Monthly Archives: February 2016

Evan Malley

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Submitted by: Tina Peterson
Born: 1995
Died: 2016
My Tribute: Words can not say how much I miss you, you will always be the space next to me that only I can see. mom, love forever

Timothy Porray

Submitted by: Judy Ball/mom
Born: 1980
Died: 2015
My Tribute: It has been almost a year since my baby boy left this earth. Just before his 35th birthday. His struggles with addiction began with pain meds from three back surgeries before he was 21. There was never a time when he wasn't in pain, but over time he learned to manage it.

Tim was the "favorite fun uncle," the guy with a smile and laugh that lit up the room, a dedicated son and brother, and so much more. After years in and out of jail and rehabs, ups and downs, he finally hit rock bottom and got serious about sobriety. And he was sober for 4 years. He remarried and was madly in love with his beautiful wife and was an amazing dad to her two children. He started going back to school and he and his wife opened a sober living home in Salt Lake City. It was a dream that took them almost two years to achieve, but they did it! They lived on the premises and their guys were like family. They ate meals together and had group therapy, helped them find jobs, taught them how to iron so they would look nice for interviews, etc. Tim was the "fixer" for everyone and refused to let anyone down or leave anyone alone and struggling. It was exhausting and stressful, but rewarding.

And then, one night when his wife was staying at the hospital with her son, something caused Tim to snap. We don't know what it was and never will, but it took one—just one—hit of heroin. A deadly dose for someone who had been clean for so long. And he was gone. I will never forget getting that call on a Saturday morning here in California where we moved less than two years ago. I am so grateful to have found the NPR piece about this group. The hole in my heart will never completely heal and I miss him every single day, but there is also a part of me that experienced a sense of relief somehow...relief that he is free from all the pain and the sometimes minute by minute struggle to stay sober. He fought long and hard and I was so proud of him for being the man I always knew he could be. The person who sold him that lethal dose (and knew it would be...) is going to jail for two years and then 3 of probation. I hope he learns something. But I choose to focus on the legacy Tim left and the huge impact he had on so many people's lives. His laughter rings in my ears and his smile is in front of me whenever I close my eyes and think of him.

I love you, Timmy. Forever and always, my baby you'll be.

Justin Solak

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Submitted by: Vera Bullock
Born: 1990
Died: 2016
My Tribute: Justin was a gentle giant who was one of the kindest and most loving people many knew. This was evidenced at his funeral when people who had not seen him for over 7 years flew to NY for the funeral from Montreal. Justin had a bi-polar disorder that wasn't diagnosed until later in life. He had a difficult middle school experience as his parents divorced and his bi-polar was not being treated. Justin started using marijuana when 17 in order to find relief from the struggles of bi-polar. He was in and out of rehabs for 7 years from age 18 in. He would maintain periods of sobriety but finally on February 13th his earthly struggles ended when unfortunately he died of a heroin overdose. Justin will be missed and especially by his 10 year old brother, college age sister, his grandparents and parents.

Top of Mind With Julie Rose – Addiction Obituaries

logoDate: Feb 18, 2016

Author: Julie Rose

Source: byuradio - Top of Mind With Julie Rose

Guests: Denise Cullen, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Addiction Resource Organization Broken No More and GRASP; Liz Perkins, Advocate for addiction treatment and awareness

The CDC says the rate of people dying from an overdose involving opioids has tripled since the year byu2000.  Officials say widespread use of prescription pain killers and the easy availability of cheap heroin are driving the epidemic. Americans young and old, male and female, rich and poor are falling victim to overdoses tied to opioids.

Political candidates are talking about it on the campaign trail. Advocacy groups are rallying for better treatment options and legal changes that would treat drug addiction as a disease, rather than a crime. You’ve likely noticed a shift on the obituary page of your local newspaper, too. More and more families are dispensing with vague references to a loved one having died “suddenly” or “at home” and writing the truth: He died of addiction. She died of an overdose.

