So sorry for your loss the pain your family is bearing.
The one truth about addicts is they and they alone have the power to continue to abuse or to stop. We can hide the booze or drugs, put them in rehab, get them jobs, etc. it will not work until that person is ready to change. Remember that.
"Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
Courtesy my cousin Tim
And yes, Al-anon is great (sounds like it might help your mom) - there are the three Cs - you didn't CAUSE someone's addiction, you can't CONTROL it and you can't CURE it. I bet she feels awful, there is no way not to, and second guess yourself all over the place, but at the end of the day, the responsibility is his alone. but still very very painful for those who are left
Thanks everyone I appreciate the kind words. It's especially difficult speaking to my mother and listening to her second guess herself. She saved him from ODing so many times she is still convinced that she could have done it again had she not been more vigilant. She is coming up with lots of different scenarios where people could have helped changed the course of things so it's very difficult talking to her. I'm trying to stay positive and get her to leave the house and take her mind off things.
I'm so very sorry for your loss. There is nothing you or your mother could have done. I have seen a dear friend go through the loss of two children and it now looks like a third is headed for the same fate. Despite tremendous effort, there is really nothing he can do to alter the path, that power lies only within his son. I hope that time begins to heal some of your family's wounds a bit and that you are able to find some peace within your new reality.
I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!
I am so so sorry for you and your family. I hope everyone can find the resources they need to help them through this very difficult time. I, too, suggest Al Anon or some sort of family counseling.
This strikes especially close to home for me as I have a nephew who is fully in the grip of his addiction. He was on quite a crime binge until he finally got locked up but now the enablers are at work again. I can only hope they come to their senses....
No matter what, I am sorry for your whole family. Addiction affects everyone!
I hope that your family, and especially your mother, will be able to realize that unfortunately, drugs are an unpredictable and relentless enemy. Your brother fell victim to them and no matter what anyone did, or didn't do, fighting drug addiction is a war that is too often lost despite whatever heroic efforts are waged against them.
Again, so sorry that this happened to your family.
I am very sorry for your loss. Neither you nor your mother nor your brother are to blame. Addiction is a mental illness and like anyone else with a serious mental illness, people who are addicts struggle to control and cope with it and sometimes they can't. The New Yorker did a good article on the novelist David Foster Wallace a few years back. You should search for it and read it. He was a good person, a good novelist and from the article, at least, he had a wife who loved him very much. Yet, he also suffered from addiction and depression and he took his own life. I don't think it was what he wanted or chose. People with mental illnesses live closer to death than the rest of us. You can always lay blame, but in the end, none of us are getting out of here alive and you can only try to live the best you can for yourself and others. We're all just works in progress.