Mom Who Lost Her Son Because His Friends Turned Their Back On Her. Every Parent Can Learn From This.

Story by Terry Killoran

Alex Philip Killoran, born December 7th, 1985, the second born son to Mark and Terry Killoran. Born on Saturday but due by cesarean section on Tuesday the 10th. Even then he was making decisions for himself. He was a great baby, sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old. 

His brother considered him a Christmas present. He said “I always wanted a brother, and I got one for Christmas,” and that was that. We discovered both him and his brother had the same initials when Alex was a couple weeks old. I think I was telling Adam not to bother Alex because he was sleeping and I said, “Adam Patrick, Alex Philip is sleeping right now, so please, don’t make so much noise.” It’s not like we did it on purpose. Even Alex was named for one whole day Marcus Philip but Mark changed his mind and just before the birth certificate was done, we named him Alex. 

He was an easy child to raise, although he loved to play by himself and we found when people intruded upon him during those times, he would get upset. But he also loved his older brother and followed him around, mimicking his every moves, and always trying to get our attention with funny antics. Even back when he was little he wanted to be the center of attention and loved an audience. He wasn’t afraid of anything and was a dare devil. He would sit on the swing set and swing so high I was sure he would go right over the top. He liked to make the whole set jump from the ground from the force of the swing. He would giggle when I told him he was going to high.

He loved adventures and would go bug hunting in the field behind our home. He found a snake one day and just picked it up and said “Hey mommy, can I keep this little guy?” We eventually agreed the field was a much nicer home then we could ever give him. That is probably the last time I said no to any creatures we had as pets. He had a turtle who he would put in the basket on his bike and ride around with him. One day the turtle jumped out and he ran it over accidentally and it cracked its shell. He was heart broken. A trip to the nature center and we found out he would not live, but they took the turtle for us so they could take care of him with the “other” turtles till it was Tank’s time to go. He cried for days until he found out the neighbor didn’t was his guinea pig anymore, and then we got Hamlet. He was an animal lover from the start. One day he found a baby bird by the sidewalk that had fallen from the tree. He insisted Mark climb the tree and return him to his nest, although we told him we weren’t sure the momma would take him back. His wise old self said, “What momma wouldn’t want their baby back?” and off Mark went climbing the tree to the nest. His heart was always in the right place.

Alex liked being an older brother. He said he wanted a baby brother, but when Audra came along, he was happy. He was more in awe of THE BABY more than anything. He found it necessary to be involved with everything when she was first home. He wanted to feed her, change her, help bathe her. When we put her in his old crib, he got a little upset. He had been in his big boy bed for about 3 months, so we just thought it wouldn’t bother him. She was home for about a month when we went in one morning and found him sleeping in the crib, Audra pushed into the corner, both content as could be. We just sat there and laughed quietly and then woke him up. I thought for sure he would want his crib back, but little did we know why he was in there. We told him “Alex you know that’s Audra’s bed now, right, you have a new bed, remember?”  He just shook his head and in all seriousness said, “I know momma, she was just lonely.”  We were flabbergasted. 

Both him and Adam shared a room now and he had the heart to think she might be lonely cause he had Adam for company at night and she was all alone. Those moments in time stand still and I recall them like they were yesterday. He loved to try to make her laugh and would bring her stuffed animals and make funny noises while he tickled her with them. One story I told at the funeral was catching him and Adam looking at Audra in her bassinet and giggling. I heard them so I quietly went into the kitchen to watch them. Alex then said, “Look Adam, when you poke her, she moves.” I could not help but laugh myself. Then a moment later, she started crying and he was saying “Shhh  Shhh” and then he started to sing his favorite song he would always ask me to sing to him; “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you made me happy when skies er gray”………..etc.etc.  He was such a sweet kid, and I sometimes wonder, when did he start to change into a man that needed drugs to be happy when he had such a great childhood with so much love and seemed so happy?

