paying attention to all of my intuition. It has not led me astray yet, that I’m aware of.

A hand holding a card that says — Let your intuition guide you. You are what you’ve been looking for.
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

I have found that when I go with my instinct I never regret it. And I don’t second-guess myself constantly. When I make that decision, I do it with confidence.

I have found myself being right so often now that it’s almost creepy.

I only wish that I had learned to listen to me forty years ago.


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