I went to college, I got a job, I bought a house, I raised my children as a single mother. My son was murdered. I feel guilty and have regrets about what I did or did not do during his life. You and I are not so different after all. I miss my son. I wasn't there when he needed me most - when those horrible people shot him, chased him down and stabbed him to death as he fought for his life. I hate myself for not being there. I think about what I could have done differently as a mother to have stopped him from being in a situation where he would be murdered. A friend once told me, "The quickest way to insanity is to judge yesterday's actions by today's knowledge." You did the best you could with what you had at the time. Your son knows you love him.
And I care...
Thank you for your time and sharing your story with me about your son. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I know you have heard that many times. I also know it does nothing. I just wanted to say that I too think about that night he died each and every conscious moment I have. I think how unfair are lives were i think about those men killing my son with both there guns. I think about how long it took him to die from 7 bullets in him one after another. I think about the pain he was in how long he tried to breathe and what he thought about last. I am in extreme pain and despair that sometimes I stop breathing. I know you don't know me but I mean well when I say, how do you let go? I can't ever imagine doing that and does it matter that I loved him? Does he really know I wanted to help him not hurt him and how and why is it okay to live without him. Thanks again. Raegan Daniels
Trust me, I can completely and totally relate to your pain and the thoughts of your son's last moments. I try very hard to remember that his suffering is over - that he doesn't feel that pain any longer. Yet I feel that guilt - that he went through it without me. I wish it had been me, not him. I feel SO GUILTY for not being there to protect, console, help him. I am the one who deserved the torture, not my precious son....
I have the same thoughts as you - for my friends, they are nightmares - for me, they are a reality. I will never let go. I still feel too guilty to let go. I'm his Mom - somehow, in my odd way of rationalizing things, I have chosen to take on the responsibility of his death. I know, in my mind, that the two men who killed him are completely responsible. Yet, I somehow feel that, if I had raised him differently, if I had spent more time with him, if I had different expectations for him, if .... Things would have been different. I don't know if I will ever let go of this. I do know that any pain I feel now is so much less that he felt in his last minutes....
I have a daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, however. And I have chosen to move forward in order to make their lives better. I make sure we include my son in many of our activities. It's not their fault that they don't have a brother/Uncle to share their lives, so I make sure my son is still present in some manner.
Sometimes I feel extreme regret and guilt that I am still alive and my son is not. It's not the way the world is supposed to work. I had hoped that we still had time together to resolve any differences we had - to make peace with our relationship. I had hoped he could find peace and have the beautiful life that he deserved. He was robbed of that opportunity.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him and miss him. I manage to get through the days, to work, to deal with life, but I am not thriving, growing, joyful. There are parts of my life that I have not had the energy to manage. Sometimes I feel that I'm just surviving. In my mind, I know what I need to do, but it's hard to get the momentum to do it.
When I think about my life after his death, I feel guilty about surviving. I felt guilty about having a laugh or a good day. Eventually, I thought about how I would feel if I were to die before him. I would want him to have a good life and be happy. I think he would want the same for me. So I laugh (although I still haven't laughed as hard as I used to) and I allow myself to enjoy time with my close family/friends. But I also make sure to take time to memorialize my son. We put memorials in the local newspaper on his birthday and holidays. We put messages in bottles into the ocean. We sent off Chinese lanterns with messages to him on them. We sent off dove helium balloons with messages written on them. We also light candles in his memory, toast him when we gather together as a family, have a Birthday party with Birthday cake on his birthday... I do my best to make my son still be alive in my and my families' life. Maybe I'm crazy...
It is ok to live without him. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have survived. It's a part of who we are - survivors. Maybe I'm too early in the process to give you advice. But you should know this - your message to me has meant so very much to me. I have found someone I can relate to. Someone who knows and understands my pain. Someone whose son's life was precious and meaningful... I wish I had the opportunity to have met your son.... I would love to know more about him.
With thoughts and prayers,
Your response was a almost perfect image of what I see when I look in the mirror everyday. I find you amazingly strong at the same time in despair. Its hard to describe it but you do this well.. You may not be as weak as I am but if you ever want to talk about these feelings I am here to listen. I realized how kindly frustrated people can become listening to the tiring information about my son's death and have since silenced it. I have accepted that this is my pain alone and must bare it that way. Dawn you mentioned that you would have liked to have met my son and that is beautiful. However, my son would have liked to have met you believe it or not. He loved and respected me as a woman, a friend and a mother. Therefore, he always spoke to and became friendly with any woman. My son wanted other women to be happy and feel good about themselves. If he ever seen a sad or insecure woman he would be first to greet them with a smile and reassure them all women are beautiful. He was amazing when I would watch him do that. Dawn my son Lashawn left behind many memories of himself like he knew that it would be needed some how. Fortunately, I am in possession of most of his writings, songs, videos and journals. He wrote endlessly about the world and how he feels. Lashawn created music from scratch by hand note by note he wrote, produced and rhymed. I have not read through nearly any of it for the fear of realizing how much I didn't listen to while he was here. Still unable to face his living pain. I appreciate that young man more than any other man I ever met in my life. However, never knew that to be true while he was here. Unlike you, I have no one I mean no one but the two sons I have left. That scares me but not more than who my children had which was basically no one. Moreover, the decisions I made in my life caused this before as well as now. My two living son's are always afraid and I would be to at their age and exposure. I tell you Dawn you are a very remarkable woman with level of depth in perception unmatched. I can appreciate your guilt because that was your son. Many people would say to me that it wasn't my fault, I wasn't there and couldn't have known. However, that is unacceptable. That is my son who i raised to be the man who was. And that is the Truth. Call, text or email me anytime