The mother of a 40-year-old man who died late last year in a Metairie apartment has penned a long obituary that centers mostly on her son’s battle with drugs and advice she’d give to other parents facing the same struggle with their children.
The obituary is for Brian Dijon Knox and the author is his mother.
As is normal in an obituary for a loved one, Knox is remembered for many positive attributes including his intelligence, and his caring heart. His mother also talks about how he will be sorely missed, but, she also talks about the pull of drugs.
“They became his ‘go-to’ solution for every problem. He would say, ‘I can stop using anytime I want to stop,'” she recalls. “There were times when he did, but those times never lasted because when he was drug free, he had to deal with all of the thoughts going through his head. Coping with life was not a skill he ever acquired.”
The mother goes on to say that she won’t have to worry any longer about “this day,” because it’s here.
She laments the easy access of drugs and advises parents in similar situations that you may have to let your child hit rock bottom before they can climb out themselves.
Brian Dijon Knox died December 30, 2015 in his apartment in Metarie, LA of a drug related death at the age of 40 years. Brian graduated from Woodlawn High School, played and loved soccer. Brian was the middle child of three boys born to Gwendolyn Watson Knox and Joseph Knox, III.
He was this baby born with beautiful gray eyes. He was blessed with: intelligence, those gray eyes turned to a beautiful hazel, caring heart for the underdog, wit, he never met a stranger that he didn’t find the ability to strike up a conversation with, he was always the life of the party, he burned the candle at both ends and to know him was to love him.
But, he was a tormented spirit trying to deal with all of his past choices and there consequences. He just never seemed to get a break, always falling and having to pull himself out of one hole after another. He started experimenting with drugs in his teens and came to think that the only solution to whatever he was dealing with was drugs. They became his go to solution for every problem. He would say, “I can stop using anytime I want to stop” and there were times he did, but those times never lasted because when he was drug free he had to deal with all of the thoughts going through his head.
Coping with life was not a skill that he ever acquired. He looked at everything as one whole pie and could not just take one slice out to work on it. Different treatment modalities were introduced into his life, but the pull of drugs were so strong until he always went back to what he could count on giving him the escape he needed even if it was for a short period of time. He never wanted to look at his addiction as an illness.
As his mother I will miss him so much, but as his mother I will also no longer have to witness his pain or worry about this day coming because it’s here.
My one solace is that his tormented spirit has now been released from his body to return to the giver. We loved Brian with every fiber of our being, but none of that love could protect him from this world that we live in were drug are so accessible. They can be purchased online and mailed to your house or bought on the corner.
Love your addict, know that they are sick, but don’t let their sickness make you ill. If they could this is what they would tell you: Let Me Fall All By Myself “If you love me let me fall all by myself. Don’t try to spread a net out to catch me. Don’t throw a pillow under my ass to cushion the pain so I don’t have to feel it. Don’t stand in the place I am going to land so that you can break the fall (allowing yourself to get hurt instead of me) … Let me fall as far down as my addiction is going to take me, let me walk the valley alone all by myself, let me reach the bottom of the pit … trust that there is a bottom there somewhere even if you can’t see it. The sooner you stop saving me from myself, stop rescuing me, trying to fix my broken-ness, trying to understand me to a fault, enabling me … The sooner you allow me to feel the loss and consequences, the burden of my addiction on my shoulders and not yours … the sooner I will arrive … and on time … just right where I need to be … me, alone, all by myself in the rubble of the lifestyle I lead … resist the urge to pull me out because that will only put me back at square one … If I am allowed to stay at the bottom and live there for a while … I am free to get sick of it on my own, free to begin to want out, free to look for a way out, and free to plan how I will climb back up to the top. In the beginning as I start to climb out.. I just might slide back down, but don’t worry I might have to hit bottom a couple more times before I make it out safe and sound … Don’t you see ?? Don’t you know?? You can’t do this for me … I have to do it for myself, but if you are always breaking the fall how am I ever supposed to feel the pain that is part of the driving force to want to get well. It is my burden to carry, not yours … I know you love me and that you mean well and a lot of what you do is because you don’t know what to do and you act from your heart not from knowledge of what is best for me … but if you truly love me let me go my own way, make my own choices be they bad or good … don’t clip my wings before I can learn to fly … Nudge me out of your safety net … trust the process and pray for me … that one day I will not only fly, but maybe even soar.” Unknown Author.
I wanted to share this with you because as a mother I made so many mistakes with my son’s addiction. I wanted him to fall on me to cushion his fall, but that was not what he needed. If you have any loved one’s who are fighting addiction, do everything possible to be supportive, and guide them to rehabilitation before it is too late. Goodbye Brian, we love you and miss you so much, life will not be the same without you. Mom, Dad, Shawn, Cardel, Kaleb, and a host of family and friends.
Brian will be cremated; a memorial celebration service will be held on his birthday, January 23, 2016.
The place is yet to be determined, but will be posted in the paper and on Facebook. You can also send me an email and I’ll let you know where and time, at firstname.lastname@example.org.