I lost my son 10 weeks ago. 2 days before his 27th birthday. I miss him with every heartbeat. We had been in and out of rehab and jail. Even moved to get away from all of the influences. It’s our story. There will never be a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. The heroin didn’t kill him but the Fentanyl did. You have his picture and my husband and myself at his Memorial last Saturday March 24th 2018
I lost my daughter on March 11 2017 she was only 23 years old from an over dose.
I found her In the bathroom she left behind a 3 year old babe we have to stop this addiction it’s taking many lives this was the hardest thing to see an go through as a parent we should not have to bury are kids she had so much going for her but the addition was more powerful than anyone to help her with we all love her an will be miss forever
Exactly two years ago today, Valerie and I buried our son and Nick’s brother, Anthony one week after he died from heroin. Before we carried his coffin out of Warrington Fellowship Church, rolled it into the hearse and drove two miles southeast on Bristol Road to Neshaminy Cemetery and the only piece of real estate he would ever own, I read the eulogy that is reprinted below.
In writing the eulogy I felt led to address the young people in the audience – the friends of Anthony and Nick – some of whom I feared were traveling the same road Anthony had travelled. I hoped to strike a chord within them that hadn’t yet been struck before their parents had to purchase a similar tiny plot of land.
The day after Anthony’s funeral, I posted the eulogy on Facebook. Many of you shared it. Some of your friends shared it, and some of their friends. Etc., etc., etc. Somehow, it reached “Abby.”
On June 12th I received the following private Facebook message: “Your son died on my birthday. I just turned 23 and I have been addicted to heroin since I was 17. I don’t want to ruin my mother’s life by dying. But I can’t stop.”
We messaged back and forth. She gave me her phone number and we talked. Eventually she agreed to join “The Left Behind” – a private Facebook group I created for addicts and their families — where she has shared her story and received a lot of support. Abby has been clean for almost two years now. She started a day care center in her home and she and her husband raise chickens and rescue abused and abandoned animals.
Recently Abby told me that reading Anthony’s eulogy was her “breaking point.” But she would never have seen it from my Facebook page. We weren’t friends. Somebody had to share it — probably several some bodies — before it reached her. According to a 2012 Pew Research study, the median Facebook user can reach 31,170 people through friends of friends. I don’t know how many degrees of separation there were between Abby and me, but it was more than one. So whatever role my eulogy played in helping Abby decide to get clean, everyone who helped move it along the electronic highway to her played just as big a role.
And we can do it again. There are other Abbys out there. I know there are. Obviously, not every addict who reads my eulogy, or sees the YouTube video will make a life changing decision as a result. But Abby did. And if it reached her, maybe it will reach others. And that is why I am asking you, even if you have done it before, please share, re-post, e-mail, text, message, and urge your friends to do the same. Do whatever you can to get my eulogy out where it might do some good. Together, we just might keep another Abby from becoming the next Anthony.
Here is the eulogy:
EULOGY FOR A SON:
A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.
Today, again, Warrington is Ramah, and we are all Rachel. Another child is no more.
I loved Anthony, something that was not always easy to do. Anthony loved Eminem and 50 cent and Lil Wayne. Whenever any of them were about to come out with a new CD, Anthony always knew about it when the news first broke and he had to get the CD the day it came out. He loved movies and had recently developed a fondness for chick flicks. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. When he was a baby, his favorite video was “The Little Mermaid.” He devoured each and every Harry Potter novel the week it was published, proudly reporting how many pages he’d read each day. And as each book was made into a movie, he and I would see them, and if it wasn’t the day they were released Anthony was sorely disappointed.
He loved candy.
He loved his car.
He loved his brother.
He loved his mother.
He loved the Lord.
And he loved heroin.
Lord how he loved heroin. And because he loved heroin so much and because he thought it loved him back, he’ll never get to take his brother to the Eminem & Rihanna concert this August. He’ll never get to enjoy the case of Sour Patch Kids candy he ordered and that was delivered two days after he died. He won’t get to train Caesar, the Boxer puppy he bought from a breeder in Oklahoma just two weeks ago. And for the first time in years, there’s plenty of recording capacity on the DVR.
His death is a shock, but it’s not a surprise. He had been slow dancing with death for more than five years. He overdosed and almost died. His friend overdosed and almost died in front of his eyes. He was arrested. He overdosed again. He was arrested again. He spent a week on the street and a month in prison.
And each and every time we said, “Anthony, please, take this as a sign. It’s a warning. Take it to heart. You need to change your behavior.” And each and every time he said he knew and he would. But at some point, each of those warnings was forgotten. And all that remained was the mantra of the young. “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want. I’m only hurting myself.”
“It’s my life.”
Every time another young person says, “It’s my life,” Satan smiles.
