When a parent loses a child, the parent only wants to remember the good things. They don’t want to sit and listen to anyone running their child down. They certainly don’t want to be told that their little angel wasn’t much of an angel. They tend to block out the other side, the bad side. This is something I’ve done since I lost Barry. Not that there is a lot to block out. Barry was a good kid and everyone who knew him will acknowledge and confirm that.
But Barry wasn’t perfect. And if I’m going to have a balanced website dedicated to my son, then I have to face the truth. I have to talk about drugs – specifically ecstasy.
Many months ago, Gary came up to me and said, “Barry’s taking drugs.” I remember looking at Gary as if he’d grown a second head. What was he talking about? Barry, use drugs? He had to be kidding. I didn’t believe him for a second and I told him as much.
“Karen, I know the signs,” Gary insisted. “I know he’s using something. It’s probably ecstasy.”
Of course, I knew my son better than Gary, so I knew he was wrong. There was no doubt in my mind. It wasn’t until after Barry’s death that I discovered that Gary was, in fact, right. From what I’ve been told, Barry started using ecstasy shortly after his 18th birthday. He used it regularly for several months. Then, I’m told, he stopped for a few months. But he started up again for a short time at the beginning of this year. We believe that he stopped again, but we cannot know this for sure. However, the autopsy report clearly stated that Barry had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
I didn’t know, but Gary approached Barry about drug use. He warned Barry of the dangers and told him to be careful, but obviously Gary’s words fell on deaf ears.
After we lost Barry, Gary did some research on ecstasy and discovered that the drug can affect the system for two or so months after use. It can make a person depressed, confused, and desperate. If Barry hadn’t used this drug, would he have been able to cope with his problems a little better? Would he have seen that he did have other options? Would he still be with us today?
Questions like these will torment me for the rest of my life, but I have to face the truth – drugs could have damaged the way Barry viewed the world. It is for this reason that I will share facts on the drug, ecstasy.