August 6, 2020 – She gave of herself to everyone she met in big ways and small, a smile, a helping hand, or a reassuring hug. Her addiction took so much from her. It took her desire to do the things she loved. It took her ability to show her love. It took her smile. It took her sparkle. It took her sense of humor. It took and took and took until it took her life.

When Sarah was 16 she had to have surgery to remove a large growth under her arm. She was prescribed an opiate pain killer. It triggered in her brain an unrelenting craving that ultimately took her life. She had been through 5 different rehabs over the course of the last 9 years. Outpatient therapy, detox centers, AA meetings all in hopes of breaking that awful grip that stole her soul and took her ability to live the life she should have had. Sarah had just finished a 2-month stay at a place called Olympia house in Santa Rosa. It’s a rehab place where you are closely monitored, counseled while living with others dealing with similar problems.

Once the insurance runs out your next best option is sober living. She found one that she really liked. There is much more freedom and but still group meetings and a house manager who tests residents for drug or alcohol use. She had been there about three weeks before she died. The week before she died, she was allowed an overnight visit and came home. It was so nice to see her in her true self. Before she left, we hugged and she hugged me so tight. The next week she seemed to be struggling. We were in close contact with her. She had a string of bad days. Mid-week she texted me that she was so grateful for me. We were a little concerned but that is a constant when dealing with this problem. On Sunday at midnight, our phone rang and it was the manager of her sober living house. He said Sarah was at the hospital. We called the hospital and they said there was no one there under her name. My wife who works in a hospital knew that meant she was dead. We confirmed it soon after.

When people say I can’t imagine the pain and sadness you must feel it’s true. I could never have imagined it. It’s a numbness that’s constant and a physical pain in the chest that comes in waves and makes you understand the meaning of a broken heart. You cry often sometimes a whimper other times uncontrollably not sure when or if it will end. Today after a week of funeral home visits, graveyard visits, picking out final clothes for Sarah and hours going through 100’s of photos for a tribute to her we had a viewing of her just my wife and I and daughter Amy.



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