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International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. Time to Remember. Time to Act.

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Tributes to lost loved ones

Ali Today I am remembering my boyfriend who passed three months ago due to an overdose. This week we will celebrate his 26th birthday without him, words cannot describe how much he will be missed this week. My boyfriend was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with, he will forever be the love of my life. Addiction is a serious disease and needs to be recognized. We can help end addiction. Today I remember you my love, to the stars and back. Forever watch over me, my angel. Ali Tribute Debra Seidenstricker Amanda..It's been almost three years since you left us behind. We miss you every, single day and wish you were here to see your son grow into the spiting image of his mommy. I love and miss you so much!! Posted 05/06/2019 Debra Seidenstricker Tribute Pat My Dear Nephew Peter, You are with us always ... When we look to the sky and see the birds that you loved; When we look to the woods & the vernal pools that filled you with wonder; And most of all, When we look to the sea ... And feel the ache in our hearts You are loved & never to be forgotten, Pat Pat Tribute Devin On November, 23rd 2018, Kyle Edwards my best friend died of a fentanyl overdose. It completely flipped my world upside down. He was like a brother to me, we grew up together, we rapped together, we got high together. I feel partly guilty because I introduced him to pills when he was only smoking weed when we were in highschool. I've been doing drugs since I was like 13 so I've been fighting a long fight with addiction myself. Everyone used to say that we were gay because that's how close we were. Like we could have full conversations without even saying a word. He passed away 2 years ago and it still hurts everyday. It's true when they say drugs will either put you in a cell or a bodybag. I was the lucky one because I only got the cell. When I was locked up it really dawned on me how badly drugs had ruined my life and all my relationships. Now that I'm free I'm trying my best to keep my nose clean (we all have slip ups) I'm trying to be a better person for Kyle man. I'm trying to make music again but it feels empty without you being there. I want to get a couple songs recorded so I can get on stage and make you proud. You always told me the sky was the limit and that I was capable of great things. I want to be the best uncle I can be to your beautiful baby girl Kyleen. It hurts my heart knowing she will never get to know you and you'll never get to play doom with her or let her watch alien for the first time then talking her ear off about it afterwards. I promise to tell her all kinds of stories about you so she can have something to remember you by. I hope your doing ok up there man and I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out much the few months before you died. I'm sorry I told you I didn't trust you with my money. I'm sorry I made drugs seem like such a normal thing. I promise to try my best to be a better person and achieve greatness for you styx. You will always be my best friend man, I miss you constantly brother and I'm looking forward to the day I get to see you again. FlypCide and The Other White Kid FOREVER Devin Tribute Anastasia We lost my brother to an overdose in October 2015. After a long stretch of spinal issues after a work-related injury, my brother was at his wits end and still couldn't get enough pain relief from his prescribed medications. Finally, he turned to street drugs and began using heroin as a means to disassociate from the constant physical and emotional pain. On his last day, he used a mixture of pain reliever, heroin, and muscle relaxers which swept him away from us. Although medical personnel brought him back via Narcan for a few moments, the muscle relaxers did their job and slowed his heart muscle until it was no more. My heart still hurts, as I can only imagine the slowing of his, as well as the quiet and stillness the ushered his soul into the universal energy that surrounds us. I weep because of my selfishness, of wanting to keep him, knowing that he no longer feels the pain he did for so long. Instead of hanging my head down I gaze into the night sky and know that from stardust he came and to stardust he returns to the heavens above. Anastasia Tribute Danielle RIP sister. We miss you so much! I know you are in a better place and no longer in pain. I love you Kindra! #untilwemeetagain Bemidji, MN USA Danielle Tribute Sarah L H To Jason. How many days am I supposed to wait to say anything? I can't believe you did this. I'm upset at you. And I'm so sorry. For so much. And I know you were so sorry as well. We did our best and it wasn't enough. And now, we don't have a choice. Because you're gone. Alex, Ella and Liam love you so so much. And as mad as I was, I always loved you. We went thru so much together. Grew together and grew apart. Lol! I am talking to you like you're still here. Like a crazy woman. I am forever going to live with this gaping hole. You stole my heart. We broke one another's heart but you forever will have it. To have some time back and been totally honest with myself. Would it have saved you? I will never know. I want your soul here with us. Watching over these children. Finish it out with us. Let us know you're here some how. I know Jesus welcomed you, but tell Him to wait a few years. We still need you. I do know you're not in agony anymore. You're not struggling anymore. And you're not tormented anymore. The war is over. And for that I am so so thankful. But I will never be whole until we are together again.