We have a great power of influence over our children, more than we want and more than we can imagine. And even though we shape them and raise them to be respectful, courteous, loving, compassionate and kind hearted, in the end, it is still their decision once their adults what they want to do. Gosh, it’s those times you wish time would stand still. When all is going well and they are happy. We stand by them and guide them until the time comes that we have to let them go and make, hopefully, rational decisions and choices. I am still at odds as to how I have raised three children in the same home and all have still such completely different personalities, goals and lives. 

But they all seemed to be peaceful and happy; for most of the time. Adam, he knew he had to join the Marines to get out. He was so stuck in a rut that life just seemed to be going no where and when he thought this was the way to make something of himself, he decided to enlist in the Marines. 

“The best of the best” is how he put it. Even though he had his doubts, even the night before leaving and saying he had changed his mind (but we know there was no getting out of it at that point) he still went, and NEVER did it enter my thoughts he would fail. I KNEW, don’t ask me how, but I knew he would get through boot camp and become of Marine. 

Audra, she had made her decision from such a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. Always willing to help people, being the motherly type to all the children I watched and babysat for while I stayed home and raised them. She was gentle and kind, and liked being in charge. She also never wavered and became the nurse she was determined to be. Alex, he never knew which way to go. 

For a while, he wanted to be a garbage man, REALLY, and then the next day it was a professional baseball player. In high school he never once mentioned any career goals and when it came to school, he was there because he HAD to be. He held interests in the computer, and could just about do anything on it, but he had no intention of doing it for a living. He grew so impatient with people who would screw up their computers, he would fix it for them, and months later come RIGHT back with the same problem. He would get pissed, irritated that AGAIN he was fixing the same problem, and he thought they were idiots not to have known better. He had little patience and was easily irritated by such STUPIDITY as he called it; yet when I tried to explain to him that just some people are not computer savvy, his only answer would be “Then don’t use the damn thing if you don’t know what you are doing.” The mind of a genius I would say, and yet he had no life goals picked out at all. My daughter would get mad when I said he just hadn’t found his “nitch” yet in life, some get it later than others. She just thought it was pure laziness. We agreed to disagree.

I’m getting used to change around this house, but it’s still not easy. I can still remember the first buds that appeared on my tree. Early March, not even a full month since Alex had passed. Those first couple of days and weeks after he passed it seemed like every first or last of anything left an impression on my mind and heart. When spring arrived and the buds first appeared, I knew it would be less than 2 weeks and the tree would be covered with new life, new leaves. It was a routine in time I had gotten used to over the last 27 years of watching the tree grow, along with my three children. But this past spring, Alex wasn’t here. I couldn’t tease him about how many times he had climbed the tree and took my breathe away; one time so high he swayed with the branches and made me scream YES ALEX, YOU ARE KING OF THE TREE! And the whole time my heart was in my throat watching him slowly climb down, his nine year old body was shaking with laughter.

When late last year our friend’s son took his life, I again went into the despair of pain and grief and loss. This one hit closer to home because they were our good friends and had lost a son. I made the decision not to go to the funeral, it was too much for me and there are not many things I can’t handle, but this was just too much. Mark and I sent flowers with our heartfelt sympathy and sadly moved on with our lives and our own troubles. We found out Alex had been abusing alcohol and was using drugs. This year was getting harder and the problems bigger. When we started fall and all its holidays approaching, I thought it would be very sad for them so even through our struggles I was going to send a contribution to the Humane Society then; so they would get the letter of confirmation and know we were thinking of him. 

One day during this time I found myself crying and Alex walked in from work at the same time. He asked me what was wrong and I told him what I was feeling and how sad I felt for her and the family because Thanksgiving was around the corner. I told him straight out, even knowing the troubles we were having with him, “Alex, nothing in this world, what ever obstacles or problems you have, nothing is worth taking your life. PROMISE me you will never do it, PROMISE me!” He was very upset and put his hand on my shoulder,”Mom, I would never do that to you or dad, I love the family way too much.” I looked straight in his eyes and thanked him, and I truly believed him; still do to this day. I felt hope for him and I held on to that.

