Today I hugged and kissed my little one more than usual and showered him with “I-love-yous” and spoiled him perhaps a little too much. Today I didn’t care about the minor imperfections that often bug me or about the smallish concerns about my parenting ability. Today I simply celebrated the fact that my little boy is alive, is healthy, and that we can spend our days together.
Last night I had a dream that Henry Granju, the teenage son of a popular blogger mom I follow had died. The dream was so vivid, and I was so sad and couldn’t believe this was happening. When I checked my email this morning, I found out that it was all true. This didn’t come out of nowhere– Henry had suffered a horrible brain injury as a result of the combination of a drug overdose and a cruel assault all within the same incident. I knew that although he had experienced some improvement, he recently had taken a turn for the worse and his life was in serious jeopardy. So he must have been on my mind… or perhaps it was a sixth sense that I occasionally do have. Either way, his death has really affected me.
It seems silly, really, to be so affected by this young man’s tragic death. I don’t know him, his mother, or their family. I read her book, Attachment Parenting, when Peer was a baby and liked it. I googled her and started following her blogs and on facebook. She never came out about her son’s addiction until very recently, after his injury. While the tragedy of his injury and death would be equally as haunting even if I had read it as a tiny blurb in a newspaper, it has been very moving to read about the whole thing through the eyes of his mother. She tells stories about his life, his childhood and her efforts to help save him from his addiction. She talks about her feelings of guilt and inadequacy, her fears of judgment from other parents, and that those other parents might be right. She has given both medical information about his condition, and explored her anger at God for the horror that is happening to her son.
It’s all been very moving for me. Maybe because I watched it all unfold daily. Or maybe because I identify with this mom. In some ways, she seems like a lot like me in maybe 15 or 20 years. She is passionate about parenting and we share a similar parenting style. Or maybe because if this could happen to her, then it could happen to anyone– even our family. She has tried so hard to help her son, to guide him, prevent him, discipline him, do anything to prevent this from happening. She is a very good mom. But this still happened to her. It reminds me of cheesy sentiments that carry a lot of truth. Like how these things can happen to anyone, or that every day is a gift and you should cherish every moment with your children. Or how I must be the best mom I can possibly be and leave the rest up to God. And also that every druggie out there is not just a druggie. Even though many people who OD in essence do this to themselves (excepting, of course, in this case where the OD was coupled with an assault by horrible people that need to be brought to justice), they still have a mother who loves them and would do anything for them, even take the blame herself.
Rest in Peace, Henry Louis Granju (1991-2010), and may God comfort those whom you have left behind.