Posted 28/06/2018
Sarah L H Tribute
Leah Olson I would like to pay tribute to all the lives we've lost to overdose including my dearly missed grandsons father we lost to overdose/fentynal in Dec 2017. My 2nd daughter I pray multiple times daily her Naxlone Kit is on hand as shes sliding at rock bottom of her...no more room to play in her addiction. I myself am in Recovery. Seeing so many lives being lost. May their Souls rest in peace. Blessings to us all. Another 24.
Posted 12/08/2018
Leah Olson Tribute
Ryan RYAN MOORE Let me introduce you to Ryan Moore. As a 25 year old, Ryan loved life and all it had to offer. Ryan loved music, playing drums, going to concerts especially with mosh pits. His favorite band was “A Day to Remember”. He was caring, empathetic, and had the biggest heart. He had many new things in his life – his own apartment, a girlfriend, a job cooking at a restaurant that he loved. He worked many hours, but said that was good because it kept him busy and gave him a chance to save some money. Ryan told me that he wanted to set up a weight bench in the basement so that he could start working out again. Working out made him feel good. Ryan did not have much in his apartment, but what he had I know meant a lot to him. Ryan was working hard on being an adult and being independent. As his mom, I was so proud of him, but I was also scared. Having a child that suffers from substance use disorders and been to rehab more than once, leaves you cautious. I did not ask the hard questions to my son because I was scared of the answers. Now I live with the guilt of those unasked and unanswered questions. I never sent Ryan money. I was afraid that he would buy drugs or alcohol. Instead, I sent care packages. In early December 2018, I sent Ryan a care package. Ryan lived in CT while I live in FL. Ryan texted me on Sunday, December 16 that he received the package and loved the blanket. We said that we loved each other. At 4:00pm on Monday, December 17, 2018, my life forever changed. I got the call that Ryan was dead. My youngest son was gone. Died alone in his apartment. It was ruled accidental overdose (heroin with fentanyl) but I call it drug – induced homicide. No one was ever charged with his murder. The bright and promising future for my son is gone. Ryan’s addicted brain won the battle and he lost the fight on December 17, 2018 at only 25 years young. I found out after his death that he was going into rehab that day. I will never see my son married, become a father, go to college, become an uncle to his brother’s children. I miss his smile. I miss his laugh. I mostly miss his hugs. There are no more new memories to be made. All I can do is make sure that Ryan did not die in vain. He was too special to this world to be forgotten. Opioids killed my son. I am forever changed because I am forever heartbroken. I am Forever Ryan’s Mom. Remember his name, Ryan Moore. Ryan Tribute Martha In Memory Of Our Son, Gary A. Brothers 12-3-80 to 2-10-15 Martha Tribute Sarah C. My son Maxwell was an old kind soul in a child’s body. He had been a challenge since a baby. We knew when at 6 weeks old he held out for nursing for 8 hours. No bottle for this baby, not one filled with fresh warm breast milk, no, he would cry and wait for the real thing! He was handsome, beyond smart, athletic, a musician and stubborn. He was in honors classes since 5th grade while playing in the orchestra and on travel baseball teams and later his school team as well. Always at the top of his class academically while struggling socially. In 9th grade the troubles began with drugs. While we were concerned, we were not overly as we both experimented with drugs in our teen years. What we didn’t know is that the drugs had changed considerably. Not only had they changed, but we didn’t understand the depths of addiction. We tried all that was offered to us, wilderness and therapeutic boarding school to follow. We were lucky to have the money to do what all the “specialists “ said to do. Ultimately this could not save him from himself. We did as much as we could for as long as we could, but again, we never really understood the depths of addiction. Never ever did I suspect that my son was injecting heroin. NEVER EVER. Once we knew he was “using” we still didn’t understand. I feel like such a failure not understanding him. I was so angry at him. Why would he “choose to do this”? Why wouldn’t he just stop? We took him off to college like any other student. But he wasn’t. While he graduated sum cum lauded one year earlier than his classmates, he was a heroin addict. But we, as his parents, thought this was going to solve his problem. Take him to college, to room with his lifelong friend, and all would be ok. Well that lasted about two weeks. It’s a long story, but he was arrested in connection with a friends overdose. He spent three weeks in jail and was released on