The decision is controversial among families who’ve lost a loved one to drugs.

To listen to the entire interview Click Here

 

When A Loved One Dies Of Overdose, What Happens To The Family?

radio interviewDate: February 18, 2016

Author: Kristin Gourlay

Source: npr (Southern California Public Radio)

Cathy Fennelly tried to save her son from heroin addiction.

For eight years, she tried to help him get sober. She told him he couldn't come home unless he was in treatment. It tormented her, knowing that he might be sleeping on the streets, cold at night.

But nothing worked. In 2008, she found him dead from an overdose on her front step.

"No matter how many detoxes I put him in, no matter how many mental facilities; I emptied out my 401(k), I sold my jewelry," she says. "This will never get easier. Never."

Like Fennelly, thousands of parents have lost sons and daughters across the country to an epidemic of accidental drug overdoses. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the total number deaths from heroin overdose increased by six times from 2001 to 2014. For these parents, support can be scarce — and the grief can be complicated.

To Listen to the entire story Click Here

Bryan Kelly Steele

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Submitted by: Maria Steele
Born: 1992
Died: 2012
My Tribute: My dear sweet Bryan. There is not a moment that goes by that I do not think of you and long for the day to see your face again and to hold you. My world will never be the same. The piercing pain in my heart never ceases, but I hold steadfast in the hope of seeing you again in heaven. I miss you dearly my son. My love for you knows no bounds.

Kimberly Anne Blaser

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Submitted by: Jill Stoehr
Born: 1978
Died: 2014
My Tribute: Kimberly was my oldest daughter. She was a beautiful blue eyed blonde who was smart, funny, had so much personality, and had so much to offer the world. She could have done so much with her life. Addiction took all of that away from her and left her two daughters without their mother. The pain never goes away and at this point it is not getting any better either. I miss her so much and still wait to hear her voice. People keep telling me that she is in a better place now and I believe that, but it does not take away the pain of losing your child. The only thing that keeps me going is that I have her two daughters. They are the joy of my life and I see their mother in both of them. I love my daughter and only wish that she is happy and free from her pain of addiction.

Anthony Colli aka “Ant”

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Submitted by: Karen Colli
Born: 1992
Died: 2015
My Tribute: My precious son Anthony aka Ant, an amazing soul, brilliant, creative. So many wonderful memories of Anthony. He was one of a kind, Reached out the the homeless, understood their brokenness. Struggled with severe anxiety and depression.... just had a heart for those who struggled, who suffered. He left his print on everyone he came in contact with. Loved Russian Literature, wanted to be a writer, a chef.... His English Literature teacher said to me "there will never be another person on earth like Anthony". His addiction didn't define him... His life and legacy does. I miss you every day Ant. Can't wait to see you again. Miss your smile, your charm and your gentle soul... I love you forever.

Rikki, the gentle giant

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Submitted by: Momma Kolb
Born: 1983
Died: 2016
My Tribute: My son, a beautiful soul, Rikki, died on Friday, January 22nd at 5:55 p.m. My whole being hurts because I miss his sweet smile, his kindness for everyone, how he championed the underdog, how he loved his family, his earth shaking laughter.

He was so beautiful. He is so very missed by me and his family. He was my only child. He was 32, and I had 32 years to love him and to worry about him. I cannot express the loss adequately or the hole he has left in my universe.

Rikki, I love you eternally. I will think of you every day and wish you were here with me to make me laugh, to share beautiful things with, to hug, to eat your amazing cooking, to hear your dreams.

I'd like to think you're in a better place, but you know how we are...ever the doubting Thomases and Thomasinas! I do find comfort in knowing that you're no longer in pain, but, I'd give anything to have you back, I think, in total selfishness.

I love you more than life itself. Watch over me, and if you're still out there somewhere, comfort me as I grieve inconsolably for you.

I want to smile again -- for YOU.