Mother’s death



Wednesday evening, April 1st 2015 (yes – April Fool’s day), I received the dreaded news I’d been mentally trying to prepare myself for over the last several years. The one where I hear “they found your mother dead.” I know those words sound harsh and hard. Saying “passed away” sounds much softer. But that’s not what I heard because her life wasn’t soft and gentle. She didn’t just pass away.  Her death  was hard and tragic just like she lived. Addiction steals and brings ugly hard dark stuff.

Down deep, she was a scared, disappointed, lonely, hurt young girl. She covered it by drinking and drugging and showing her mean, hard, ugly ,scary junk. Some could see through to the kinder gentler person but not all got the chance.

No matter how much you try to prepare – you are never really prepared for the finality – no matter the circumstances.

This is one of my favorite pictures of her. She looks happy and still has a spark in her eye. It was before she became completely powerless to the substances that controlled her. It was before her life was so dark. It was before a little girl was robbed of her mother and before little boys were robbed of a grandmother they would really never know. She was also robbed. Probably more than any of us. She never got to experience the real joys of being a wife, mother or grandmother. I think back to all the things she missed in life. I don’t believe she ever made it to one of my boys games- little league through high school. She missed kindergarten graduations, Mason’s HS graduation, school programs, birthdays, my college graduation, the big stuff and the small stuff. I don’t remember her really being at much.

I believe she would have if she could have. She just couldn’t. She was submerged in darkness. My heart has always hurt for her and what could have been. She lost so much in this old world.

She had the best sense of humor and was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. She always made me laugh. She was the most resourceful person I know. She thought she was one of the toughest people in the world and maybe she was.  

I am thankful for God’s strategic placement of people who took care of me when she couldn’t. I’m thankful for people who took care of her when I couldn’t. I’m thankful for my wonderful family and friends who teach me so much. I’m thankful for all the lessons she never meant to teach me but did anyway. I’m thankful for God’s grace, love and forgiveness.

I’m thankful my mother finally has peace and is whole again. I know she was God’s child and battled the ugliness for so long.

Sometimes we look at people like mother with disgust and judgment.  These people who suffer addiction face battles and darkness most of us you will thankfully never know personally.  It’s a terrible vicious cycle of darkness, dispare, hope, unforgiveness (of self and others) hard work and battle after battle after battle. 

My prayers are with all of you (and your family and friends) whose lives have been forever changed because of this terrible tragic disease.

You can beat this. Reach for the light and surround yourself with people who lift you up.  And most of all forgive. Forgive yourself for everything you’re still hanging on too and forgive those who hurt you. God never intended for any of us to suffer through this.

Much love and hugs!







8 thoughts on “Mother’s death

  1. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    Hi Kandy,

    I can feel your love for your mother through the pain. You sound so forgiving which is nice as it is a disease where they lose the power to decide. This line is so true of so many women with substance use issues, “She never got to experience the real joys of being a wife, mother or grandmother.” It is so wonderful that you started this blog and are sharing your story with others. What a gift, thank you.

  2. Rachel Bruzee

    Thank you Kandy ..for sharing such a heart wrenching but true story of the love and struggles that families (hidden victims) suffer along with our loved ones in the crux of their addiction. I am a fierce advocate for getting a law passed in NYS called Caseys Law. This law was passed in Kentucky and other states have been following suit. Matthew Casey Wethington died of an overdose and his mom Charlotte fought to have this law passed to keep his memory alive in hopes of helping other families who are struggling to get help for their loved ones who are over the age of 18. It is a law that enables family or friends to petition the court and get their loved one into treatment as they are usually unable to make sound decisions for themselves. I am a mom of a 23 year old son who is currently struggling with addiction and in rehab for the 2nd time. Although he is in rehab again, most places do not allow more than a 28 day stay. Addiction crept into our front door uninvited and kidnapped my son. A fireman at the 16 and awarded firefighter of the year along with a great upbringing and family who loves him so your story heart when I read this. It takes a lot of love and.and courage to speak out about the people. .our family that we love in hopes to break the stigma that surrounds addiction. I am speaking out now and spreading awareness about this horrible disease that is killing our loved ones. My heart goes out to you and your family and I think the picture of your mom is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story. If you or anyone you know would like to sign my petition to help get Caseys Law into legislation please go to and type in my name Rachel Bruzee you will be see my story there. My very deepest condolences are with you and your family.

    1. Kandy Post author

      Rachael, I will absolutely sign your petition and spread the word. I am in tears reading your comment. I woke up earlier than normal and found it first thing. Since starting my blog, I have received so many messages from parents with very similar stories. I am so sorry you are having to go through this as a parent. I know how terrible it was to watch my mother and I can’t even comprehend how hard it would be to have to watch my child. We are so helpless to this terrible disease. My prayers are with your son, you and your family. Hugs and prayers. Also, google MTHFR and depression/anxiety. It’s a buccal swab test. If they have the genes…Deplin a medical food may help. I think this (among other things) could help address some of the underlying cause. Also, most insurance will pay for Pharmacogenetic testing which will eliminate some of the medication frustrations of trying to find the right medicine. I’ve only recently learned of this because of a compassionate and great physician. Mother had anxiety which I believe led to her addiction. She self medicated. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for speaking out, sharing and taking action. I will help you!

  3. Holly

    Thanks for your words. When I was reading that I was brought to tears. So much of it rang true to my own mom whom we lost three and a half years ago.

    1. Kandy Post author

      I’m so sorry about your mom, Holly and I’m sorry you can relate. It either makes us stronger, more compassionate and more empathetic…or makes us hard and judgmental. Let’s let it make us better. I really am sorry.

  4. Karen

    Seeing this picture of her is very moving. I hope that this is her eternal soul made whole and infinite, and that this life was a trial gone awry which his not put right. Love you Kandy!

    1. Kandy Post author

      Thank you so much Karen. She had a hard life for sure. Mainly from the consequences of her choices. But when you’re living that way its so hard to make good choices and understand the consequences. It’s such a vicious cycle. love you back!


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