I put him at the READY part of his road in life. We took him to a therapist, a doctor for prescriptions for anxiety and depression, and we monitored these meds. We also watched who he hung with and the times and places he went. His brother came home during the holidays and he said he thought he was doing better but just still felt there was something he was hiding. In January, Adam called just to talk to him and see how he was doing with school, work and life. Alex told him he was feeling alot less anxious and had he known the antidepressants would have helped him this much he would have gone on them long ago. He was doing well in school and told me that he wanted to take more classes for archeology.

The family all had their own reactions, but I backed him all the way. I could so see him traveling and searching for treasures and discoveries. This was quite a big step and I was feeling his race for life was back on. He was on the track and taking it slowly, but back on the track to READY and SET and eventually the GO. The ups and downs, the mountains and valleys, the boulders rolling down the hills weren’t blocking the roads anymore, they were rolling all the way down the hill. The next weekend, we loosened the reigns and gave him more freedom, some decisions he had to learn to make on his own after living by our rigid rules for a while.Adam came home for Valentines weekend and some quality time was spent with the family. He didn’t want to go to dinner on Sunday with us, but he did spend time with Adam at the bowling alley and had some fun. Even later he was going to talk to Adam, but he was sleeping by then. But he did want to talk. Only later could we realize what a mistake it was to let him waver from the rules. Although I have been told it wouldn’t have mattered, his old ways were back and he had hid them well from us. A week later, he went out with some friends, some “old” friends. I was up when he got home. “Hi Mom, I’m home, wake me up for school at nine OK, I love you.” I got up and walked over to him, looked right at him, “I love you too, Alex, get some sleep, it’s late” and off to bed we both went. He was home and safe, planning for school the next day and had his work clothes prepared for later that night. Needless to say, he never woke up. The drugs he took, the mixture of them, well, his brain stopped telling him to breath and he died in his sleep. His race in life was over that quickly. He never got to the part of GO!  We were devastated. All our hopes, his hopes and new dreams and adventures had vanished. I was angry, so angry. I couldn’t change the fact that his own hand had put the drugs in his body, but his “old” friends and aided him. They knew we were trying to help him, and they didn’t care. Some of them I had helped in life along the way and they just turned their backs on us and helped our son get drugs. I was crushed. What kind of people would do this? That’s when it hit me, addicts. The idea that he was getting better was just not true, he was an addict. I wanted to blame someone for helping hurt him, and then I realized I wasn’t giving him any of the blame. I was still angry, but the hate I thought I had I could not let into me; I knew if I did I would never be able to return to the good person, friend, mother that I was. I only knew I would forgive but NEVER forget. They know who they are and they have to live with what they contributed to; my sons death. But Alex himself, he knew the dangers but never could he have imagined it would cost him his life; his own READY, SET AND GO was changed forever. We grieved, but I found it easier to celebrate his life rather than to mourn his death. Twenty six years seems like a short time for some but not for me. Mark and I had helped a boy grow to a man; one who was generous, kind, a true friend to all he knew, he had a great sense of humor and was such a free spirit and believer that many envied him. He was loved and he knew it, and he said it to others.


Thank you God for those last moments that I will treasure forever. But I’m angry, I’m devastated. This doesn’t happen to people like us. It’s other peoples kids we read about, we hear about. Not ours. And yet, it is our son. Who is going to help me put up the tree and spread the branches? Who will still put up with my silly tradition of playing the Chipmunks song and actually sing with me? Who is going to sing the chocolate milk jingle when we stir it? It was your song. Miss you. How much do I MISS him? GOD only knows how much. It’s immeasurable. There are no words to describe how much. Your friends miss you. Your favorite waitress where you played darts misses you and the little chocolates you would bring her. Your brother and sister can’t even tell me how much they miss you. Your father misses his golfing buddy.

“I Love My Son ALEX”

Every parent can learn from this.

Posted by HrtWarming on Friday, 28 January 2022

Yes, I will always miss my son Alex, his race for life has ended, but his finish line just moved from earth to heaven. I think it is a great and fantastic finish line to finally reach.

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