Losing a Loved One to a Heroin is a Special Kind of Pain

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(Image used with permission from www.michaelshope.net)

Grief

We are brought together by the unspeakable, forced into a group no one wants to join. Membership is permanent and there is no escape. Once you join this group (www.HeroinMemorial.org), life as you know it stops. It will never be the same again. Your circumstances have changed and you must find a way to adjust. You were not prepared for this, you feel like you are on a raft in uncharted waters, lost, in the dark and all alone. How do you adjust to the unbearable emptiness , the anger, the fear? How are you supposed to live the rest of your life when a large part of you has died? How do you keep yourself from bursting into tears in the checkout line because of some trigger no one would understand? How do you stop looking to see if he is there waiting for you to get off work? How do you stop checking your phone for messages or texts? There are so many questions...and no answers. We are left to fend for ourselves, tending our wounds that no one sees.

Losing a loved one to a drug is a special kind of pain. We continuously torture ourselves as we sift through each and every decision we have ever made. We carry the overwhelming guilt that we failed. We failed that person we loved so much, now they are dead. And if that isn't enough, society tells us it is our loved ones fault for trying drugs in the first place. Our loved one could quit if they really wanted to stop using. Our loved one is labeled a junkie, a waste. No one witnessed the horrifying effects of detoxing. No one cleaned up the vomit and helplessly listened to the excruciating crying for relief, holding them as muscle spasms took control of their legs, believing heartfelt promises they would never do drugs again.

We go to counseling, we join support groups and we brave a fake smile when someone asks us how we are doing. Inside, we are grasping at any explanation of this travesty that we think will help us feel better. Why did my loved one die when there are such evil people in the world? Why was it my loved one that succumbed to his demons when others go on using for years and years? But deep down inside, we really don't care about the answers, we just want our love back. We would give everything we had including our lives just for five more minutes...
We are the loved ones of those lost to drugs.

- Danielle Suiter - Share Your Addiction Journey! Addiction Awareness

#HeroinMemorial | #GoneToSoon | #AskMeAboutMyAngel

 

We want to thank Michael's HOPE for giving us permisson to use the photograph here which includes one of their wristbands which you can purchase on their website.

Michael's HOPE is an organization that educates, prevents and spreads awareness of the current heroin and opioid epidemic we are facing. We understand it is very important to speak to kids in schools, we have made it our goal to not have to charge schools for our programs. All donations will go into this organization and allow us to spread the awareness to our communities and school districts free of charge, while also hosting Narcan trainings also at no cost.

PAUL MAFFETONE - FOUNDER
Born March 31st 1989, a lifetime resident of Laurel, NY lost his older brother Michael Maffetone to a heroin overdose on February 11th 2012 at the age of 29.  Although Paul has never suffered from addiction himself, after the loss of his best friend, has dedicated his life helping others who are suffering from addiction themselves or suffering from the loss of a loved one to these horrific circumstances.  Spreading awareness and education on the current epidemic and fighting the negative stigma associated with addiction in particular is his greatest passion.

Learn more about them at www.michaelshope.net

 

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We Are the Parents of a Child Lost to Heroin

gretchen funeral

We are brought together by the unspeakable, forced into a group (www.HeroinMemorial.org) no one wants to join. Membership is permanent and there is no escape. Once you join this group, life as you know it stops. It will never be the same again. Your circumstances have changed and you must find a way to adjust. You were not prepared for this, you feel like you are on a raft in uncharted waters, lost, in the dark and all alone. How do you adjust to the unbearable emptiness , the anger, the fear? How are you supposed to live the rest of your life when a large part of you has died? How do you keep yourself from bursting into tears in the checkout line because of some trigger no one would understand? How do you stop looking to see if he is there waiting for you to get off work? How do you stop checking your phone for messages or texts? There are so many questions...and no answers. We are left to fend for ourselves, tending our wounds that no one sees.

MemorialDamageDone

 (Click the image above to share your own memorial tribute on our page)

Losing a child to a drug overdose carries with it a special kind of pain. We continuously torture ourselves as we sift through each and every decision we have ever made as a parent. We carry the overwhelming guilt that we failed as a parent. We failed our child, and now our child is dead. And if that isn't enough, society tells us it is our child's fault for trying drugs in the first place. Our child could quit if they really wanted to stop using. Our child is labeled a junkie, a waste. No one witnessed the horrifying effects of detoxing. No one cleaned up the vomit and helplessly listened to the excruciating crying for relief, holding them as muscle spasms took control of their legs, believing heartfelt promises they would never do heroin again.

