Son lost his father due to drugs

My son lost his father at 3 years old, he is now 14.
His father died due to an accidental cocaine overdose however I have never explained this to my son, I thought he was to young to know and have always planned to tell him when he is older as I do not want to lie to him. He has no memory of his Dad and although there is sadness from him he has coped very well over the years.

My concern is telling him will make him angry/disappointed and maybe will start the grieving process all over again? I however don’t want him to one day find out and realise that I’ve lied to him.
I fear that keeping it from him all these years has been a terrible decision and maybe I should have just told him as he grew up.
I also don’t know how to tell him, if I should just do it or wait for the conversation of his dads death to come around?
I am prepared for him to be angry with me and he has always had a nice image of his dad portrayed to him (his dad was lovely, just stupid to take drugs ) so I am aware I could possibly shatter this for him.

Any advice would be really helpful

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Hello @GaSuWl ,

I’m part of the Online Community team and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing how you are feeling unsure about how best to support your son as he gets older. I’m so sorry to hear about your sons father. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful.

You might also want to have a look at Winston’s Wish - They offer support for bereaved children and their families. (Online Community members should be 18 or over, but may be looking for advice on how to support children in their family with a loss): 08452 03 04 05

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,

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Thank you Alex x

Hi just commenting again to see If anyone has any advice?

Thank you for replying, I really appreciate it x

I think I’m just worrying about his reaction and how it will impact him, and that time has gone so quickly and I’m at the point where he is old enough to know and understand so it’s on my mind a lot. It’s making me feel angry all over again that I’m left here to pick up the pieces

I told him that he had a heart attack as he did go in to cardiac arrest, as he has gotten older he hasn’t really asked how it happened as I presume he has taken my word on what I have said. Some part of me hopes that telling him will scare him enough to never take drugs, I never have so I’m hoping he is the same as me!

I’m just scared that he will be angry that his dad died because of his own actions and that it was his own fault that he died.

I have told him dad loved you and never wanted to leave you- which of course is true, but if he never took drugs then hey he might still be here - I’d be angry if it was my dad!

But also I’m his mum I can’t lie to him forever, I refuse to. I think I’m really anxious about it and I’m winding myself up, I’ve just carried it all of these years when he was younger it was easier to avoid it I guess.

No one else in my family knows either as my partners parents wanted to keep it quiet so I have respected their wishes, however I feel like because of that my son won’t be able to speak to anyone in my family about it (he is very close to my brother and my dad and speaks to them a lot about his dad) unless we tell them also which is just opening a whole other can of worms!
Sorry I just needed to vent

No I have also thought the same!

I suppose I have images of him when he is an adult finding his dads death certificate when his Grandparents pass or something and he’ll get angry I lied!

Maybe I should just wait until he asks again or if we are ever alone and talking about his dad, use my mum senses to know when it’s the right time? Maybe teenage years aren’t the best?

No you have not thank you so much for taking time to reply to me! I have asked partners mum and she said it does say it on the death certificate, although this was years ago so I could ask again.

I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through, what a tough time for you all. How are you coping? Xxx

I think its just the guilt of lying to him, and also wanting to scare him away from drugs.

Oh gosh I’m so sorry, I can’t even imagine. Your sons will be okay, remember they have you and all the great things your husband has instilled in them. Yes it’s going to be tough you probably already know that, but they will be okay. As will you one day :heart:

For me it’s been easier my son doesn’t remember his dad, so he can’t miss what he doesn’t know and if I’m honest I have no idea how to advise you- but I do know you just have to take it day by day as a family, as I’m sure you already are. You sound like a strong woman your sons are very lucky to have you.
Please feel free to message me anytime for a chat or rant!

Both situations are just so unfair aren’t they. Life can be really cruel. As they say a club no one want’s to be in. Sadly for our boys it’s the hand life has dealt them and its heart breaking as a mum that there is nothing you can do to fix it. Your own grief and their grief it’s so hard.
I was lucky and have a very supportive family, I hope you have people you can lean on xx

Oh gosh I am sorry, sometimes people don’t know what to do or say so they just do nothing. Truly mean it happy for you to PM me on here if you ever need to talk.
Dont want to over step the mark but counselling really helped me and it’s great to vent to a stranger. Xx

That’s brilliant! So glad you are receiving that xx

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