Dedicated to a close friend of mine, Robert Grumbine, who passed away from a drug overdose in 2013; it still haunts me almost four years later.
To all who have passed away due to drugs:
Whether you were a friend, a family member, or someone I walked past in the hallways, your death made an impact on me. I'm not writing this to give you a lecture or make you feel guilty, but if there's any chance you can hear or read this, I want to let you know how I feel.
First of all, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry you got caught in the web of addiction. Addiction is one of the toughest diseases and a lifelong, everyday battle you have to face. Life is hard. Struggles are hard. Taking one sip, one pill, or one puff might seem like a relief and although initially it might work, the real problem isn't being addressed. Instead, you gave yourself a death sentence. Look what happened to you.
I'm sorry that you felt the need to take drugs. Whether it be your first time or your thousandth time, you still did them and it killed you. Something upset you so bad that you felt the need to do drugs, and now because of your death, whatever upset you will never be resolved.
I'm sorry that you died. Whether you were 18 or 58, your life shouldn't have been taken by drugs. You still had a life to live, and you still had so much potential but drugs took that away from you.
Second, I'm angry.
I'm angry at you for choosing drugs instead of facing your struggles. I'm angry at you for choosing drugs over your life. I'm angry that you chose death. What you did was a choice, and a selfish one at that. You left your loved ones hurting for the rest of their lives because of one choice you made.
I'm angry at myself. I live every day with regret about your death. What more could I have done to have helped you? Could a simple 'hello' have saved your life? I constantly think that I should've done more, and maybe you would still be here today.
I'm angry that you died. Why of all people did you have to die? The good person I know and love was still in there, and the drugs completely destroyed you. The real you was a completely different person than the drug you. You had such a good heart and something like this should not have been the way you left. You were better than this.
Third, I'm happy.
I'm happy you're no longer suffering, and you're at peace. During your life on Earth, you were troubled and now, wherever you may be, your troubles are gone. I'm happy you're now happy.
I'm happy your death made an impact on our community for change. As horrible as it is that a death had to happen, it gave our community a wake up call to fight the drug epidemic. You set an example to everyone you ever knew that death is the result of drugs. You will be remembered as someone who helped change our community for the better.
I'm happy that you were a part of my life. Even though our time together was cut way too short, I'm happy I was able to get to know the real you. I will never let the memories of the drug you over cloud who you really were. The real you will always have a place in my heart.
Lastly, I love you.
We can't turn back time. The only thing I have left of you are memories, memories of the real you and not the drug you, and I will cherish them for the rest of my life. If, for some reason, you can hear or read this, I hope you're at peace, and I hope you're still with me in some way. You will forever be remembered, missed and loved.
Rest in peace, Robert Grumbine.