We go to counseling, we join support groups and we brave a fake smile when someone asks us how we are doing. Inside, we are grasping at any explanation of this travesty that we think will help us feel better. Why did my child die when there are such evil people in the world? Why was it my child that succumbed to his demons when others go on using for years and years? But deep down inside, we really don't care about the answers, we just want our child back. We would give everything we had including our lives just for five more minutes...

We are the parents of a child lost to heroin.

- Gretchen Miller-Addison, mother who lost her son Tyler, 21, on November 3rd, 2014 to heroin.

You can read his memorial tribute by clicking here.

 #AskMeAboutMyAngel   #HeroinMemorial   #GoneToSoon

tyler

 

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Heroin Memorial - 2014/05/25 - Coty Glass - Dry Ridge, KY 41035

cotyglass1 

Submitted by: Dupuy- parent

Angel's Name:  Coty Glass
Date of Birth:
  10/18/1991
Date of Passing: 05/25/2014
Dry Ridge, Kentucky 41035

Tell Us About Them
My oldest of 3 children and the first person that I knew I would die for.  Coty loved anything to do with nature and being outside.  He loved to hunt, ride horses and four wheelers, pull tractors,  target shoot and making others laugh. He looked forward to spring and summer!!  He loved the sun... he always said it made him feel so alive.  He was a happy,outgoing child and young man until the accident that took his best friend.

Addiction Struggles
Coty's stuggle with addiction began at 16.  He was in a horrific car accident at took his best friends life.  My son was in the hospital for 8 days and bed bound for several more months.   He was given Percocet's for the pain and later he began abusing them to "forget" the pain of losing his friend.  He used pills until he was introduced heroin at 21.

What Made Them Smile
Coty loved food, the sun, the outdoors, family.

What Do You Miss
I miss everything!!  I mostly miss his smile, his hugs, his sarcastic wit and the way he made my heart happy!!!  

cotyglass2

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

Click here to submit your own memorial tribute.

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Heroin Memorial - 2015/05/05 - Joseph Briganti - Bradenton, Florida 34208

Submitted By: Kevorkian - parent

Joseph Briganti

Bradenton, Florida 34208
Date of Birth: 11/26/1977
Date of Passing: 05/05/2015

Tell Us About Them
He was so kind and loyal.....he loved us so much and sadly it wasn't until after he died that I learned how much he kept from me in order to protect me.....he had a little girl, Trinity, who is 3 years old now...... I was hoping his love for her would help to save him but I think his guilt, hopelessness and depression were a stronger force......all of my children say the same thing..."he was the nicest, best one of us all"....

Addiction Struggles 
Joe started abusing drugs in his teens....moving on to heroin by his early twenties......he went through 30 day rehabs many times and one time completed an 18 month program.... I thought he would make it that time....he was clean almost 2 years....longest time he ever had.... I know he wanted to be free so very much.....he told me he had so many things he wanted to do.....ugh...makes me so very sad.....he was almost 6 months clean when he died....had a good job, a place to live....gotten his license reinstated....hired an attorney to get custody back of his daughter, and seemed so happy..... I was on my way to visit when he was found in the back of the Home Depot parking lot..... I think he died when my plane landed in Tampa......my heart is broken....

What Made Them Smile
Seeing, and being with us always made him so happy....our family was, and still is, so dysfunctional..... I grew up in such a damaged environment.... I believed that my family would be different, but alas, dysfunction begets dysfunction..... I truly believe had we been an intact strong family my Joe would still be here......we made him smile and we all loved him....but we didn't know how to be there....still haven't learned how to love each other.....

What Do You Miss
No one in this world loved me as much as he did..... I miss his calls....always "hi mom....wanted to let you know I'm alright....I don't want you to worry mom".... I knew he was in trouble but I never understood until it was too late.....

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Heroin Memorial Tribute
 

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Heroin Memorial - 2012/08/01 - Victoria Crispin - Cleveland, Ohio 44119

Torie1

Submitted By: Lorie VanTIlburg - parent

Victoria Crispin

Cleveland, Ohio 44119
Date of Birth: 10-14-1990 
Date of Passing: 08-01-2012

Tell Us About Them
Victoria was my youngest. She always wanted to be affectionate. She wanted to make sure everyone was happy.

Addiction Struggles 
It started with the pain meds her Dr. prescribed after the epidural they gave here when her son was born. THey did something wrong and she would get migraines. She started to abuse the pills and someone introduced her to heroin. And within a year she was addicted and lost her life.

What Made Them Smile
Her son Calob

What Do You Miss
That high pitched whiney voice she would get when she didn't get her way.  

Torie2

View this online Memorial Tribute Map by clicking here.

Submit you own online Memorial Tribute for our map and blog by clicking here.

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