A few weeks ago, my dog, Yves, was attacked in the woods by another dog. Yves is a grey standard poodle; he is thirteen years old and not in the best of health. We were just finishing our walk. I felt very calm and peaceful, typical after a nice walk in the woods. It was snowing lightly; the woods were beautiful.  I felt refreshed, ready to start my workday. Suddenly, out of nowhere a neighborhood dog came down the path and brutally attacked Yves. Going for his neck in a vicious way. I struggled to kick the dog off Yves. The owners walked by me and lended no aid or even attempted to get their dog. After several screams and kicks, I fell down in the snow. I looked up at the dog and rolled over, ready for it to attack me. Luckily, the dog left and rejoined his owners. I don’t know why it stopped; I was just very grateful that it did.

Yves was bitten in several areas, not enough to need stiches. The owners eventually came to our home to apologize, I had already had to go into work, my jeans still damp, so I never got to hear them out. It’s ok, I wouldn’t have believed anything they had to say. Actions speak louder than words.

I was terrified. It brought back all the distress of helplessness that I encountered with Sean. Trying to fend off something evil and vicious with no assistance at all. Trying to argue with an insurance company, trying to get him off the streets and into treatment. Trying to cope with the sleepless nights when he was missing yet again. Convincing colleagues, that people with substance use disorders and mental health conditions deserve respect and care.

I’ve become less forgiving. I used to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, always willing to believe in the good of our community. No, not so much anymore. I have seen the injustice of the world, even in Vermont, and I won’t back down. It’s a good thing, I was way too nice.

The injustice of our criminal justice system. The all-out greed of the Purdue Pharma.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many people who are good out there. Lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, police officers, writers, treatment providers all doing their best.  At least knowing you’re not alone helps the vulnerability.

No the PTSD won’t get erased, and Sean won’t come back to life. However, his life won’t be in vain, that I am very sure of.

So the website is for-kindness, which is meant for the world to have more kindness.  I choose the name because Sean was “for kindness”

Author: for-kindness

Sean Blake, our son was 27 when he died from an accidental overdose. Sean was for kindness. Writings, poems, and posts to keep his spirit alive. We share posts to remember Sean, advocate for better treatment for mental health. We share our journey through life after his death for parents of loss.

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