Last Wednesday I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I went to the viewing for a 23-year-old young man. *sigh* He was a friend of my son from elementary school on. Funny funny kid. He gave me a 4 foot tall penguin named George that I love. Always as polite and courteous as can be to Bob and I. He was always welcome in our home.
That was not always the case for him in other homes. There were a lot of parents who didn’t want their kids around him, felt he was a “bad influence.” Well, he was a wild child, got in fights, talked back, got up to a lot of stupid stunts and actions. Got expelled for assault in middle school. He could be an angry young man.
He definitely RAN WITH SCISSORS. Talented artist, phenomenally talented. Incredible drummer, one of the best you ever heard.
He became a father for the first time at 18, then again 2 years ago, a daughter and a son. Two different girls. The funny part was the three of them got along well. When he was off the drugs.
See, not only was Steve a talented, gifted young man, he walked in the darkness and pain, too. As his mother told me, he fought a lot of demons in his mind. And he turned to heroin to kill the pain. Got addicted, got into trouble, got arrested, spent time in prison, ignored his kids, drove away friends and family. There was a lot of pain. For everyone.
He could be infuriating. You loved him. sometimes you hated yourself for loving him.
I saw him a few weeks before his death. He looked good. My son told me he was clean, had a job, got an apartment, was seeing his kids again. He was doing so good. That’s why this hurts so much, because he was really trying to turn his life around. He was doing so good.
And then last Friday, we heard he had died. No one was quite certain what happened. It was thought it could have been a natural heart attack. Or it was an accidental overdose of heroin. Looked like he back slid once and took too much and died. Now over the weekend, they told us that it looks like it was suicide. They can’t find his art folio anywhere. When they looked where he always kept it, all that was there was a half book of stamps. Did he mail it off to someone? If so, who??? No one knows. They think he planned this out to look like an overdose but that it was intentional.
And do you know what was really odd? After I found out it was an accidental overdose, I was SOOO angry with God. How could God have taken him now?!?? Just when he was getting his act together! He had soo much potential. His life was looking up at last. How could God do this??? I was angry angry angry.
And then I found out it was probably suicide and I feel so much better. weird, huh? Someone once explained suicide to me as; Sometimes, a person gets caught in the hurting. They wander off into the darkness and pain. With luck and help they find their way back to the light and peace. But sometimes a person gets so lost in the darkness, they can’t get back and they are in such agony and pain, that the only way God has to stop the pain is to bring them home. I like to believe that. I would like to believe Steve is at peace and he’s busy tagging the clouds with his incredible art.
His viewing was the most unusual one I’d ever been to. There were so many kids…ok…young men and women there. And it was obvious that they loved Steve. I never saw so many piercings, tats and gauges in one place. The clothes were so bright and so typical of all of those wonderful, artistic, running with scissors kids. The artists, musicians, skaters, thinkers of great thoughts that society tends to look down their nose at. They were there in droves, supporting each other, holding each other, sharing stories (and believe me there were STORIES).
And what amazed me so much, was Steve’s mom. She held every one of those kids, listened to them, comforted them, told each of them to hang in there, to talk to someone if they needed it. Here was a woman who has just lost her child in a terrible way, and she’s comforting everyone else. I’m not sure I could have functioned like that. Amazing.
Steve-o, I hope you find the peace you couldn’t find here. You will be missed. Rest in Peace.