A reader remembers his Son…

From our reader, R.

Hello Arnie,

Thank you for your condolences. For quite some time I have been reading Blazingcatfur, and now that I am not working, grieving my dear David, I read more to keep busy and distracted.

David, our only son, was born on March the 14th, 1994, in Vancouver BC. He was just 22 years old when he passed away, on September 27. There is so much S and I could say about him, and without sounding “cliché” I will mention that he was an exceptionally bright young man. His relatively privileged mind was obvious when at the age of four he enjoyed counting with me up to 2000. At the age of seven he mentioned that zero and infinity were “the same thing”. When I asked him what he meant, he replied “none of them are quantities, they are just concepts”.

However, David had a big disadvantage as well. Inherited from me, he also showed at a very young age symptoms of ADD (looking back, I remember that even as a baby, David had trouble falling asleep). Being of a sensitive nature, it made him feel different and even inadequate. I could go on and on, but I will just mention that David also suffered from concurrent depression, and as many other young people, experimented with diverse substances to help him coping. The fatal substance, fentanyl, was found in the post-mortem examination, and was most probably ingested without his knowledge. In other words, he ingested a substance laced with fentanyl.

These days, teens and young adults, regardless of their social, cultural or economic background, as well as their level of intellect or the attention and love their parents provide, are easy prey for unscrupulous criminals. Most youngsters, either by curiosity or through pressure from peers, experiment with substances. In many cases, their curiosity is satisfied right there, and there is no reason for concern. However, in very few cases, a batch is contaminated with a deadly substance, and this only needs to happen once. Tragically, as parents, now that he is not among us and we cannot help him any more in any way, we don’t know if we could have done anything differently during his short life that could have led to a different outcome.

David, like me when I was young, was an introvert. He did not have many very close friends, just a couple of them dating from elementary school, and a handful of acquaintances. Both of his closest friends talked about him after our Rabbi performed a service at our home this past Wednesday and mentioned that David was very relaxed, “chill”, and always made himself available upon request, displaying an uncommon level of generosity.

After finishing high-school, David enrolled in college, attending classes in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, but soon after, he found out that a conventional learning environment was not for him – he probably felt this same way all along since his early education years, but was unable to express his frustration. Eventually he dropped-out of college.

Thankfully, a friend of ours had been employing him frequently in her catering events since he was sixteen, and was very happy with David’s performance. She often mentioned that she found his attitude very professional and that he was at ease with all the guests, with whom he could fluently communicate in either English, French or Spanish. Also, her husband, who owns and operates a compressor manufacturing company, offered him a part-time and then a full-time position. David’s last day of work was on the 26 of September.

S and I left that same day for Beijing China, in a semi-official capacity as representatives of Canada.

As we were enjoying a nice tour of parts of the city, S’s phone rang and we were given the tragic news. We came back to Vancouver immediately, and we are still totally numb.

David was an avid reader, mostly online. His interests were numerous, varying from science to philosophy to cosmology to politics. S and I were very impressed with his vast knowledge in these fields and by the amount of very sophisticated terms and concepts he had at his fingertips.

Interestingly, his views about current events, which had been more left-centrist compared to mine, had been lately slowly migrating towards a more conservative position. This, of course, was a source of delight for me. Who would anyway blame a young man his age to stand for a more liberal position? After all, I was much older than him when I found some commonsense . . .

I am not very observant religiously speaking and, in spite of being scientifically trained, I still view the Universe with some level of skepticism regarding its existence as a pure act or randomness. And perhaps this is where David and I had some disagreement. Again, it was not that long ago that I would have agreed with him. Now that I am older, I do feel that he is in a better place, and that one day, when God will decide, we will be together again.

Arnie, I was deeply touched when you mentioned to post a remembrance for David. Just, as you kindly offered, please pray for him.

We let him to rest at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Burnaby (suburb of Vancouver) this last Sunday. S and I have reserved two plots on both sides of his grave and, when our time is due, will be next to him. May his soul be now in peace.

S and R

  • I could not match what he himself wrote when I asked about his son, it seemed right & best to publish his own words.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      That is heartbreaking.

  • Richard K

    This is heartbreaking. But as brief as David’s life was, he lived it with two parents who loved him and I’m sure he was aware of that love. That’s worth a lot in this world.

    • Yes it is.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Are you Eye on a Crazy Planet?
      I love your site if you are.

      • Yes he is.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          I have two kids.
          And I can’t imagine losing either of them.

