Eve of a horrific morning

I never think it will affect me like it did 9 years ago and I’m right to a certain extent. My son’s death does still affect me but in a softer, gentler way.

Cameron Stephenson chose death over life on August 11 in 2005. Do I blame someone? I could blame his dad because he died three years earlier. I could blame the countless mental health professionals he saw in those three years. I could blame myself or my husband or the dog but all that would be silly as we all tried to save Cameron.

His friends might even blame themselves. We all missed signs that Cameron was seriously depressed. 

Nope – no blame because God gave each of us the ability to end our existence in the world. Was my son thinking clearly? No, he was not. He was using meth heavily that summer, that week, that night. 

No, I’m not blaming anyone! Blame does not bring him back. Love doesn’t bring him back. Pleading won’t bring him back. Nothing will.

I remember pleading with Cameron that fateful morning while trying to loosen the rope’s hold on my son’s neck, “Cameron! Don’t leave me! I’ll do anything! Please don’t leave me!” Nothing worked to save my only child, now an adult.

Such a beautiful person. Such fun. Such a wonderful smile, when he shared it.

But Cameron was diagnosed with major depression after his dad died. And drug and alcohol abuse followed.

It took me several years to determine how I could prevent suicides among teens and others. Then I remembered that Cameron’s depression started after his dad’s death. I had to help others learn how to manage the pain of death so they wouldn’t want to end their lives. I founded the Shore Grief Center to do just that.

The grief created by a suicide or child’s death is much harder to bear than when an adult dies by natural causes. I’ve experienced that type of loss as well and it is not as searing as the death of my son. White, hot searing to my heart and entire being. (This topic to be continued in a future book if I can ever face those pages again.)

I will survive Cameron’s 9th anniversary of his death tomorrow even though it will be painful. I might take a mental health day off from work so I can take a walk in the woods with my dog to remember Cameron.

Or maybe I’ll go to some places that will bring back happy memories of him growing up in Raleigh with me. I might even re-visit his personal items with a candle lit in his memory. Or turn on his computer and read some of his writings.

Whatever I do, it will be in sad memory of the day he left me to create new memories without him.

Love you forever and ever my son,


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