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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Derek Boogaard Death Researched - A Father's Quest For Answers

On May 13, 2011, Derek Boogaard was found dead in his apartment. His death was ultimately ruled an accidental overdose resulting from mixing oxycodone and alcohol. This past week news stories carried reports of his father Len Boogaard's search for answers. Essentially Mr. Boogaard has been on a mission to learn the who, what, where, when and why of his son's death. The New York Times article states:

"But Boogaard’s father, Len, wanted to know more. He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for most of 30 years, much of it as a small-town street cop. He set out on a hunt for documentation of his son’s life and the care he received as things went from bad to worse to unthinkable in Derek’s final years."

Based on his 30 years of investigative pursuits, Mr. Boogaard knew how to proceed with his search. Perhaps all family members whose loved one suffers from addiction or subsequently loses one to the disease of addiction want to understand the why, but time is a precious commodity, mourning takes over and learned coping skills nudge us to move on. So in this regard, Len Boogaard's search and ultimately his findings are a gift to all families, because he has raised questions for parents, family members, doctors, treatment professionals, addict's peers, and specifically professional sports teams to consider.

Take the time to read the entire New York Times article. A link is provided below in the related articles section. Mr. Boogaard's search, his quest, could be described as relentless. Did he find an answer to why his son's life was cut short by the disease of addiction?  Perhaps not, but he certainly learned how it happened.

Listen here to a part of Minnesota Public Radio's interview with Len Boogaard.

As we ready to celebrate Father's Day this coming Sunday, we express our gratitude to Len Boogaard for his efforts to teach us about disease of addiction and its impact on families. We remember also that the relationship between fathers and their sons can be difficult, albeit strong and moving. And so we share a song written long ago by Cat Stevens Fathers and Sons.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

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