This Thanksgiving has been different. It is the first Thanksgiving I have spent away from my son Ned. I had a COVID test pending due to an exposure and didn’t feel it was safe for him to come home. Luckily, the test came back negative a few days later. So, I was left to with time to reflect on some years in the past.
There was the Thanksgiving, I spent the day on the phone with Sean, unable to get him into treatment and he spent the holiday in jail. I spent the day before all day with the insurance company and couldn’t get approval for treatment in time to get him out. Then, there was the year we spent away from him as he was in treatment, only to have him get into trouble and get kicked out the very next day.
Interestingly, my favorite was year was at a treatment center that felt more like home to me. Ned, Tim and I flew out to be with Sean. We all gathered at the men’s house and had an amazing dinner with other kids and their families. What was astounded to me was the laughter. People enjoying the company of their loved ones. Most family visits I remember had tears and drama, we had just a few hours to have very tough conversations. This time we had a joyful event to share and no hard decision talk. We could just be a family. Of course, we were all confident of the bright future our children had on the road to lasting recovery. The magical thinking that overcomes every parent when their child enters treatment, this will be the time. Surely, they have reached their bottom. They will succeed and we will all live happily after. Sometimes the dream comes true. Don’t give up hope.
This site is devoted to improving treatment of mental health in honor of Sean Blake. He was a young man who loved kindness. A poet, writer and chef. He gave gifts of stories, letters and recipes. Sean showed his love by cooking for family, friends and strangers alike. You may have seen him reading palms on Church St. in Burlington, VT. He touched many lives with his wit, charisma and love of life.
The site is maintained by Sean’ s family. We hope to show that Sean was more than his disease. We share our stories and many stories of families affected by substance use disorder. We hope there will be less stigma and shame with mental illness and substance use disorder. We hope to raise awareness of the dangers of opiates and risk of death from their use. We advocate for compassionate treatment and harm reduction. We hope to show healing and growth in our recovery from his death.
As anyone reading this can understand, Sean wanted to live, he wanted sobriety. It takes only one moment of weakness with an opiate to cause serious consequences.
Sean died at age 27 from an overdose of alcohol and fentanyl, combined with marijuana.
For many years I heard stories from Sean of racism and violence on the part of people who are supposed to keep us safe. I know there are many who feel so terrible for the injustice George encountered. Let us please dismantle the system that allowed this death to happen. Racism is so prevalent in our criminal justice system. We need change yesterday…
Palm Reading – also called Palmistry or Hand Reading – is an ancient psychology science based on the study of your hands, which was developed in India more than 4,000 years ago. As Immanuel Kant once said, “The hand is the visible part of the brain.” It shows everything that is happening to you, both inside and outside, especially the many changes you are experiencing throughout your life. Palm reading is therefore an extremely useful psychological tool that can help you know yourself better. It can be used for self-discovery, relationships, career choices, recovery from depression, opportunities for children, or any other use you may have. One of the greatest benefits of palmistry is that handprints taken at different times provide you with “Before” and “After” snapshots of your personality. This can be a great instrument to chart progress in mental healing or attitude/habit reforming. This site has a lot to offer. Enjoy yourself, come back often, and remember that your life is in your hands.
I went skiing this weekend. Sean was such a natural skier, he glided down the hill with the gentlest waves of motion. It was nice to remember the fun teaching him ski was, the joy of watching him, and the pride seeing him race. So I put on his snowsuit and went out there. It’s so hard to think of loss, never seeing him fly down the hill again #forkindness