After a painful search of her soul following her son’s death, Nancy found that preserving a sense of hope was the only path forward
By Nancy EspucheAugust 19, 2021
What is hope? Where is it stored? If lost, does it ever return?
Throughout the valiant attempts my son Lucas made to recover from opioid addiction, I found hope, lost it and found it again. It did not show up the moment it was pleaded for, nor did its presence go in a straight line.
Lucas lost his battle with substance use on Dec. 19, 2016. With each fall came hope’s disappearance. With each rise, hope reappeared. Sometimes in waves, sometimes in small doses and sometimes in abundance.
Since Lucas’ passing, I have asked myself over and over and over again, ‘What have I gained, and what can I offer through my profound sorrow?’ Hope is my answer.”
Perhaps hope is a container where belief and faith are kept. A place where one can visit when needed. A trusting that life, its consequences and its randomness, eventually or hopefully, convert to meaning. That is where I found it.
My story is your story. One that is filled with planning, anticipating and hope. Hope that our lives will proceed as we envision them. Hope that an incident, longstanding challenge or loss will not enter our tale.
Perhaps hope lies under the heading of choice. For me, choosing was a daily quest. How do I continue in the face of Lucas’ passing? Do I believe, as I often professed, in the essence and strength of the human spirit? Do I trust that life, my life, has meaning and purpose?
Somewhere deep in my being, I came to the place where the answer to those questions was a yes. A straight line, no. An easy task, not close. But a will to forge ahead, knowing that Lucas wished that for me. I hoped that for me, too.
Since Lucas’ passing, I have asked myself over and over and over again, What have I gained, and what can I offer through my profound sorrow? Hope is my answer. It allows for the mystical signs to be seen, the voice of Lucas to be heard and the love of others to be felt. Hope is a gift of the heart.
Nancy Espuche is the author of the book KardBoard House: My Life-Altering Journey Through Lucas’ Addiction. You can learn more about Espuche and her advocacy work on addressing the impact of substance abuse disorder at her website.