Bereaved mother asks for some understanding

To the editor:

Sunday was my first Mother's Day since my son Derek died on Oct. 2, 2015 from a heroin overdose.

My mother gave me my first Mother's Day card in May 1991 when I was pregnant with Derek. I will never forget that feeling when I read that card and realized I was becoming somebody's mom.

I have another son so I am not childless like many other parents are from this horrible epidemic that has taken over our country and has killed many right here in Berkshire County and even more in the eastern part of the state.

I am writing this letter because so many of you are so quick to call our children junkies and losers and liars; that they made their choice when they started using the drugs. Some have even said that our children deserved to die.

What you do not realize is that these young adults — the millennial generation — have left behind broken hearts. Bereaved and bewildered parents, siblings, significant others, we are left trying to figure out what happened, where it went wrong, what could we have done differently.

And then some of you berate a deceased person who cannot explain or defend themselves. You who probably has no idea how hard some of these kids fought to fix the choice they made all by themselves. They had no idea they were already wired to lose a battle they knew nothing about.

I do not want your pity. I want you to open your mind and educate yourself before the next time you feel a need to tell me my son deserved to die, that he was no good, that I must have done something wrong to make him turn out this way.


I want you to know that I used to think the same way as you. I learned a very hard lesson — that heroin or any kind of addiction does not discriminate.

Dawn Mullaney Windover, Cheshire