May 11,1989 – June 2,2015
One year ago today a friend I had not seen in years lost her son to heroin. His death was the catalyst for launching this blog with the article Heroin.Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation.
In the year since Marc’s death we have watched as the Opioid/Opiate Epidemic has made headlines and CARA has (finally) been passed in DC. Unfortunately, the death toll is still rising and I fear that 2016 may be the deadliest yet. As Washington debates what needs to be done and how much money should be spent to curb this epidemic 129 people are dying each day.
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE A DAY!
Every one of the 129 souls lost each day leave behind a shattered family who must move forward with a hole in their Universe. Today, I am sending my love to one of those families. Pauline, Elisa and Mike Alberts my thoughts and prayers are with you on this day and every day.❤
Below is a letter written by Marc’s sister Elisa. She never had the chance to give it to him. Elisa chose to share her letter to the CAASA: Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse Facebook page just six weeks after she lost her brother in the hope that her words would help others:
“Here’s a letter I wrote to my brother before his passing. Unfortunately this was one of the several letters I wrote hoping to change his life. I was not able to give it to him because of everything that had occurred. Maybe this will help someone from realizing what their addiction means to their family members.
You probably don’t want to read this letter, or talk to me because of my actions toward you lately. I understand your hatred and frustration of living at home with two women who constantly remind you of your mistakes. Even though I have not lived in the shoes of your own, I still try my best to find out where you’re coming from. It’s very difficult to agree and stand by you after this long journey but that doesn’t mean that I’ll ever lose my love for you. Forever we will be family members and I will always remain to be your little sister.
I’m writing to you today to express my feelings and find a way for you to comprehend my anger and sorrow. A few years ago when this all started, I received constant reminders from my friends and people around town that my brother was using drugs. For the first year or so, I did not acknowledge their statements because I was truly afraid to face the consequences. I continuously stood up for you and told off each person I interacted with. I knew my brother the best and other people were not going to tell me what my brother was doing or not doing. Repeatedly I was faced with back to back calls and concerns from loved ones that you had been using one of the worst opiates out there. I sat in my room day after day drowning in tears clueless of what actions I was supposed to take. At that point I knew a friend was not going to bring all this negatively to an end. The first person I had to tell was our mom. I can remember the very first time I had to explain to mom the comments I was hearing. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. I knew that her heart would be broken and that being a single mom she would have no idea which road to head down. My mind was telling me to involve her because I could not handle the pain of losing you when I could have prevented it from happening.
I want you to take a moment and realize what has taken place the past few years and each moment that you have encountered while being under the influence. No positives have come out of this; all it has been is a list of repetitive negativity. So please just open your eyes and walk into a life full of happiness. I know various things have prevented this all from coming to an end, and that is your family. We haven’t been very supportive, but it’s only because we love you. If we continue to let each day remain the same, there will never be progress. So always know that I’m here to be the best I can be and to help you along the long road, but just DON’T GIVE UP. I can’t live this life worrying about you, and you can’t live your life worrying about yourself. So stand tall with your head held high and make this life more than you ever wanted. Use the plentiful of talent I know you hold within you and let it free to guide you to the most successful and happiest places in the world.
No family is perfect, we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end , family is family… the love will ALWAYS be there.””
This article in the Canton Citizen Devastated by addiction, a grieving sister speaks out was published shortly after Elisa shared the above letter.
In March Elisa posted the following comment to the CAASA: Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse page.
“It’s so nice to see continuous support and interest of helping others on this page. Unfortunately I continue to see negativity about addicts on my newsfeed, but I know that each and every person suffering from this disease is just like everybody else. Let’s stop segregating addicts from people who don’t use drugs. I say with pride that my family including my brother has turned me into who I am today and I am more thankful for that!
I appreciate every one of you who support those who need it the most ❤ “
Keep Shouting Elisa!
Stop the Silence.
Speak the Truth.
Start the Conversation.