The Healing Truth of a Stranger

Our family suffered a terrible tragedy, the death of our son and Henry’s brother, David. David died of a drug overdose on 12/20/15. David was well into rehab at a very well regarded treatment center. By all accounts he was doing well. We had planned a visit to David two weeks after he died. Henry has been mourning the loss of his brother ever since.

Only yesterday (10/27/16) Henry told me (his mother) about the following as we were driving home from school. He had never mentioned any of this until yesterday.

The day after David died, Henry was understandably in search of meaning regarding losing David. He was browsing on Instagram and saw a post written by a young woman who was struggling with heroin addiction. Henry responded to her post with the following message, which he did not want me to share with others, but I can’t help it. It really represents the essence of Henry:

“My brother has been at rehab for a while and overdosed yesterday. It was a huge tragedy that my brother who is only 22 is gone, and I will never see him again even though he is with me spiritually. I know it will be very hard but you can beat the addiction. My brother was a great man and unlike some people I know that just because you use drugs it doesn’t make you a bad person. I know it is easier said than done, but I don’t want to see another person end up like him. It is your life, but I would hate to see a beautiful young woman like you fall asleep and never wake up. Never be afraid to tell anybody about your true self, we all have flaws. But for what it’s worth, I do not want to see another young person with their whole life ahead of them to let go of all of their dreams and aspirations in life. There are so many things my brother wanted to do….”

The young woman responded on 10/26/16 to Henry:

“Hey remember this message? About a year ago … Just wanted to let you know that I’m off heroin. I got into rehab, I go to meetings and classes every week. I’m living back at home, and although your comment wasn’t what pushed me towards sobriety in itself-it always stayed with me. I told myself that I would get back to you when I got my shit together. And I know I am still very much a work in progress, there is one less addict on the street and you touched their life.”

– anonymous