house arrest. Upon release I took him directly for a vivitrol injection. I thought my prayers had been answered. We had one month with him home, watching the World Series, celebrating birthdays and visits with friends. One of the last birthdays we celebrated was his, his 19th. That was on a Monday, on Wednesday we found him unresponsive in his bedroom. His dad and I performed CPR and gave narcan, he was taken to the hospital where he spent 6 days on life support. That week with him in ICU, his sister Caroline and I never left his side. I prayed, I begged, I bargained, I had prayer groups all over the country praying for him, I called his friends. I am a nurse, I know what’s going on, but this was my son. This could not be. I knew and accepted by Sunday what was to be. My son was gone, I was keeping his body barely alive , an intricate balance of drugs keeping his heart pumping. Tuesday we had only family coming to see him to say goodbyes. I had the hospital priest come to pray for him and to forgive his sins. This was a huge issue for him. He felt so horrible for using drugs and for the harms it caused him and others. I knew the time had come, his delicate state could no longer be supported. My daughter and I left the room. With his father and the priest present, life support was removed. It was quick and painless. I like to think that his soul was long gone from his body. I like to think that he is finally at peace, free from the tortures of addiction. Are any of us ever free from this horror? Whether you are someone in active addiction, in recovery, a family member with a loved one in active addiction or in recovery, or the dreaded, a person with a loved one lost to the disease, we all suffer. It’s awful, it sucks. We must stay strong together to demand changes in treatment and in stigma. I say my son Maxwell’s name proudly and I am NEVER embarrassed to tell his story. My son Maxwell was 19 and he died of a drug overdose. And, I am doing what I can to help others who are struggling. Sarah C. Tribute Deb S Love and miss you Nick P
Posted 30/07/2018
Deb S Tribute
Selina My son steven anthony janowski jr. Army vet..and a great man ..i see things i wrote about my son with my name but its part of what my words are ..i have no idea why ..my son will be forever missed and always in my heart and nobody can touch that Selina Tribute Carrie There are all kinds of addicts, I guess. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away. So our Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside. To us our thought of what life means to us is determined not so much by what life brings to us as by the attitude we bring to life; not so much by what happens to us as by our reaction to what happens. There's no discrimination to addiction. Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know… One who doesn't try cannot fail and become wise. We often feel isolated and not apart of the world around us. If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that. Through recovery we learn to be human with feelings, where we try to enter society once again. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves. We try to give up on the addiction and sometimes it's a process to fail, try again. Using the tools we learned in recovery to recognize the things around us and to put our coping skills into play but sometimes the familiar lifestyle is hard to let go. The people, places, things, and most of all the constant the chaos. We don't see how being bored is to relax and admire the precious things that are around us that we could not see when we were using. It's Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Carrie Tribute Allie

Over a month ago the world lost one of the deepest, kindest, thoughtful and powerful hearts I've ever had the privilege to know. Jessica ann was in my life from the second grade until our 21st year. I've never had a relationship where we just clicked like that. I couldnt put it into words if i wanted to but our energies were meant to find each other. She saved my life, taught me so many things including how to let my guard down with people and just risk it all for love, and just made me a better person from the light that came from her spirit. She loved hard, fought harder and in all honesty just felt way too much for one person. She felt the feelings of everyone around her even if they didnt deserve her empathy or care, she would do anything for anyone. I still dont want to believe it because i feel like i lost my lungs with her and i start to suffocate but i want to tell the world about her and keep her love going. I owe her more than she ever would have let me repay her for and god i love her more than even she could have understood. With all of that beauty in her she didnt see any of it and i think she couldnt take it anymore. Ill regret ever letting you go for the rest of my life jessica.

