Letters to Rob… 5 Years Later

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Tomorrow it will be five years since Rob died. Each year, I write Rob a letter. I share my letters in hopes of healing, for me and for others who are grieving. I have also included a poem that I wrote trying to understand what Rob, and others struggling with addiction, might be feeling……..

Dear Rob,

How can it be that five years have passed? Time stands still in so many ways, and life came to an abrupt stop on September 14, 2014. I can’t even remember or reconnect with the person I was on September 13th.

The last day of your life has been very present in my mind lately. The memories come at me like bullets that I cannot dodge. I look back on the events of your last day with us, and I can see that there was a plan in progress. You rarely got up early on a Saturday morning, but that morning you did. You got up and went to go see Leah’s cross country meet. You also got Kaitlyn and Kylie’s numbers mixed up on your phone (not surprising ?). You decided to call Kylie because we were near Towson and instead you dialed Katie. You ended up talking to both of them that day. Any other time you would have texted them, but something made you call and have a conversation with them that day. You ran alongside of Leah during her meet and promised that if she came in first for Century, you would buy her the Michael Kors’ watch she had been wanting. I remember laughing so much with you that day. You were always funny, but that day you had us all rolling. That night I went out with Grammy to visit one of Grampa‘s old friends. I was rarely out late, but that night I was. I got home around midnight, and you were still up. We got the chance to talk for a little while before we said I love yous and went to bed. That was definitely meant to be; I am sure.

I am so thankful that we spent your last day here on earth, together, as a family.

Leah ended up winning first place for Century, and we bought her the Michael Kors watch with your last paycheck. Katie and Kylie each got to talk to you one last time. They both loved you and miss you so much.

And…… I got to be the last person to see and talk to you, and that feels incredibly merciful to me.

So, where are we now, five years later…
Grief is fluid and is forever changing. After five years, we are starting to grieve together as a family. For so long, we were all in our own individual Hells and couldn’t be present for one another. Now we are slowly trying to help each other through the pain of losing you, and our individual paths are starting to merge into one. We miss you so much Robert.

My Sweet Beautiful Son,
You have saved and changed so many lives. You have helped to give people a second chance, and your death is changing the trajectory of people’s lives. What could be more important than living forever through helping others! Sometimes I sit back and I am incredibly humbled, and I am so proud of you.

Robert, I see that your purpose was way bigger than just being my son on this earth. Although this breaks me inside, I feel like God must have known that I would be strong enough to go on. It’s not fair, and it is ugly at times, but it is also so incredibly beautiful.

I promise to keep pushing forward, even when I want to give up, and I promise to try to make you proud every single day of my life.

For You, Because of You and in Memory of You


Quiet my mind, make me feel numb
You are the only friend I know
Not a good friend, but I can call on you anytime
Ready to make me feel good
When I am deep within the trenches, you save me from myself
I am trapped in this world that sees only black and white
My world is grey
I seek you out when I don’t fit in
Afraid to face the disappointment that surrounds me, everywhere I turn
I love you, but…..
You accept me
You engulf me and love all of me
You make me feel strong, in a world where I am weak
I feel worthy when you are by my side
My loneliness disappears
Best friends til the end
Until nothing is left
No one and nothing can hurt me now
I am free from all of the pain now
I thought you were my answer
You clouded my brain from the truth
I see clearly now; all of the love that surrounded me
The shock, the pain on everyone’s face
You altered their lives
You took me away from them
You took them away from me
Death and pain, dressed up as salvation
I wish I did, I should have done…

Tammy Lofink