Nine Minutes & 58 Seconds of Love

There were so many things buzzing around in my head this week, it was hard to pick a topic to write on. But then to my surprise salon.com published me in their online magazine. The reporter used a bit of my story as a lead into an article about how the “loneliness, isolation, and doctored drugs created the perfect storm for an opioid nightmare situation”. You can read the article here.


The statistics for 2019 were heartbreaking - but when the stats are calculated for 2020 I think it will bring some of us to our knees - because these are our children, friends, parents, and siblings. “Nearly 841,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose. In 2019, 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States”.


A friend of mine, Kerry, has been a nurse for 31 years, 10 in ICU and 21 in the ER. This is what she had to say about the substance abuse and mental health patients she saw during the pandemic, “The Collateral damage from the lockdown was worse than the virus itself. Working in the ER I saw more overdoses, relapsing, suicidal patients than any other year. Tragic.”


The statistics are alarming and upsetting - but because they are numbers on a page, they don’t touch our hearts. I am going to ask you to do something for me and for Keven, Anthony, Mitch, Nick, Ian, Torin, Albert, Joey, Brianna, Jessica, Matt, Malik, Jeff, Alex, Riley, Kelsey, Eric, Harley….the list goes on and on. Please put aside 9 minutes and 58 seconds to watch this video without distractions. It was put together by the Solace For Hope Foundation (you will hear much more about Solace in the future).


This video is not easy to watch, it's the faces of many of the children, siblings, parents and friends our local community has lost over the last 8 years. I ask you to please watch it to the end. You’ll see Anthony about ¾ way through and Keven closer to the end. Each face represents a family left behind and the pain and suffering that lives deep inside of them. These are the beautiful, beautiful faces of our lost loved ones.


Warning: If you’re in early grief, you may want to wait and watch this at another time. For me, this memorial tribute is very special, it was made in love to bring awareness to the ongoing epidemic. I know most of the parents of, and some of the people, represented here. I need tissues when I watch it. If you are one of my Sol-Sisters or Brothers please leave us a comment about your loved one, or just leave their name.