Tag Archives: death

National Recovery Month Stories: S.

Hello everyone, welcome back to the Recovery Month Story Project. This week’s story is brief, but extremely powerful. It was written by a woman I think of as part of my family, a woman who treats me like a daughter, a person I love dearly. What her family went through with her son’s long addiction to drugs was painful to watch, and I probably made it more painful at times by being another person they loved who was a sick addict, even though I wanted to be there as a comforting friend. For that, I can only apologize, and try to be better now. I can also tell a little bit of their story, in hopes that it might help another family.


We went to my aunt’s 90th birthday party last month, a jolly occasion with lots of laughter and excellent speeches. Then we noticed a cousin who has cocaine induced schizophrenia. He is now in his late 30’s and I hadn’t seen him since he was a bright, fun loving, enthusiastic and interesting teenager. The contrast between that full of promise for a rosy future lad and the zombie with necessarily over medicated shaking hands and spittle escaping from the corner of his mouth is truly terrifying, and for the very first time since our son died aged 22 from a heroin overdose I felt that yes, there are worse outcomes than death. I felt grateful that our son has been spared the twilight life that young man has to endure.

– S.




Poem: “Tyler”

This poem is a dedication and a remembrance. I wrote it in pieces. The first pieces came just weeks after my cousin Tyler was tragically and suddenly killed in a train accident; after a few lines, however, I couldn’t go on with it. Seven years later, I picked it up again and finished it as a way to honor Tyler. It’s the only way I know how, really. July 2oth, 2011 would have been his 31st birthday; I’m so sorry that he isn’t here to celebrate it. This is the least I can do for him, though a tribute like this probably would have embarrassed the hell out of him. I don’t care, Ty. I love you; get over it. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who reads this. Peace, Sarah





On a midsummer day a blank canvas was born

No one would have ever expected to mourn


This brilliant young light that came into our lives

After all that it took for you to survive


A difficult birth, the odd way you arrived

From the start you were different and struggled to thrive


In a world that just didn’t seem to understand

The vision you saw, the work of your hand


Like all the great artists you grappled to find

The right path to follow in your heart and mind


You were intense and solemn, wise beyond your years

Yet funny and clever, good-hearted and dear


A sensitive soul with your heart on your sleeve

While conducive to art, a burden to grieve


For this opens one up to feel deeper inside

To know levels of pain one cannot abide


Yet to also feel joy and love so profound

That, awestruck with grace, one cannot expound


What you brought to this world cannot be replaced

Your spiky black hair, your sweet smiling face


Your presence was quiet, soft-spoken you were

But behind that calm surface your passion was pure


The way you let everyone into your heart

Was through your beautiful music and art


Your gifts were incredible, you broke the mold

Though at times you didn’t do what you were told


It’s heartbreaking to know that the world’s now deprived

Of what you’d have created if you had survived


But my cousin, my friend, in this world you were loved

I believe you are now looking on from above


You see we remember and you are at peace

Knowing our love for you will never cease



Sarah Ann Henderson 2011