I like to start off my stories with a witty or quirky experience. In fact, I try to make a clever spin out of something ordinary, which I found extraordinary. Like gray hair and Donny Osmond and mother-of-the bride dresses.
Last week I attended the funeral for my friend’s daughter, who died of a drug overdose. And this story has me stuck. There is nothing clever or witty that I can write about it. The death of a 30-year-old woman, leaving behind a 3-year-old daughter, is not something I can put a fresh perspective on.
This woman’s death had all the tragic elements: Young person? Check. Successful and attractive? Check. Beautiful family? Check. Loving parents? Check. Multiple treatments? Check.
It is a story that keeps repeating itself; these drug overdoses that we read about in the newspaper are not so unique anymore. Except…to my friend, her mother, to that little girl, to those friends and family members and coworkers, this woman's death is indeed unique, as was her life.
All the bickering about drug policy, and big pharma, and insurance, and treatment options does not change that. A special person has left this world.
So, that is why this piece is so short. There is nothing clever or witty or unique to say. One more tragic death from a drug overdose. We get used to it, until we are forced to witness another family’s grief up close.