Submitted by: Jani McNeill
My Tribute: The Lord makes all things new. My precious little brother.
Submitted by: GC
My Tribute: Terry Lee Hartzog
April 12, 1963 – September 27, 2011
Terry was my youngest child, and what a blessing he was.His childhood was filled with, fishing baseball, soccer and boxing,. After years of strugling with addiction, he was trying so hard to live a good,clean sober life for himself and his children, and we were all so proud of him and his accomplishments. We thought he was finally going to have the life he always wanted. Somehow life doesnt always give us a happy ending and one relapse and he was gone from us. He was sweet and kind and funny, and will be forever loved and missed.
Submitted by: GC
My Tribute: George David Maras
(Georgie) had many fine qualities. He was brilliant with numbers, and could calculate without pen and paper – even after his 2002 car accident in which he sustained a traumatic brain injury. He loved to cook, working as a chef, creating his own secret sauces. He was great with kids, and would have been a wonderful dad. He was an international traveler, living abroad in Greece and Israel a good part of his life, which most likely extended his life – a life filled with substance abuse for 25 years which ended at age 39 on December 13, 2007. “Georgie, will love you till the end of time, Mom.
Submitted by: GC
My Tribute: Ryan Mathew Cline
March 2, 1988 – November 6, 2010
Was this his final thought?
I slowly sink back almost falling into the toilet. I let out one last moan before opening the door to my own personal “Eden.” A wave of heat encompasses my body as flashes of light dance around my eyes as they slowly close. R.I.P. Babe
Submitted by: Terri Bochette
My Tribute: Jason Bochette
Jason always brought fun and laughter to all around him until Jason was introduced to heroin his laughter became sadness and pain he felt he was walking without a soul. I found my son dead in his room on Sept 09, 2008 with the needle still in his hand. I am forever changed.
Submitted by: Barbara Kenny
My Tribute: Our beloved 35-year-old son, Jamie died as a result of a “cocktail” of heroin and meth. A trace of ecstasy along with his prescribed medications were also found in his system.
Jamie struggled during most of his life with a depressive disorder, which led to his having low self-esteem and self-medicating or addictions beginning when he was approximately 15. We rode the rollercoaster, that many of you have experienced until he graduated from high school. During his senior year he pre-enlisted in the Navy, entered just after his 18th birthday, served four years, including tours in Okinawa, Somalia, and was honorably discharged. The discipline that his service provided tempered his behaviors and addictions; however, within a year of his discharge, he lost total control. His drugs of choice became alcohol and cocaine, but he admitted that he had “tried” everything. When we and he knew that he was at the bottom, most probably facing jail or death, he went into rehab for a six weeks. Jamie was 23 and was truly the master of his fate and that all we could do was love and support him.
Jamie lived in a sober living house for close to 2 years, worked, started college again, and attended lots of meetings, ultimately working with CA. Jamie stayed sober for one month short of eleven years. During these years we have not only amassed wonderful memories, but Jamie grew up, traveled extensively, met a young woman he loved and married, finished college, was very successful at whatever job he held, and on July 11, 2009, became a father, to a son, Matthew.
Jamie was an extremely tenderhearted man who wept when he saw his sister in her wedding dress, wept when he saw his bride, wept when he learned that he would have a little “surfing and camping” buddy, and wept on the day of his son’s birth. He loved his family (blood & non-blood), animals, the ocean, surfing, and traveling.
My husband and I were truly unaware of what was happening. We did know that he used prescribed drugs; he had gone to a psychiatrist (which he refused to do when he got sober for he knew he would be put on meds). I noticed changes in Jamie when we went to California after/for the babies’ births and spoke to him about his speaking to his psychiatrist about the meds he was taking. I believed the meds were the problem.
We learned in September 09 of his using: a hallucinogen and pot late in 08, and eventually he started mixing meth, ecstasy, and heroin in various cocktails in addition to taking his prescribed meds. His wife, sister, her husband, his sponsor, and best friend staged two interventions a week apart in mid September 2009. He lied when he went to the detox center and was refused entry. After the second, he was left in a hotel room to decide what he wanted, and after a horrifying night of worry, his best friend called at 7 and gladly took him to the rehab center he had chosen. He remained there for 1 month. His father in law and I picked him up on October 23rd. He didn’t want to stay in rehab longer, but went into a sober living house from which he returned to work, attended meetings, and saw his wife and son. Early in December, he moved back in to the house, for he wanted to be with his family. I advised against it; however, he was a 35-year-old man and had to make his own choices.
