Guilt feelings were the longest battle I face after I lost JC. Everything I’ve done wrong from the time he was growing up came crashing in my mind that was too difficult to bear. Going back to my shortcomings was a torture to my spirit more than losing him.

I was barely 21 years old when I gave birth to him. I do not know much about life then much more raising a kid. Many years later I realized I was just growing up with him when I had him around. The emotional immaturity was evident in many ways I dealt with him while he was growing up.

I never knew when he started drinking although I’m sure now it was during his high school years. It had not been obvious to us right away because of the circumstance we had then.  I was too busy that time with my work and I never knew that the alcohol on his system could be so cunning, I felt like I have been complacent. Besides, I do not know what to do.

Probably that was the deepest guilt I carried on with myself, not doing something better despite my husband’s constant reminder to me that we cannot do anything unless our son himself wanted to do something about his drinking. It was hard for me to accept that we really cannot do anything. I felt like I resign to turning over to God what was best for our son. And what is wrong with that?

The remorse I felt towards myself for not knowing what to do with my son’s drinking was a punishment I gave myself unknowingly. I feel so stupid thinking that I could have done better things like understanding him more and loving him more as if I had given him less. It was really hard to accept that I did nothing but pray and turn over everything to God  as if I can do so much more in my head.

Until one day I heard someone who lost a son as well saying something like “What else could have I done?”  “That was the best me and the best him at the time we were together.”

And then I realized much the same thing. Probably I could have done something much better, but what I did was the only one I knew well at the time he was with me. I knew I tried to do the best I could with him and I believed he tried to be the best son he could be with me as well.  His funny, loving and kind spirit made me very sure of that. So what we both did were the only things we knew best then.

Knowing those things were liberating. I don’t know if I  am done with the guilt but at least I know that if there were some thing I was not able to do, that was beyond my capacity and knowledge at the time he was with me.  I forgive myself from my shortcoming and accept that I could never be a perfect mom, just as he could never be a perfect son.  We just both try to be who we are at the time we were together and we cannot have it back. It’s done.

A few days from now he will be four years gone but I am confident I have not lost him after all. He is still here in my heart and I knew his life continues. The love and forgiveness that we gave each other will remain here for as long as I live.

I am missing him so much most of the days and remembering him never fails to put a smile in my heart. He tried to be the best son I could ever have and I tried to be the best mom I could ever be in this life until we meet again.