This Week We Lost A Friend.  A Brilliant Mind. A loving Heart. And A Brother This Week We Lost A Friend.  A Brilliant Mind. A loving Heart. And A Brother
On Sunday I lost a friend to the demonically charged monster, that is addiction, and have been lingering in resistance all week. How can... This Week We Lost A Friend.  A Brilliant Mind. A loving Heart. And A Brother




On Sunday I lost a friend to the demonically charged monster, that is addiction, and have been lingering in resistance all week. How can this be? Why him? Why not someone more deserving? God….give me answers!

Knowing the insidious darkness that can take over the mind of an addict(using or sober) far too well, I can only imagine the degree of pain that he must have been in to justify taking such lethal doses of pharmaceuticals. That mental torture chamber that we can trap ourselves in seems to never end some days, and for far too many their suffering is unfathomable.

I arrived at church that evening in strong spirits, anticipating the greetings from friends I knew were joining me. But, after only a few shorts minutes I knew something wasn’t right with them, and eventually the news was broke to me. My eyes began to flood with tears. “Do you remember that friend you went to meet up who was really struggling?”, pausing to take a deep breath, my friend turned to his support system beside him, looking for even a subtle nod of assurance that it was the right thing to tell me, “well, he unfortunately passed away today and I felt I needed to let you know as soon as I heard………I’m really sorry”.

Doubt was first to rise, as I questioned the source through which they were informed. Anger quickly followed behind, asking for reassurance that we were in fact speaking about the same person who I had connected with only a few days prior. The reason for such disbelief was the fact that the last time we spoke he was in such strong spirits, even though he had just recently relapsed, temporarily defeated but far from disrepair.

This incredibly bright, young, golden hearted man was one of those unfortunate people who never seemed to fully grasp recovery, despite his best efforts. The baffling disease always seemed to overpower him as relapse after relapse took more and more of his life from us. I sit here today with over five years clean and feel somewhat disgusted with myself that the death of another hopeless addict hardly registers an emotional response within me. The loss of life is said to be one of the most difficult things we will ever have to face, and yet, the impact on me time and time again is far too minimal. I have become numb and use to the notion that many of the people I sit with in meetings will no longer be here to share life with me next year.

As a child I distinctly remember a neighbour who took his life by hanging. Although my connection with this person who had seen me grow into adolescence from birth was negligible, and could be summarized as a surface level relationship to the extreme, I was still gravely shaken up by the traumatic event. I even remember taking a day or two off school because the reality of death struck me so hard that week and I was paralyzed by the fact that I too would die one day, and so would my parents. Today, many chapters and years later in life, I have just lost someone with whom I have shared such intimate and challenging details of life with. I connected with this man on a vulnerable depth that many people may never get the opportunity to experience, and you would now think that I would be in complete ruins over this loss……..but I’m not. I have grown mostly numb to the fact, and sit in this inhumane belief system that states”this is normal…this is okay….get use to it….there are many more to come”.

I will attend his celebration of life tomorrow, with many other individuals who share a similar numbest that we have all sadly habituated to. But I choose not to live in this subdued acceptance any longer, it just isn’t right. I won’t stand for his life to succumb as a meaningless statistic that we gawk at in the obituary columns. I won’t tolerate the view that many people hold towards drug addicts  or alcoholics either, as stigmatized weak individuals who just should have been smarter with their choices in life. And I most certainly won’t use this event as an excuse turn to depression over this great loss to our community, but will use it as fuel to help me reach more and more people, shedding more light and hope for the disease of addiction.

Matt, I only wish you knew and felt even a fraction of how much you were loved, will be missed, and will never be forgotten! Your worth was, is, and will forever be immeasurable. Rest. In. Peace.

 

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  • Matt A

    January 9, 2016 #1 Author

    Thank you for your poignant and wise words

    Reply

  • Colette mckillop

    January 9, 2016 #3 Author

    My husband and I lost our son Tyler to a relapse overdose . He’d been doing so well with his recovery. .. addiction is a horrible disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Matt’s friends and family.

    Reply

    • growthguided

      January 10, 2016 #4 Author

      Thank you Colette. I appreciate you taking the time to share that with us.

      Reply

  • M

    January 11, 2016 #5 Author

    Had the pleasure and privilege of working with Matt just before Christmas. What a kind person, who genuinely cared about the people around him. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply

    • growthguided

      January 11, 2016 #6 Author

      Thank you very much. I’m so surprised to hear of how many lives that he connected with or impacted. It’s rather amazing!

      Reply

  • Billie Shepherd

    January 26, 2016 #7 Author

    I am Matts Gramma, this article touched my heart because Kael has described the Matt I knew. I never gave up hope that Matt would someday get it. I was his cheerleader, bossy Gramma, caregiver and someone who loved him unconditionally. Although I always new my love for Matt would never save him. He was a fine young man who will live in my heart forever. Thanks for caring.

    Reply

    • growthguided

      January 26, 2016 #8 Author

      I’m so happy you got to read this. I just hope the celebration of life in Calgary was as beautiful as it was in Victoria. Thank you so much for commenting.

      Reply

      • Billie Shepherd

        January 27, 2016 #9 Author

        The celebration in Calgary was very transparent, very touching. Matts Doctor told his story from her perspective. 400 people now know what happened to Matt and hopefully some of them will underdtand the illness we suffer from. The celebration in Victoria was such a comfort to all of us and the many kind words and Matt stories helped ease the pain for a day and thats how we will get through this,one day at a time. Your beautiful article has helped me explain Matts passing to my good friends who read it, it has made my days much easier,, as you told Matts story for me. .Bless you, i will never forget you

        Reply

        • growthguided

          January 28, 2016 #10 Author

          I really appreciate your kind words, thank you!

          Reply

  • Jessica

    February 2, 2016 #11 Author

    This was a moving post. It’s close to my heart as I too have lost someone close to me to addiction. It;s wonderful that you posted such a well written write up for everyone he knew to read, and for others like me to share.

    Reply

    • growthguided

      February 2, 2016 #12 Author

      Thank you Jessica. I appreciate you taking the time to write that comment. I hope by sharing this kind of post that we can all feel a little bit more connected.

      Reply

  • Stuart

    April 26, 2016 #13 Author

    This made me cry. Woah! Probably one of the best things I’ve read in a while.

    I struggled with addiction while in college, and fortunately got help for it. Truly amazing how powerful addiction is in! Thank you for writing this amazing post!

    Reply

    • growthguided

      August 9, 2016 #14 Author

      I was just looking through posts and was shocked that my response wasn’t below your comment. I want to apologize for such a late response. If I recall correctly I responded immediately after you wrote your very kind message but it isn’t showing today. So I will just acknowledge your kind words again and wish you peace and love this week.

      Reply

  • CHarlotte

    April 26, 2016 #15 Author

    My friend just shared this post on her Facebook. I was blown away by your honesty. I lost a brother last year to this disease of addiction and it destroyed me and my family. Thank you so so much for this post.

    Reply

    • growthguided

      August 9, 2016 #16 Author

      I think social media is one of the best things that has happened to addiction. It allows people who might be generally petrified to honestly share about their struggles in person a small barrier of comfort in which they can brace themselves from judgement and reaction from. Addiction needs to be discussed and shared, no matter how scary and dark things get. As I was told from the very beginning that healing from addiction starts by being rigorously honest! I thank you Charlotte for taking the time to read the post and then comment below. It was very much appreciated (:

      Reply

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