Anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of substance abuse knows that society treats this loss differently than a death from any other cause. Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) was created to offer understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost someone they love through addiction and overdose. Too many times, they suffer not only the death of the person they love but also become isolated in their grief. Today’s guest is Kathy Posey, who lost her own son, Josh, to substance addiction at the tender age of 23. In this episode, Kathy speaks candidly about her experience, her son’s struggle with addiction, and his untimely passing. She shares what she wishes she knew at the time, how she managed to take care of herself – both before and after Josh’s death – and the importance of realizing that there is no shame in addiction or overdose-related death. Kathy also explains that every person grieves differently and how starting a GRASP group helped her with her own grief process, and she shares some words of hope and advice for those dealing with grief or those who wish to support them. Tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
“I think that what would have helped is to know what [the] signs [of substance addiction] are and for people to talk about it. I never read anywhere or saw anybody post anything on any social media about what to look for.” — Kathy Posey [0:11:48]
“This is a disease. When you get to the point of actual addiction, it’s a disease. It brings a lot of shame, it brings a lot of anxiety about being around your own friends, because you’re trying to avoid the conversation [about] what your kids are doing, and it makes it very difficult.” — Kathy Posey [0:12:13]
“If you share, you don’t feel so alone. I think [it] is human nature that we all want to seem unique or to one-up each other sometimes but, in grief, I think you want to hear the ‘me too’s. You want to be able to share with somebody and have them say, ‘I understand that’.” — Kathy Posey [0:27:48]
“Even though I’ve shared a lot of ugliness and pain today, I want people to know that they will recover from this loss. They are going to learn to live and laugh again, they are going to learn to navigate this life with her new normal. I hope that GRASP becomes a safe place for people to share about their loved ones, and talk about their feelings, and find a connection because I have met wonderful people in this group.” — Kathy Posey [0:41:47]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing)
Mosaics of Mercy Support Group Resources
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