Grieving the Death of Our Dream

Posted on Friday 5 April 2013

There was a great post that really hit home for me. It really describes what I have ben going through because of Lauren Elizabeth Kelley’s addictions. The relevant parts of the post, “Grieving the Death of Our Dream”, is quoted below.

Grieving the Death of our Dream

by Leslie Ferris Yerger

“Nothing dies slower or more painfully than a dream. How true. How sadly true.”

– Melody Beattie, in Codependent No More

…We set high expectations about who they would become, how successful they might be, and how closely we would grow together. This is natural, everyone does it. And nowhere in these dreams was there a place for treatment of any kind, for any reason. This was simply not what we had in mind, in any way, shape, or form.

Yet here we are, very much in treatment, and very much living what we never imagined would ever happen. And it has messed with those hopes and dreams, in a very, very big way. Though no physical death has occurred, there is still very much a sense of loss that is deep and very very real. The loss of what might have been, the loss of the vision of what our lives, their lives, were going to be like.

Grief and loss is different for everyone. Some are able to get past it fairly quickly. For other it feels like a knife through the heart for a very long time, while most of us probably fall somewhere in between. There is no right or wrong way or duration. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler in On Grief and Grieving outline the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. A person’s duration of time in each stage may range from a moment to months or years. However it is important not to get ‘stuck’ in any one stage, and thus never complete the process.

Unfortunately, our present day society for the most part does not acknowledge grief and therefore does nothing to foster the grieving process. The world seems to tell us, “Get over it, stuff those feelings deep, and get on with business as usual”. Yet experts tell us that unresolved grief can plague us indefinitely, and is extremely unhealthy.

It is for this reason that I invite you to acknowledge your loss, whatever it is, and make sure you grieve it as needed. In a world that may not acknowledge your pain, there are still ways to journey meaningfully through it. There are grief therapists and coaches, clergy, self-help books, support groups, friends, and family, who may be able to support you. I encourage you to contemplate what you need, explore how best to get it, and take action for your own sake if you need to.

My wish for you is full and complete grieving, however that looks for you, no matter how long it takes. Whether you seek professional help, read books, write a journal, or bury symbols of what you’ve lost in a box in your garden, please take the time to do what is right for you, in your way, on your own time. And once you are able to let go and move on, like Cindy and Jim, your own unexpected miracle will happen.

While this post was written for the parents of drug-addicted or alcoholic children, it does apply to anyone who loves a drug-addict or alcoholic. Everyone has dreams for the people they love and care about. This is very true in the case of parents for their children, or in my case of a man for the woman he loves and wants to marry.

Lauren Elizabeth Kelley’s addictions have destroyed the dreams that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley and I spoke of that week in June 2011—of having children, Asians with freckles that Lauren Elizabeth said she adored; of getting married and starting a life together; of a future together. I do not think that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley would have spoken of these things or told me “I love you” or “Sarangheyo” unless she meant them.

I do not believe Lauren Elizabeth Kelley would have asked to see the claddagh ring I had bought for her—the ring we talked about holding in reserve for our daughter after we were married—unless she was going to accept it and my proposal to her. I do not believe that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley would have told her mother or sister about my asking to marry her unless she was strongly considering it.

These are just the truths of what I know about the amazing young woman I have known for so many years—Lauren Elizabeth Kelley was far too honest a person to do any of those things unless she wanted to marry me.

Yet, for most of the last two years, Lauren Elizabeth Kelley has lied about whom we have been to each other, how we feel about each other and has allowed her father to coerce her into perjuring herself so he would be protected from my confronting him about his own alcoholism. I do not believe that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley would lie—but the drug-addicted alcoholic that her self-doubts, fears and insecurities have turned her into would. The only thing the drug-addicted alcoholic cares about is her next drink or blunt. Lauren prostituted herself to Jarrod for most of five months—trading herself and her dignity to Jarrod for the drugs and alcohol he was willing to give her. That isn’t something the devout, moral, good, Catholic woman I love would do if she were healthy.

I hope and pray for Lauren Elizabeth Kelley every day. I hope that one day she will see what her addictions have made her do and say and what her addictions have truly cost her—financially, socially, academically, spiritually, physically and morally.

I hope that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley will find the courage to face her fears, the strength and will to fight her addictions, the grace to love and trust herself again and the wisdom to see the truth about her addictions, what they have cost her and who we are to each other and always have been.

God Bless you Lauren Elizabeth.

May God watch over you and protect you from all harm—even that you cause yourself.

I hope God gives you the strength to fight your addictions and the wisdom to see the truth about what the alcohol and drugs are doing to you.

I pray that God grants you the serenity and peace you will need to love yourself once again and to forgive yourself for the things your addictions have made you do.

I ask that God helps you find your way back to being the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, feisty, stubborn, strong, and devout woman He wants you to be.

Finally, may He grant you the ability to see yourself as I do and let you remember who we are to each other; let you remember the years of friendship, love and devotion we once shared; and give you the strength to make amends so we can start the future together we talked about last June.

All this in Jesus’s name I pray.


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