Mourning someone who is still alive


Active Member
So tonight I went to a viewing of friend of my sons- same young age early 20"s. My son could not go because he doesn't live in the same state anymore but these two still kept in touch and talked often.
At the viewing there were pictures of the young man and his family- laughing, sharing, loving, etc.
As I stood in line to pay my respects to his parents the tears were running down my face. Sad for them but also sad for myself. I don't have happy memories with my son for the last 7 years... He moved away a few years ago and his alcoholism has just drawn us more apart. The disrespect he has for us is terrible. He only reaches out when he wants or needs something. The money we have spent on him and not even a thank you. There are no pictures of us together anymore.. Life is lived walking on egg shells now fearing what I say, fearing what his therapist may tell me tomorrow...

I feel like we have been mourning the loss of our son for so long. It is just exhausting and so sad to see such a young life destroyed by addiction. This young man that passed away had his whole life ahead of him and was doing well.

I have prayed for the last 6 -7 years for my son. I know God is there and if it is his will my son will pull through but I must say I am so exhausted and just want my life back.
I really need to be very strong in 2 weeks. That is when we will see him again and at that point if he has relapsed I need to really pull away and let him on his own. It is killing me inside. I hate having him so far away. I think about the upcoming holidays and he will be all alone there- no family and few friends unless he soon stops isolating himself. The holidays will be very lonely and certainly a trigger.
Sorry for venting. Just had to share my feelings tonight.


Well-Known Member
I am so sorry. There are no real words other than you never know when an addict will decide to change.

I mourned my mother, who loathed me, long before she passed, but I dont believe you are truly ready to grieve for your son yet. However it IS possible to mourn a living person.

I hope things turn around. It is usually when you least expect it, when you have pulled back and given up.
On the streets, people form families, albeit dysfunctional. Your son wont be alone and you never know...he could visit you.
Love and light!


Well-Known Member
I totally sympathize with you and also at times feel very sad for my son, the years he has lost and worry he will never really be a productive member of society. I still hope he turns things around and as long as he is alive I believe there is still hope. But I am not counting on it.

However it is up to you to reclaim your life. You cant put your life on hold until he is doing better. I did that for awhile but honestly I dont want to put my life on hold forever. So find ways to live and enjoy uour life. The dadness for him will never completely go aeay but that doesnt mean you cant dtill enjoy your life.

Tired out

Well-Known Member
TTBS, I feel sad for you and hope you can move forward. I pray he hasn't relapsed and he can be a happy functioning human being.
I think we have a whole generation of under 30 year olds that feel totally entitled. We are supposed to give, give , give. No: thank yous, smiles or good conversations. Parent's only hear from these "children" when they want something. They have no need of us unless it is for money or goods. My difficult child is in this category.


New Member
I can TOTALLY relate. I catch myself sometimes actually envying parents I see on the news, or in the community, who have lost their young sons to disease or tragedy. Their loss has some sort of honor or dignity, it is something they can share with others who loved them.

Our pain, our loss, is entirely different. And lonely.

I, too, am here trying to find a way to move forward.

I will pray for you. Will you pray for me, too?


tryingtobestrong, and all of you, I know exactly what you mean. It's such a difficult place. I'd like to gather all of our difficult kids, put them in a community together, give them all the love and help they need. But, they don't want it.
Why do we have to be Moms (and Dads) who feel helpless to our unwilling kids?
My son mentioned to me a few years back that one of his friend's parents were mourning their son while he was still alive.
I hope your visit with your son is good.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Dear Trying:

I could have written your post also not that long ago.

My son has lost 7 years of his life due to addiction but he has not LOST HIS LIFE yet. He has been sober since September and the only reason is because he is in a place where he is learning about God and forgiveness and changing his path in life. He did not WANT to go. He actually ran out during the intake process and my husband drove away not knowing what would happen to him. He bitterly fought this.

I am so sorry for your pain and the pain of all of us on the board. It is such a waste of energy for all of us and does not help them.

If anyone can get their addicted son or daughter into a faith based program I highly recommend it. There is something inside of them that is hurting or damaged and they can't seem to crawl out of that hole even if they really want to. They think it's just too hard so they just keep on using. Staying sober because they are in a controlled environment isn't enough.

My son wanted to be close to us and he was not the type to couch surf or live in shelters. For that I am thankful because it did give us some leverage.

In the meantime I had to learn to detach and set firm boundaries and take care of myself. I honestly don't think there is anything else we can do. Coming to this forum to journalize and read what others has written helped me and it still does.

I prayed all the time as well. I feel like I was in a constant state of prayer while at work, at home, anywhere and at times wondered if anyone was even listening. My prayers have been answered in that my son is sober now and thinking clearly. I did not lose my faith through all of this. I just realized that recently. I knew I could not do this alone. No way.

Prayers that his journey will end in a good place and he will realize his potential very soon.


Mine's in prison for a long time. I grieve for what we had as a family and the relationship he and I had even though he was using. He was high through family holidays but he was there breathing. I too look at his peers. I couldn't even go to his best friend's funeral last month because I knew I would sob non-stop for all of us.

But I am grateful that mine is alive. Yes grieve for what is not. And be grateful for what is.

If you know the story in the autism community about landing in Holland...we're in Holland. Maybe a rainy, dreary Holland but we can pray that spring and those tulips will come soon.


Active Member
I understand your pain and how you are mourning the son "that used to be" not the person he's become. I would walk around my home and grieve each time I passed photos of my son as a child and of us in happier times. I felt like that son had passed and I felt grief. Sometimes I would dream of my son as a little boy and would wake up feeling sad knowing I had lost my son. So yes, I understand your pain as not one of us would wish this future for our children whom we had so many hopes and dreams of their future. It's not what we wanted and yet don't lose hope as it's what we hang on to. Hugs to you.