Ohio
Allie Tribute
Marion Love never die, in remeberance of all who suffered this sneaky tragedy. You are still loved. Marion Tribute Christine For my angel Freddie, who's heart stopped beating on 10/1/2015 when we had to take him off life support after a heroin overdose, revival, blood leak in his brain causing a coma for nearly 10 days, and resulting loss of blood flow to his entire brain.  I still miss you each and every single day, more than words can ever say.  You were my best friend and the man I planned on growing old with.  I still struggle with the guilt; that I wasn't able to save you.  I still feel lonely and empty inside; but each day I stay clean I feel you closer to me.  I will never forget the day I talked to you while you were in a coma, when the doctors told me you couldn't hear anything I was saying... but I reminded you about our plans to get a new place where our girls could spend more time together, and our future plans to have a baby... and I saw a tear come down your eye.  When I wiped it away and kept talking, another tear fell.  The doctors told me this was merely a "bodily response" but my heart tells me you heard every word.  You knew how much I loved you.  Our time together was cut short, and I will forever grieve the future we didn't have.  You had the best smile that everyone still talks about: it lit up the room.  Even 10 months later I have many people telling me how they miss you; I wish you had known how many people care about you.  A part of my heart will forever be in heaven with you.  I will keep fighting the fight to stay clean until I see you again, my love and my best friend, forever cherished. Christine Tribute Dilaw Morsa Spidle You passed away December 7th 2018. It kills me to write this. I am truly sorry for the pain you went through. I tried and you only know. Your boys love you and miss you so much. Jude makes sure we pray for you every night. Your life on earth was not in vain. Your smile and humor is in Jude. Your way of thinking and being sarcastic is in Jowen. I Thank You for the 2 blessings you gave me and Thank you for the time we shared as a family. You will always be missed and never forgotten. We love you! and miss you dearly. DILAW Posted 11/07/2019 Dilaw Tribute Johnny I once knew a staggeringly beautiful woman who wore high cheekbones and as much make up as her face would hold. An extraordinary extrovert, this woman had a jovial laugh and a sparkling energy; a kind of energy that spread like fire and radiated to all who encircled her. She loved dogs and Chex Mix and slapstick humor like a bad Billy Madison movie. Sadly this woman committed suicide after a long battle with alcohol and drugs on October 8th, 2014 at the young age of 41. This woman was my sister Leslie. That's right, Leslie Machuzak, daughter, sister, alcoholic, drug addict. I share this with you, not because I am in search of pity, on the contrary, it's because I yearn for the moment when those that suffer from, and have fallen victim to the horrific disease that is addiction will one day be given the memorial that their souls truly deserve. Many of us, and particularly those that are lucky enough to have never been touched by this disease, are unaware that addicts are powerless against their addiction. Until recently, this has been a difficult concept for me to grasp, as I saw my sister shift from a hilarious, confident, and powerful woman to an individual quickly dwindling away, as if a cancerous python was slowly constricting around her neck and what I finally realized was that none of us are ever in competition with that python. For addicts, there is never a choice to be made. For years I wondered if I could have been a better brother somehow, if I could have changed her in some way. I practiced tough love and sent her books and information on recovery. What I didn't realize was that I am apart of the vast majority of humans that can have an alcoholic beverage or two and not feel the NEED to continue feeding that beast. I've never ingested a substance and yearned for something more powerful to fill the darkness within me. My sister woke up every morning, physically ill, her body surging with pain until she would succumb to the desire to resort to numbness. True, unabashed addiction is a level of suffering I cannot fathom. My sister was found dead on October 10th 2014. I was given the weight of telling the rest of my family of my sisters passing. Yes, this is a very jagged pill that I must swallow every morning. To describe the details to all of you now of my sisters death, is allowing me to truly embrace the fact that as her brother, I will always love her and am still proud of the woman she once was (and the woman that will forever be