Barbara and Keven

I want to introduce you to my friend Barbara. She and I met in 2007, through blogging. She welcomed me into that inner circle of writing and parents who were navigating the unthinkable. We have walked together for all of these years, hoping and praying for our kids. Keven's picture has been in my God box since early on. We have shared the joy of successes, and walked through the heartbreak of unthinkable loss with each other. I am honored that she is sharing her very raw and painful story here. It is hard to read, it's incredibly sad...but this is real life for more parent's than any of us realize. When you see lost souls out in the world, know that they are someone's child and show compassion. Be kind. 


When I look at my hands I see the hands of a mother who lost her son to suicide.  My son, Keven, my only child, struggled for most of his 29 years with mental illness and drug addiction.

These hands held him as he wept from depression, as he wailed uncontrollably from feeling like a useless human being.  

These hands grasped the steering wheel on many drives to the ER for overdoses and abscess (from shooting up heroin in his muscles, his veins were all collapsed from overuse).  These hands waved goodbye at over 15 drug treatment facilities and mental health institutions.  

These hands wiped off germs on the phones used at jail to talk through the glass to my son, and at prison these hands dropped countless quarters into vending machines to buy snacks for visiting days (inmates were not allowed near the machines).  

These hands dawned gloves to clean my son’s room time and time again when he was away, to pick up used syringes and other drug paraphernalia. These hands soothed my son, they shook him out of stupors, they caressed his knee as we drove in the car.  

These hands felt tied because I had done all I could do to help him.  These hands put a shirt up against my son’s head to uselessly try and stop the bleeding from his self inflicted gunshot wound.  These hands defied the words of the coroner by reaching under the blanket to hold onto my son’s foot through the body bag as they lifted him into a van. 

Ultimately these hands reached into a coffin to touch every inch of exposed skin on my son’s body for one last time, his arms, hands and handsome face.  These hands did their best but were unable to save my beautiful boy from his torment.



Bar L. said…
Thank you, Annette, you're a very special friend. Thanks for sharing my story.
Unknown said…
Barb, so poignantly written. I'm sorry for what must have such immense pain for Keven. Now you are left with all the pain. A heavy load to carry, I wish for you that peace and acceptance comes in the future.
SoberMomWrites said…
Barbara-thanks for sharing your love and your pain. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss.

Annette-thanks so much for sharing Barbara and Keven with us. May we all be changed by her experience - more compassionate, more understanding, more loving.

I love both of you so much.

Anonymous said…
Barbara, I used to follow your blog years ago ... I'm so sorry to read this update. I found a lot of inspiration reading how you navigated through the problems with your son. I hope you have comfort knowing how hard you tried and I pray that your son is finally at peace.

Annette, thank you for sharing yet another beautiful story.

I wish you both peace and happiness in the upcoming year.


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