You know sometimes people say things that they think are well-meaning, but unless you've been there you can't begin to understand.
My 25 year old AS died 3 months ago. I am having a hard time remembering the good times because the last 7 years were so painful.
I created a slide show of my son for his memorial and that was healing for me at the time but also very hard. Photos from his birth until this past Christmas. I force myself to watch it every week. Although I cry every time, I am reminded of the wonderful, sweet, loving, happy child and teen he was before addiction changed him. He had the brightest smile and big beautiful blue eyes. That seems to help me right now when those negative thoughts about the addict (not my real son) creep in, eventhough my emotions are still so raw.
It helps me let go of some of the anger and resentment I have towards my AS for not being here, but yess it is painful too. I miss him and love him and wish he was still here. The entire family has a copy of the video on both sides as well as some of his good friends. I hope that it allows them to remember the wonderful child he was and the wonderful man he could have been. I know I have a long way to go as well. Hang in there. I feel your pain.