emblazoned in my memory as my big sister). When i went to clean out where my sister was staying a few days after she died, I saw something that would stay with me forever. On my sisters dresser was a picture of me and a newspaper article cutout of when I was arrested for my animal welfare organization. Even through her struggle and haze, and when I had nothing nice to say to her whatsoever, my sister still went out of her way each time we spoke to tell me that she was proud of me. She bragged, to the point of my own embarrassment, and never faltered when it came to expressing her love. She once told me that one of the only thing she hated in this world was having a part in disappointing or hurting me, and she clung to that until the day that she left this earth. My only hope is that, in her final moments in this life, she knew that she never disappointed me. In my 36 years with her, I have been supplied with a lifetime of hilarity, the drive and desire to reach out to others, memories of my sister making an absolute fool of herself simply to bring joy to those surrounding her. I see her in myself everyday. Not a "junkie," a "waste" or someone "deserving of death” all I could see was a beautiful woman. So what my experiences with this horrid disease known as addiction has really taught me is to have compassion over judgement because each person that has fallen victim to addiction was once someone to somebody. May my sister rest in peace. Johnny Tribute Candace This is for my beautiful mother Colleen LeClaire. She did her best as a single mother battling depression and acholism! I miss her warm spirit and love! She will be forever remembered in our hearts! Candace Tribute Sharon My beautiful son Drew Alexander Lighthall died of an accidental Tramadol overdose on August 5, 2015. He was so much more than the cause of death stated on his death certificate. He was the light of my life and a part of my heart. He was my smile, my laugh and all that was good. He was the most generous soul you could have ever met. When he loved he loved deeply and fiercely. I miss him with all my heart and soul. I want people to know that one moment in time (his overdose) does not define who he was in this world and who he was to me. I want people to know you don't have to be an addict to overdose accidently and you don't have to be what they consider a typical addict. Drew is and will always be my Booger Bear. Sharon Tribute Kimmie The world lost Caleb "Empty" Smith from a heroin overdose on October 23, 2019. He brought countless laughs and smiles to everyone around him. He was a talented artist and a truly loving friend to so many. I wish I could have done more to change your path. I know your battle too well having lived it myself for 15 years and I find peace in knowing that you are no longer living with that constant torment. We love you forever and I vow to keep your happy memories alive! Posted 29/10/2019 Kimmie Tribute Tammy Drugs took my 30 yr old only daughter. Her children and I are heartbroken. We miss her smile, her vibrancy, how she could light a room up. Nothing is the same without you Mandy💔 Fly high beautiful butterfly Amanda's mom 4/20/2020 Tammy Tribute karly Levi. I will always love you. you were my best friend from the age of 18 until I went to rehab at 27. I had to leave you then, on your journey, as I had to go on mine. Survivor guilt is real. I know this because Tommy was the last one to see you alive. He left you. asleep. after using heroin. When he came by the next day he expected to see you bouncing around like every time before. Except you weren't. you had passed away in your heroin dreams. Tommy could not live with the blame, we all blamed him. So he suicided a year to the day you passed because he could no longer live with himself and without you. I was called to hear the news, both times, both friends are gone because of a stupid mistake. Neither of your faults and that is what is so frustrating to me. Because the Government doesn't care about your lives, you both died. I will think of you both and hope that there is a place that you are both together because I know Levi doesn't blame you, Tommy. You would be forgiven, it was not your fault that you did not know better. I love you Levi and I miss you Tommy and WISH the world cared more about people that use drugs, so that lives were not needlessly wasted like this. Love Karly karly Tribute Gabrielle My brother passed away February 12th 2017 from an overdose. I miss him every single day. Praying for all of you who have also lost loves ones to overdose. Gabrielle Tribute Denise Reitterer Joey, I love and miss you and am sorry for all your pain! Denise Reitterer Tribute Lisa In Loving Memory of Jolene DuPaul.
