Our Lost Children

End the Stigma of Substance Abuse

Ending the stigma & helping parents, family members and those in our community from the Niagara Region and surrounding area who have lost our loved ones to, or are coping with substance use disorder.

In Loving Memory

Our Children

Lost too Soon!

Jonahan

 

Jonathan’s Bio

November 14, 1990 – April 20, 2016

Jonathan was an old soul. He was inquisitive, bright, and always the child who much preferred the company of adults over children his own age. From a young age he loved watching cooking shows and knew he wanted to be a chef. With a keen entrepreneurial eye, he was expert at making money in the most ingenious ways. One time he bought a container of hot peppers and sold them to his classmates for $1.00 a piece. Ambitious and success driven he had high aspirations for himself. Jonathan was a risk taker that loved adventure and shenanigans.

This is not uncommon amongst addictive personalities.  The eldest of five, he was always a steadfast protector of his siblings.  Beloved by all who met him, he lit up a room with his crooked smile and witty nature. His motivation led him to Toronto to attend George Brown College.

He proceeded to make his dreams of becoming a world-class chef come true.  Somewhere along the way he became addicted to Oxycontin, which led to heroin and its eventual downward spiral.  The final fatal dose of heroin he took was tragically 99% fentanyl. Since that fateful day I found out that my family chain now had a broken link, there has been debilitating grief and never ending regret. At night my mind clamors with so many what if’s.  How could somebody so dearly loved be gone from our lives so suddenly and irrevocably.

As his mother I am the memory keeper.  I will speak his precious name every day.  I will honour his life and add my voice to the legion of fellow warriors as we strive to repair a broken system of how we treat substance users and the mentally ill.  My love for my lost boy is boundless and has now entered an entirely different realm of existence. Someday we will be together again Jonathan.

SOMEBODY’S SOMEONE

 

 

Scott’s Bio

March 22, 1988 – August 27, 2016

On August 27, 2016 Scott lost his battle with substance use disorder out west in Calgary, Alberta. He died alone, with a naloxone kit by his side in transitional housing less than 24 hours after his release from treatment.  Abstinence based treatment. No medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction for Scott. His drug of choice was fentanyl.  I cannot wrap my head around how much pain he must have been in to relapse immediately after release.  If I knew then what I know now I would have been there to pick him up and brought him home to his family.

As a child, Scott was charming and sweet.  He was just as comfortable in a room full of adults as he was with his friends, of which he had many.  Our friends called him Mr. President. I saw him as a type A personality. I did not see the mental illness beneath the way he obsessively kept his room clean, or his impeccable grooming habits.  I saw the child who even at a young age was always there to help.

Scott was a brown belt in karate and utilized the moral principles without fail. He won the most valuable player in a Timmy Tyke hockey tournament. He sang in the choir at St, James cathedral. He took swimming lessons and we spent summers at our community pool. He worked hard in school and earned every good grade he got. He ran a 32 km marathon that he trained 5 weeks for. Unheard of. He was an avid body builder with Cross Fit, participating in competitions and placing.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to his family, his driven nature manifested into the realm of mental illness and addiction to opioids.  I didn’t see it. I saw the kind, sweet and gentle son who added so much to my life. I adored his friends, of which he had many.  They enriched my life. You know who you are. I am grateful to all of you.  I am grateful that I was able to be home with my kids when they were young and didn’t work full time.  I would have missed so much.

Not a day, or an hour, or even a moment goes by that I don’t think of him, and miss him.  It’s like carrying a knapsack around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It’s filled with my grief. It’s always there. And I carry it with me gladly, in the hopes that it reminds me daily to recognize and be kind to people who are suffering. It has also brought me to a place of drug advocacy and addiction recovery by trying to make changes in how we treat substance use and mental health issues. My wish is that they know they are loved.  That their lives matter.  I am speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves, for whatever reason. The shame and stigma are crippling.  Scott is defined not by the way he died, but by the way he lived and loved.   Forever in my heart.

STOP THE HARM

 
 

Scott

 

Noah

Noah’s Bio

June 5, 1990 – May 25, 2012

Noah was a wonderful son, brother, and friend to many. He was a beautiful, bright, kind spirit whose main objective was to make the world a kinder more tolerant and accepting place. He was incredibly bright; gifted in fact, and he wrote poetry and dreamed of a utopian place for everyone to live.

Noah was also a young man who suffered from mental illness. His illness manifested itself in the form of clinical depression and severe social anxiety. When Noah was in high school, things became very difficult for him. Fellow students taunted him and began calling him names because of their perceived opinion of him. Students called him “fag”, “homo”, and other derogatory names and it appeared to Noah that no one in a position of authority did anything to stop this. The bullying at school and around town robbed Noah of his self-confidence and self-esteem and caused him deep emotional trauma and extreme sadness.

Noah’s mental illness led him to self-medicate and kept him from reaching his full potential as he battled his addiction to drugs and like so many others who want to get better, he attended Narcotics Anonymous, had detoxed and went to rehab several times. He wanted desperately to be drug free and worked so very hard on his recovery. When leaving rehab the counsellors always said “Noah is going to beat this – he is so focused and determined”, but sadly, that wasn’t meant to be.

In spite of these struggles, Noah managed to make his thoughts and beliefs known. In the latter part of his life Noah became incredibly spiritual and self-reflective. Noah was a man who always searched for what it was that made people special. He was without judgement and his wish was to live in a world where colour, race, religion, and sexual orientation no longer mattered.

Noah’s memory will be honoured by everyone being kinder and gentler to each other and in promoting the values Noah was cherishing; love, tolerance and acceptance for all.

Forever in our memories. <3

NOT ONE MORE!

 

Josh

Josh

April 23, 1997 – April 20, 2016

My Mom will be writing about me soon

Erica Lynn

Erica Lynn

October 3, 1977 –  April 24, 2013 

My Dad will be writing about me soon

Iain

Iain

December 14, 1990 – May 23, 2016

My Mom will be writing about me soon

John

John

December 28, 1988 – November 13, 2016

My Mom will be writing about me soon

Kevin

Kevin

October 1, 1980 – March 7, 2016

My Mom will be writing about me soon

Sarah

Sarah

September 22, 1978 – July 31, 2017

My Mom will be writing about me soon

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