Since relocating to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont a few months ago, I have learned that the opioid epidemic and addiction has its grips on many that live in these remote towns just as much as it thrives in suburban and urban communities. Nowhere is immune and these areas seem to have less availability and access to local treatment and support, making it even more devastating. In the past three weeks we have learned of three deaths presumed as overdoses within our region; three families lost a loved one to this disease.
Every person who is affected by addiction, be it the person who suffers with any type of addiction or the people who know, care for and about them, and/or deeply love them has a name. They are not a number; they are not just any person, they are individuals. People, human beings with a past, present, and and often uncertain future. What we all must remember, and I believe acknowledge, is recognition of and respect for each one.
I know it is simply not possible to know everyone personally however it is possible and easily done to take a moment to think about who this number might be, what their name is, who they are when we hear of someone who has lost their earthly life to addiction and what their family must be experiencing with the knowledge, the last time they spoke to or saw this person would be their last, at least in this lifetime.
Names have value, they are chosen for you at your birth, are often the first thing you learn when you meet someone new and the way we start a conversation about someone who has left this life when we share a remembrance.
This reflection is dedicated to one of the lives recently lost, a man I never had the pleasure of meeting however I know his name. He was born, lived, loved and was unique in his own special way. He loved his parents and grandparents, all of them, his son, his extended family, his friends, and those he worked with; helping people who lived with addiction find and maintain sobriety. He loved the outdoors, and I am certain the stories shared about him are just as full of joy, hope, and laughter as they are sadness.
The loss of his life is a tragedy, although his family is able to find some comfort that he is at peace, it does not lessen their loss or the cumulative loss of yet another blessed life force to this disease for which there is no cure.
This glorious spirit animal greeted us on the sacred ground directly over where his ashes have been lovingly placed…
His spirit will live on in the hearts and souls of those who continue to share his story and remember his love.
Divine Creator Spirit
of beings both great and small,
we give you thanks for this life
and for the unity of all.
When a spirit returns to you
And we are left to grieve
Let us be joyful and see your presence
If only we believe.
Today and everyday know that each and every one of you are loved and valued for who you are and always will be!
With a peace filled embrace xox Kristyn