My name is Linda Bausch and my son Bryan recently passed away from a heroin overdose. My husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law and beautiful grandchildren are now part of a club I never imagined existed, much less would have such an astronomical membership.
But, we are, and it does.
This is my first blog entry on this site and in honor of all friends, family, and new friends we have yet to meet, who have held us up through their love, I want to say thank you. And for those of you who happened upon this site I hope it helps you, guides you, and informs you. I also know that if you reach your hand out, we will be here to grab it. Of that I am sure.
To our friends, family, and new friends we have yet to meet,
As Thanksgiving, our first ‘official holiday’ without Bryan has come and gone, I seriously do not know what I would do without you. You have been there for me through the good times, and now, through something I never, ever thought I would be living through with Jeff, Jeffrey, and Tim. The loss of Bryan, as you know, is beyond imagination. Quite honestly, through his battles, I always thought he would make it. The fact that he didn’t is still incomprehensible to me. He had a ‘slip’, he acknowledged it, he began the journey back. And he didn’t make it. Not because of the heroin, but because of what was in it. There is this drug, Fentanyl, that dealers put into the heroin as a ‘filler.’ It kills people. Instantly. It is used for terminal patients as they prepare to transition. You may not know, but 2 mgs of fentanyl can kill a grown man. Bryan had 5.2 mgs in him (autopsy and ME report). He did not have a chance. If I had gotten there before my class (which has tortured me), he would have been gone already. It probably happened within a few minutes.
He had no pain.
He did not know.
For that I am grateful.
If he struggled by himself, I could now live with myself. Jeff and I consider ourselves blessed that we found him, within a few hours, and we were with him. We hugged him, held him, and told him how much we love him. We stayed with him until we couldn’t anymore.
I have learned how to compartmentalize. I work at my consulting, I teach at St. Joseph’s College and I don’t think. I do what I need to do for today. I can’t think ahead. I cannot think about 2017 (and how I know that is I went into Michaels’ s craft store yesterday, saw the new 2017 calendars and immediately broke down into ‘ugly cry.’ I walked out. So I can do today, this hour, this minute. I cannot go further.)
There are some things I cannot do. I cannot think that Bryan’s death will not save someone else. It must. It has to make a difference. It has to mean something. He came from a loving family, incredible supports, and yet, he suffered from addiction. It happens.
All of this said, I need to ask a favor. Bryan’s foundation is fabulous and I am so grateful that it is there and our loss may be someone else’s saving (In fact, today, a teacher came to me and told me, after hearing my story, that she put her adolescent son in rehab for addiction. It was a very sad story, one that is often told, but she said,
“… if you ever wanted to know if your story makes a difference, I am here to tell you it did. My son is alive because of your son Bryan). That filled my heart. But, here’s my ‘favor’ (yes, I’m finally getting to it), can you share Bryan’s story? I am hoping to continue this work of addiction education and support in the memory of Bryan. My goal is to make sure that someone, somewhere, has a place to lay their head down and know that help is there for them. Bryan was waiting for a bed, for over 3 days. No one, ever, should have to deal with that. So please, if it makes sense to you, only if you are comfortable, could you please share Bryan’s story on Gofundme (https://www.gofundme.com/bryanbausch) and his foundation site (http://bryanbauschfoundation.org)?
I apologize for asking (I hate doing that), but I’m reaching out to my friends and family to help me complete this first goal. If you are uncomfortable, no worries, I totally get that. I am simply putting this out there because what I have discovered is that it can happen to anyone, at anytime. It happened to us, a mother’s worst nightmare and now I am limping forward in my life.
And here’s the thing, I will always limp. I am missing a part of my heart, or how I often explain it, I have lost a limb. It used to be there and sometimes I think it still is, but then I look down and I realize it is gone. It will never come back. I need to ‘limp’ to compensate for what will never, ever be replaced.
This is why I ask for your help.
Thank you for being you, for being there for me, for loving me through something that is impossible to understand or to live in, beyond how I am living right now, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for simply everything.