This is a very difficult page to write. More accurately re-write. Over and over. I have started and stopped and put it off for a long time because how can I tell you who I am when I don’t even know myself?
Writing a bio used to be easy. In the past I was a happily married, mother of two and a successful broadcaster. Then I lost my job in a corporate greed-fest and became a travelling slacker with writer tendencies. I roamed the world freely with my amazing husband and incredible young daughter following the sun through Europe and Africa for about year. Then I came home to settle back in and face the reality of economics. I would need to find a job and return to some kind of structured rhythm of life. I was very excited to reunite face to face with my adult son Holden who had been busy living his own life in Vancouver.
Reality, that treacherous bitch, served us up something completely different than we could ever have expected. Something devastating and completely life shattering. On July 3, 2015 a somber looking police officer walked up to the door and reluctantly broke the news no parent ever wants to hear. Our beautiful son Holden had passed away. He was just 21 years old. I still get anxious when I see police cars in the neighbourhood and I hate the third. Of every month.
Because people always wants to know, I will just tell you and save you the googling. We eventually found out that our son died of an accidental drug and alcohol overdose. It was the combination of the two substances that slowed his breathing and eventually stopped his young passionate heart while he slept. At least that’s what the Coroner said. Another detail I never expected. I now have the Coroner’s phone number in my contacts.
So, having failed at my most important job, that of guiding and protecting my children from harm, what am I now? A person trying to figure this redefined life out; stumbling around in the darkness bumping into thoughts and occasionally making discoveries.
I haven’t had the heart to write about my son directly yet. Thinking about him in the past tense is just too painful. Most of what I am putting on paper these days deals with the general subject of Holden’s passing, my own grief and the attempt to put this tragedy and it’s collateral damage into some kind of context. There are so many questions. I don’t think it will ever be possible to understand completely.
The response to what I have published here and elsewhere has been surprising and deeply moving. I have been contacted by so many lovely and compassionate people, women mostly, who have been forced to endure similar experiences or who simply offer condolences and support. I suppose this shared path of deep sadness makes us a kind of community. A gathering of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and loved ones with bowed heads and fragile exteriors just barely holding in the tears.
I am so grateful for the sharing. Perhaps together we can learn to carry on.