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.