Guest Author - Susan Hubenthal
Today, I celebrate my son, Kelly.
Today, I visit him at the cemetery.
Today, I lay flowers on top of his crypt, with an angel and candle for all to see that he is loved and remembered.
Today, I sing to him as I did when he was a baby.
Today, I travel backwards into that black abyss of torment, pain and grief.
Today, I relive the exact moment I was told my son had died.
Today, the vision of his cold, lifeless body, at the Funeral Home, invades every space in my eyes.
Today, the tears flow with longing to hold him just one more time.
Today, is the anniversary of his death to a heroin overdose.
Today, I comfort my daughter and my Mother.
Today, I forgive those who turned away when I needed support.
Today, I give thanks to GriefNet-substances and the parents who became my brothers and sisters-in-sorrow.
Today, I thank them for loving me unconditionally, for supporting me and holding me up when I stumbled.
Today, as any day, I hold my son in my heart and remember the sweet little boy, and the handsome young man he had become.
Today, I remember how bravely he fought his addictions and demons.
Today, marks the 10th anniversary of his death.
Today, seems like yesterday.
Today, all my focus is on Kelly.
Today, my son might very well be alive if prevention education had been coordinated in our city.
Today, if the 'Good Samaritan' policy were enforced, the people who brought the drugs to my sonís home, the night he died, could have called for aid and not feared arrest and/or incarceration.
Today, I remember hearing how they were scared when Kelly became unresponsive, cleaned up their mess, and left my son to die alone on the floor in his own home.
Today, I wonder if life saving efforts could have brought him back.
Today, I wonder if training in rescue breathing or the administration of naloxone was available, could have saved his life.
Today, I know these practices have already saved many lives.
Today, I ask you to understand our children were loved and wanted.
Today, I ask you to understand that addiction is not selective . . . it can happen in any family.
Today, we need drastic changes in drug policies in order to save the lives of our children who have been snatched, from us, by addiction and harmful drugs.
Today, I ask you to take time to urge your legislators to consider ways to prevent overdose deaths.
Today, I ask you to read Senator Richard Durbin's (D-IL) legislation to provide cities, states, tribal governments and community based organizations with federal grants to prevent overdose deaths and illegal drugs. The Drug Overdose Reduction Act (S. 3557) could save thousands of lives every year. A report by Drug Policy expertís show there have been many recent fentanyl-related deaths as well as the thousands of overdose related deaths that occur every year. Many are preventable.
Today, please urge your Senators to co-sponsor this bill. To learn more about this bill, please go to http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action//index.asp?step=2&item=30274
Today, please remember Kelly Arthur Hubenthal
August 7, 1967 - June 29, 1996
Son of Susan and the late Bert Hubenthal
Brother of Jennifer and Bart
Grandson of Martie Stenson
In our hearts, forever, with love.