Posted 30/08/2018
Lisa Tribute
Debbie Anderson In loving memory of my beautiful boy, Tyler William Anderson. Tyler died from an accidental overdose of heroin on February 4, 2012. He was only 23 years old. Our lives will never be the same. We miss you every single day. We will love you forever. We will see you in heaven. I love you my precious boy. Love, Mama Debbie Anderson Tribute Wendy All our love to Aubrey Jade Hoogterp 6/25/89 - 9/1/12 Wendy Tribute Camelia To my son, Rusty-James Parker, who died of a heroin overdose on May 29, 2016. You may have lost your battle, but I will keep fighting for you. This one's for you, Bug! Lotsa, Mom Camelia Tribute Carol I honor and remember Minimi and G-Mango. Gone far too young Carol Tribute Jennifer Quesenbury For my brother, Joseph. I will miss you until my last breath. Across the universe xoxo Posted 27/08/2019 Jennifer Quesenbury Tribute Ashlee Craig Shea we love you always our babies and I miss you so much it hurts everyday ! I hope your resting easy up there my forever love . I love you Big Big Much
Posted 09/08/2018
Ashlee Tribute
Lois My son Calvin Changed Worlds 09/28/2016, he was 22 yrs old. Forever Loved! I hope to make a difference in the lives of others and honor the memory of my son! Lois Tribute Sierra Lessing

Bianca Hathaway, you were one of the strongest people I've ever met and I understand The struggle ypu went through each day. Even though you're gone , I still believe in you. I love you always

Pawtucket, RI
Sierra Lessing Tribute
Sandi Mc My angel my star Jen. Jen passed away on November 5, 2005. She died from drowning and multiple drug intoxication. She had a dumb accident because she was high and slipped in the bathtub and knocked herself out and drowned. You were my best friend, my daughter, my love. I will miss you forever. Sandi Mc Tribute Mick Jordan Spencer Clark Here we are in November... 3 years ago you were going on vacation with your family in Florida. It would be your last... You came back and turned yourself in and for 3 months almost no heroin. I had hopes you'd stay clean, even if it meant you and I did'nt continue as friends down this road. I still ask myself why? I still have no answers Jordan. But you saved me in a sense, My life has changed so much, I miss you each day buddy same as I miss Mom. Not a day goes by that you don't cross my mind. I wish you had made it and maybe by now you'd be settled down with a family of your own. I regret that, a life so short and what should have been so much ahead of you. Rest in God's Love my friend and KNOW you are LOVED and Missed. Mick Tribute Judith Sean 9/12/20 You are always with me. Judith Tribute Donna To my beloved Son that passed on August 2nd 2014 he was 30 years old I miss him every day his smile his laughter him saying mom my closurewill be when I go to heaven and see my son again that's when my closure will be fly high my angel until we me again rest in peace Donna Tribute Melissa My baby brother, Daniel, was taken too early. He was just 25, on june 15 2007 when we lost him. I think of you everyday and miss you every minute. I know you're watching down on me and my girls. xoxo MMDS Melissa Tribute Laura

In remembrance of Kory Simmons a bright light that dimmed too soon.

USA
Laura Tribute
Annie Stephen, I think about you everyday. Some days more than others. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I really thought you were okay. It hurts to know my big brother is gone. It all happened so quickly. I’ve dreamt of you. I see signs of you everywhere. I know you are with me. I know you are at peace now. I love you. -Your little sister Annie Tribute Brenda Our family continues to suffer the effects of loss for our beloved daughter Amanda Beth Randall... She was such a source of happiness before she was an addict; her sense of humor and love of trivia were obvious. What wasn't obvious was the demon of addiction with its terrible grasp on our beautiful young daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend. The demon's grasp grew stronger and more obvious as the years went on..It caused our beloved daughter who was always so kind, to become so dependent upon heroin,and that we grew terrified of losing our precious girl...On Aug 17th, 2015 our worst nightmare was realized when Amanda overdosed for the final time....We miss her so much, even though the last 5 or 6 years of her life were so very difficult to watch. It's hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for her to live. We know she is at peace now, so that gives us some measure of peace also.. We look forward to our reunion with her in eternity.. Brenda Tribute Cindy M My sweet son Josh, My heart breaks everyday without you. I'm so sorry I felt you could just stop using . I have learned since your death that it was much more powerful than you could conquer on your own. I know you didn't want to die and wasn't aware that horrible day on June 23 would be your last. I also know that you were not aware it was fentenyl. When you left most of my heart went with you. I promise to raise your son, my grandson to know how much you dearly loved him. He misses you so much. Watch over us my angel . I'll get through this because I know we'll all be together again for eternity. Keep the signs coming we need them . Josh's momma
Posted 19/07/2018
Cindy M Tribute