  • Alain

    My heart goes out to the family. I don’t think words can ever describe the pain and loss good parents feel at the loss of a child. It seems to go against nature in that usually it is we the parents who depart first. May the family with time find peace, as I sure that their son is in peace.

  • Surele Surele

    May David’s memory be a blessing.

  • Uncommunist

    Bless you David. That was the most loving and heartfelt eulogy I have ever read. Please accept my condolences.

  • Brett_McS

    The world lost a wonderful person.

  • Linda1000

    Sincere sympathy to S and R. It’s always so sad and shocking for parents to lose a child so suddenly.

  • dukestreet

    S & R,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is more difficult than I can imagine to lose a child. it sounds like he was someone who was gifted and very special. I am thankful that he had you as his parents who love and cared for him so well. I hope that the memories you have of David will gradually help to ease the hurt you feel. May God comfort you both.

  • Clink9

    Rest in peace David.

  • Waffle

    S and R: David sounded like a lovely young man. Your eulogy made me cry. I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I did, too.

  • bob e

    rest in peace ..

  • Slickfoot The Deplorable

    Truly sad, I cannot imagine the grief… my sincere condolences.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    This tragedy leaves me at a loss for words. May God comfort S and R.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I can’t imagine the depths of your despair in losing your son.
    I’m so sorry.

  • I am sorry to hear this.

    He sounded like a very intelligent young man.

  • Everyone Else

    I used to roll my eyes when I heard someone died from an “accidental” overdose.

    Then a close friend with no reason to die passed away from an accidental overdose.

  • Maggat

    Sounds so much like my youngest son. He survived, but in reality he’s wreckage.

  • ntt1

    I know of two bright extremely creative young men who died this past year after casual use of fentanyl laced “coke” This stuff is poison and ODs are no longer limited to down and out junkies. this is starting to kill casual users as well.It takes 4 times as much neutralizer to bring a drug user back from deaths door as simple heroin.
    I think back to the freewheeling days of the early seventies when anything went ,yes some did die but not like the numbers now.I survived but i’m not at all sure i would be so lucky today

  • LauraS

    What a beautiful tribute to a much loved son. Saying prayers for this family. Absolutely heartbreaking.

  • The Deplorable Rosenmops

    I’m so sorry for your tragic loss, R and S. My daughter had problems with drugs and we almost lost her.

    May God be with you at this terrible time.

  • I’m so terribly sorry. Life shouldn’t be like this.

  • k1962

    May his memory be for a blessing.

  • adam

    We don’t know any of the details of his son’s experience with drugs. Was this the first time? The second? Did he have a long-standing problem with prescription opiates or with heroin? Why was naloxone (Narcan) not administered? Was this accidental overdose, or was it suicide? Has the dealer been arrested? If so, will manslaughter or murder charges be filed?

    Parents should be very aware of certain facts. If you send your child to school, they will likely encounter alcohol, marijuana, MDMA, opiates, etc. Most teens and young adults don’t experiment or, if they do, don’t become dependent. However, a certain percentage will develop dependencies. Those who are depressed, anxious, or afflicted with ADHD are much more likely to have problems.

    It’s imperative that you shield your children from exposure to drugs, which is difficult when they are at school, “hanging out” after school, or attending parties at night. I would also caution parents to be very careful when it comes to dispensing opiates for pain after surgical procedures or wisdom teeth removal.

  • truthdareisay

    The love of parents know no boundaries. This is ever so sad, but I think David is at peace now with himself. My heartfel condolences to David’s family.

  • Jay Currie

    I am sorry for your loss.

    No parent should have to bury a child. We do our best and hope it is enough. But they grow up. Make choices. And sometimes we lose them.

    My prayers are with you, and David.

  • eMan14

    I’ve been on and off BCF in recent times. Sometimes life gets in the way. Or technology. I cannot add any words beyond what has already been said. How very sad. My prayers are with you, and David.

  • tom_billesley

    Airport security threat: this time in Britain.
    ISIS flag ‘found stitched inside baggage handler’s glove’

  • Bregh

    It is evident from this eulogy that you loved your son, and from the comments here that there are those who are moved by your terrible loss, and love you both in turn. It cannot ever be enough, but I pray this reciprocal flow may be some genuine comfort to you all, and that your experience gives each of us pause enough to really appreciate what we have, and be a source of reflexion on how desperately precious are the moments we share with each other. Please accept my sincere condolences, and my thanks, too, for letting me get to know your son, just a little.