“It’s my life and I’ll do what I want.” Yes, of course you will. But your actions have consequences and sometimes your mistakes are irreversible.
“I’m only hurting myself.” Really? I wish I had words strong enough and true enough to convince you of the staggering selfishness of that remark. And how wrong it is.
Almost exactly one week ago my lips were pressed against Anthony’s cold, pale lips, trying desperately to breathe air into lungs too full of fluid to receive it. For the last week his mother has carried one of Anthony’s unwashed shirts around with her, holding it to her face so she can smell him. She sleeps in his bed with his shirt and a framed photograph of Anthony. Everywhere she turns something else reminds her of Anthony. The leftovers from the last food he bought – food was a very big thing with Anthony. The stale remnants of the last soda he ever drank. She wants to die, so she can see her first born again.
Nick, who is one of the best people I know, has spent much of the last week with his arm around his mother. Nick, who was already an old soul, has aged 10 years in the last week. I don’t know if he will ever smile again.
But, hey, It’s your life. Do what you want. But before you ever again dare say, “I’m only hurting myself,” look at your mother, look up the word ‘inconsolable’ and remember Anthony’s mother.
Anthony kept a small scrap of paper with a verse he had copied from scripture pinned above his desk, right in front of his laptop, where he could look at it every day. The prophet Isaiah speaking to God:
“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.”
An assurance from the Lord, that gave Anthony comfort. Later in that same verse there are words of comfort for those of us Anthony left behind when he went home:
“But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.”
Goodbye my son.
Lost this beautiful Angel last week. She fought one hell of a battle and would proudly tell her story to anyone that would listen. I watched her being called everything from junkie to whore and still stood proud in her fight.
R.I.P my dear friend.
My husbands name was George my Georgie he lost his battle with addiction on 09/09/09 to an overdose of methadone and Xanax he was 35 years old was home from prison for about nine months when he died. Our daughters were 14 and 18 at the time. We both battled heroin addiction for 20 years. One I still battle. I myself am finally clean I got back on methadone in August and haven’t touched dope or Xanax since. I’ve been off and on methadone for years but always used alcohol or Xanax and still shot dope this time is different though. I’m actually utilizing the program, talking to my counselor going to groups and sharing about my husbands death. I blamed myself for so long because I was still fucking up when he came home from his last bid. I tried so hard to do the right thing I just struggled so hard. I couldn’t deal with him being locked up so I used mostly alcohol cause the dope wasn’t working because I was on the program. So he came home and I was drinking heavy and it hurt him because he blamed himself for leaving me alone again we went through a lot of busts together but we always had each other’s backs no matter what. So he took the train ride to the program with me and while I was dosing he bought someone’s dose and a few sticks. I didn’t know until he died on the train I managed to bring him back and the ambulance met us at the next station they brought him to the er and quickly dismissed him as just some junkie and released him. We went home and he was still so high but he was ok you know he was ok. So around ten that night we went to bed and he gave me a kiss told me he was sorry about that morning and that he loved me. He fell asleep and I had my head on his chest like I slept for years .
I remember seeing the clock it was 11:30 and I fell asleep for like four mins I woke up like the life was drawn out of me he wasn’t breathing no heartbeat no pulse he was gone I started CPR and called 911 he was taken to the icu and put on life support but he was gone. We took him off nine days later and he died in my arms. Many people think he used again later on in the evening but he didn’t when you sleep your respitory slows down and his was already slowed from the meth and Xanax because they have such a half life. So be careful please. Georgie was an amazing father and husband, my best friend we still miss him every minute. I lost myself in a gallon of vodka on a daily and came close to death a few times. I’m much better now. Our youngest got hooked on roxys and is currently in rehab. This disease is so insidious. We must come together and help one another don’t be afraid to call someone on their shit if you think there using . Get them help at any and all cost .If it’s you who needs help please ask for it. I know not many people agree with methadone but it saves my life on a daily basis as long as you don’t abuse it or other drugs. Everyone is different and there are many was for recovery I hope you find yours. Save your Georgie and don’t become him yourself. I love you baby forever.
Lost my boy to addiction on 9/12/16. Praying his story will help the still addicted and struggling.
March 21, 2017 my children lost their father to this ugly disease. Had paramedics been called as soon as he was found, he’d still be alive. But unfortunately due to negligent people waiting an hour and cleaning house before he lost his life at 34 years old and my children and I have a huge empty space forever in our hearts.
God bless everyone who is struggling, gotten clean, or lost a loved one. This is a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. RIP Chico we love and miss you every single day!!
We lost our baby Elece Orgovan December 7th 2017 she was 20 years old… sorry for your loss….we have lost many more as well. Please find your way to the light get out of the darkness!!!!!!!!