I came in on Christmas Day and for 6 days spent as much time as I could with both my daughter, Jennifer’s and Jamie’s families. The last time I saw Jamie was December 30th when he, his sister, Jennifer, her husband, and I went to the Holiday Bowl. After the game Jamie and I hugged, kissed, said, “I love you” as we did after every conversation, and I said, “See you in March,” as I planned to come in for his sister’s and wife’s birthdays.
Jamie was an avid surfer who had surfed big waves all over the world. He had gone to Todos Santos, off the Baja coast with a friend before the new year and it got him all fired up to get back into surfing and the waters he so loved. Early January, when no one he called was able to go with him, he went alone. What exactly happened, we’ll never really know, but after being hit by a 30 foot wave and a board, really hurting his leg, he stayed the night in Mexico. We believe that he bought drugs, and very quickly became entrenched with trying for the ultimate cocktail. Both Jennifer and I spoke to him the evening of the February 8th, and although his wife and baby were in Florida to meet some of his wife’s family, we thought all was okay. Jamie was found, having fallen over the back of his sofa (as if walking forward), at 8:00 the next morning. Along with the many, many tears shed that day, it rained most of the day in San Diego on February 9, 2010.
Too many similar stories, leaving too many broken hearts and futures,
Barbara, Jamie’s Mom
Submitted by: GC
My Tribute: Brian was a joy to be around, and stood out as a compassionate and kind-hearted soul. He grew up surrounded by a loving family, sharing his home and childhood with other children in need of a safe haven. Brian’s life came to an end suddenly on September 22, 2006. He will be remembered for his optimism and empathy for the underdog, and his heart was open to anyone in need. He has left behind many family members, friends and loved ones and we will miss his sweet, easy smile and accepting nature. His life, like many others, was cut short by something out of our control. He has touched us in ways that will stay with us for the rest of ours.
Submitted by: Gary Cullen
My Tribute: My amazing son, intelligent, loving, funny. My bright & shining star is now my Angel above. I will never be the same because when you left, you took a piece of me with you. Forever Loved, Forever Missed.
Submitted by: Kallab Family
My Tribute: My son was severely injured in a motorcycle accident resulting in a broken back. He spent two months in the hospital due to complications and was on intravenous morphine and opiate based drugs. I raised my concern about addiction to his Doctor at the time and he told me, “We worry about the pain now and we will deal with the addiction later.” But there was no help for addiction later. Insurance doesn’t cover much, if any, addiction treatment and the cost of long-term treatment is beyond what any normal family can afford.
Found, piece by piece, posthumously – Written by Jeff Cullen in September 2001 – 7 years before he died of an overdose. If anyone thinks this is “partying” or having fun, I think they should read this more than once. This is a heart-wrenching piece written by a 20-year-old, 5 years into his drug use. Please understand, this is not a choice, a choice to begin, to experiment, yes…but if you are genetically predisposed, if your brain chemistry is wired just so then, clearly, opioid addiction is not by any means a choice. It is, as science has demonstrated, an acquired disease of brain structure and function. Maybe this writing will help those still struggling to understand their loved ones more, and for those who have lost theirs to be more patient with their own feelings. We all did the best we could with what we knew at the time. For those who still have hope, still have a chance, please – LEARN, try, do everything in your power – do not walk away. This disease is no sissy.
Boredom. Is it inevitable? No, only to conform to an unwanted routine, every day lifestyle that keeps leading me back to the subtle, yet blatant invisible death I know is slowly but surely creeping up on my weak heels. Is there a way out? I’d love to know. Scattered thoughts know no higher being, just a mere shadow in the corner of my eye. So far the second decade has brought nothing but rare sight of day, consistent puncture, and an awaiting collapse of a flowing source of life I call a mainline. What the future holds? A ticking clock we lay our eyes on, day after day to tell what we call time, which is all that will tell.
I see a badly needed lesson, an uncomfortable extremely humbling lesson, necessary for up and coming decades to unravel. All and all possibly a test of maturity and acceptance of the realization that there are no questions or answers, just common sense and reality, that unbearable, in your face, in your head your voice screaming right fucking at you that you refuse and ignore so often. So surreal an act of utter arrogance, resulting in a dark and gloomy state that shows little mercy. So surreal an intelligent mind aware of some so-called state of reality that holds repercussions promising only the worst of weather if you will. Like denial almost, unwilling to easily take some control over decisions where vital consequences dwell and linger overhead, shown to be obviously detrimental to oneself, very grim source of self destruction, only an imbecile would do anything but attempt an immediate 180 turn, especially with the knowledge and awareness of this incredibly strong force I choose to call a motivated beast growing stronger day in day out. In over his head he immaturely takes more huge steps towards the edge, not having concern for what lies ahead in a fairy tale life that has pointlessly been turned into a struggle that eventually starts to ripple like a slight breeze on a glassed off cove at dawn.