Happy New Year?

Hello!  This is the first blog post on my new website www.dearjack.love.  My hope for this effort is to have an honest conversation about love, loss, grief, addiction, recovery and healing.  I can only share my experience and like people, every experience is unique to the individual.  But, we are more the same then we are different.  Different shapes, colors, sizes, beliefs but at the end of the day we love, we grieve, we heal.  Perhaps it is managed in different ways but life includes suffering, it’s part of the package.

I have been diligent about sending my Family Christmas Card for oh so many years.  Perfect setting, cute outfits, everyone sending holiday cheer.  But for 2014, I waited.  I decided I would capture the moment of my children together in California and send a Happy New Year card.  It took the pressure off the Christmas deadline.  Happy New Year could come any time.

My kids and I traveled to San Diego, CA for Christmas 2014 to join our some what estranged brother, son, Jack for the holiday. Coming home was not a good plan.  Too many triggers. Jack was clean, living a happy life in So Cal.  Surfing, healthy eating, and a girl friend.  Home in Norwalk, CT in the dead of winter, gray, cold, damp and drugs was not a good idea.

It was a little stressful.  We had not resolved all the past issues with Jack.  But I was happy to see him in such good spirits. Jackamo, was back.  We found a cool airbnb right near the beach.  We rented wetsuits and surfboards. Jack was the only one who had figured out how to surf, but we all tried.  I took a brilliant photo of my kids on the California beach all together, seemingly happy.  It was my Happy New Year card 2015.  It was all behind us.  It is going to be a Happy New Year for sure!

The hope for a New Year without drugs and fear was very short lived.  Jack needed to return to Connecticut for a court date, and it started all over again.


2015 included the most tragic event imaginable.  And now we don’t have Jack.  Jack along with thousands of youth are dying at the hands of opioids and heroin.

Christmas, New Years, and whatever traditions are terribly sad.  I know my family and I are joined by so many suffering at these old happy times.

I will continue to write a blog and post so perhaps I can meet someone like me, and know that we are kindred spirits.  We know imaginable loss and we are not alone.  I will try anything to help with my grief.  As I find something helpful I will write about it.

Please comment and let me know how I can help.  I have listed resources for addiction and recovery as well as grief and loss on my website.  I have been a student of addiction for the past several years and a student of grief and loss my entire adult life.  I have found some helpful tools.  Not even relief, just tools. Know you are not alone.

peace peace peace


  1. Christine Wilson

    Barbara, words fail me. Please know that your family have been in my prayers and will continue to be… you are a rock, a mama, an inspiration… much love CKW

  2. Cathy

    Beautiful start beautifully written. You are going to give so much companionship, strength
    and knowledge.
    When you know better
    You do better
    So proud of you.

  3. Holly Beadle

    You are not alone. I lost my son in October 2014 to this horrible disease/epidemic. We belong to a “club” no mom wants to be part of. Your words are beautifully written and I look forward to following your blog. I am adding you to my prayer list and will keep you in my thoughts.

    • Barbara Conroy

      thanks you so much and I am terribly sorry for your loss. It has to stop! Please share to anyone who needs it