My name is Grace Ring. I lost my only child on January 24, 2017 to a drug overdose. At first I didn’t want to speak about this, because what can I tell you? “Don’t do drugs?” You already know this.

I thought my son had his addiction beat. From September 2015 through January 2017, I felt like I had my son back. He had it beat! He spent six months in rehab, worked the steps with his sponsor, went to meetings, and was even helping others to recover. He was a smart man and had a great sense of humor. He lit up the room when he walked in. He was loved by so many people. He swore he would never touch drugs again, but then he decided that he could handle drinking since that wasn’t his primary addiction. He wanted to socially drink and hang around with his friends. He started with a couple of beers, and then it was shots along with beer.

I was worried and always kept close watch looking for other signs. I know that when you’re an addict and you start drinking, it does trigger cravings even if that is not your issue. This leads to poor decision making. You feel ten feet tall and bulletproof!

That’s what happened to my son. He had a weak moment, and guess what? He died! To this day, I don’t know what happened or what he was thinking. He went to work like he always did and came home around noon. He was found dead by his fiancée after she got off work. He was declared dead at 5:30 pm. All I remember is his body being taken away in a bag. I couldn’t see him.

I didn’t want to see him dead, so I hugged him through the body bag and said goodbye.

This was the worst and most darkest time in my life. I was shocked and angry and sad and heartbroken! But my anger was towards God. How could this happen? I prayed every day for God to protect my son. I asked God to heal him physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I didn’t want to live without my son. He was my addiction!

With time, I realized that God did answer my prayers. He did heal my son completely, from all his pain, sadness, and struggles with this disease. He took my son home. He’s no longer suffering. He’s finally pain free and resting in peace.

I realized then that I had to ask God to forgive me for my anger towards him and to please bless me with peace in my heart and give me a purpose. God answered my prayers again and gave me peace and strength to keep going. I have two grandchildren to live for. I get to be there for them, watch them grow up, and help them understand about this disease. I also want them to know that their daddy did love them, but he was sick.

Then I found another purpose. That is why I am here today. My purpose is to tell my story and hopefully reach someone who is still struggling. If you’re hurting, I encourage you to get help. I want you to know that you are loved. You are needed and you are worthy of all the blessings you have and will continue to receive by sticking to God’s plans!

Please if you ever get a weak moment like my son did, call someone. Teach out to your family, your sponsor, or anyone who can offer support. Let them know what you’re going through. Don’t worry about being judged. Don’t try to handle this on your own. Surround yourself with people that can help you continue with your recovery.

Keep fighting and don’t ever give up. You have no other choice if you want to live.