Submitted by: Marie Latimer
My Tribute: My beautiful son passed away on May 16, 2015 of a heroin overdose less than a month shy of his 24th Birthday. We are a typical middle income family from a Philadelphia Suburb who were blindsided by addiction when our son was 18 and had just graduated from high school. We have a very common story these days where our child self medicated his depression, anxiety and low self esteem with pain killers which eventually led to heroin. For almost six years we were on this horrible roller coaster ride of addiction with our son, in and out of rehab followed by sober living and relapses. The relapse periods became shorter and his periods of sobriety longer. Jay had been sober for nine and a half month’s, had a job, a new apartment with a sober roommate, working the 12 step program and hadn’t sounded happier or made such strides to be self supportive and he was finally maturing. Once again we were blindsided by the dreaded knock on the door by a local police officer late that night to inform us that our son was gone. That one more time he knew could end his life did.
Growing up Jay was a sweet, loving, off the charts smart, a teachers pet, charmed adults but socially could not relate to kids his age and had a very difficult time making friends. As a teen although a bit rebellious at home he was very outgoing found his way into different social circles his age and older. He picked up a guitar that was a gift to his dad one day and taught himself to play. Playing his guitar, later singing and writing were his passion and he became amazing at it.
Through music he helped many in rehab and recovery when addicts are at such a low place. He was funny, non-judgmental, would talk to anyone and lit up a room with his smile. He helped many to a path of recovery and even out of suicide attempts.
I am very proud of him for these acts and his courage to fight time after time but I miss him every second of everyday.