Kim 2 1/2 years ago, I lost a very close friend from a heroin overdose. At that point, I was scared, I didn't know anything about the drug. Pretty much everyone from where I grew up was using OxyContin and other opiates and the fact that one of best friends had started doing heroin shocked me. A month ago I lost my best friend to an overdose.... same thing. Again. I feel empty. I cannot believe after my first friend passing, I didn't go out of my way to make sure my friend was okay. I know he struggled and was in and out of rehab, and was really trying. When he went through Recovery and the 12 Steps he reached out to me telling me how much he loved me and all the qualities I had that he adored. I adored him more than I ever knew. I will never have a friend that even compares to him. I don't know what to do to feel better about this. I want to learn about the drug and how it possesses you, but I feel frightened to indulge myself in the details of it. This past weekend, a month exactly after he passed, we held a memorial for him. It brought back a wave of emotions, and I know after losing him, I will never be the same again. I can hear him talking, I can see him singing, I can imagine hugging him, and laughing with him. Will this get better? I cant imagine losing another friend, so I've vowed to stay in touch with all those I love and never let the distance get between us.  Hopefully I can find a way to help people in this world, its the only thing that feels right in my heart. Kim Tribute Mary I remember the first Christmas letter my husband and I wrote together after we were married--recounting updates and achievements of each of our family members. I remember writing about Randy "...he will be an excellent caring nurse..." He was on the path to devote his caring loving self to helping others--going to nursing school and enjoying it and studying hard. I don't know what led him to veer from that path. I do know he continued to fight to get back to a focused, positive, substance-free life, and that he cared deeply about all of us in his family, and especially his boys. I also know that he was always so sincerely interested in what each of us was doing, asking curiosity-filled questions and listening thoughtfully to our answers. I remember his hearty laugh and I don't ever remember seeing him angry. Our family--and the world--lost a good, caring, loving man...too soon gone. It still hurts. It still seems hard to believe. There is still a tragic emptiness. There are still grieving siblings and sons. There remain and abide cherished memories of the gift of Randy to our family and to our world. Mary Tribute Adrienne To my brother Andrew (passed 10/5/2012) you are in my thoughts daily never to be forgotten. May the pain & suffering we have endured some how touch & save the lives of others suffering from addiction. We know you're finally at peace in a much better place. xoxo Adrienne Tribute Cornelia My son was bipolar and an addict. He was only 19 when he passed away commoning from a party. My son had clearly relapsed and was crossing the street and was hit by a car doing 70 mph per hour. He died on impact. Friends and family tattooed his birthday and a rose. Tristian, as soon as he turned 18, got three roses tattooed. I decided to do a celebration of life instead of a memorial. I wanted people to have fun and talk about all the funny things he did and whose hearts he touched before he passed. Another Tribute I did for him is to start college because when he finally started talking to me about having a problem, I never felt so proud of him. I told him I'm going to school to help him, and he was my biggest supporter. He was in rehab and the psych ward twice, but I knew my son, and he wasn't good at talking about his private life with strangers, just like his peers. I don't know how long I will be in school because of him, I found my purpose, and when I graduate, it will be another tribute to him. Tristian always reached out to friends and family that had his issues. Tristian could always help others but couldn't help himself, and in his name, I will help him continue to help those who can't help themselves. His passing will always hurt but now knowing my purpose in life gives me a sense of joy. Knowing that he is finally free of all the pain he was in also gives me Joy; even though I still cry for him every day, I am glad he is finally free. Cornelia Tribute Michelle My son Casey passed away 9/17/15, 27, due a fentanyl overdose. Casey was  such a beautiful, caring and thoughtful person, I feel so sad he suffered the life of drug addiction.  My tears are for my son because his life was cut short due to addiction. My heart break is for me, my son, my family and the families affected by the horrific disease of addiction. A promise to my son Casey, (after I give myself some time to wrap my mind around what has happened), I will do something to help the beautiful souls who have fallen into the life of addiction. A heartbroken mother who loved her son to death. Casey, I will forever love and miss you, you will remain in my heart forever. MOM Michelle Tribute Natalie WENZEL In memory of my brother Alan Wenzel, died of an accidental overdose of Heroin on October 10th, 2016 at 38 years of age. He struggled with opiate addiction for years. His mind and body became a slave to opiates. The pain his body and mind went through during each withdrawl was incredible. I am an RN and I couldn't save him in time. He was brave and stoic. You are missed.
Posted 01/09/2018
Natalie WENZEL Tribute

 

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