Age: 27 | State: Illinois | County: Kane | Case Status: Closed
I woke up to what can only be described as my worst nightmare I could not have ever imagined, on Christmas morning of 2017. It changed me, his family’s, and everyone’s life that knew him forever. For whatever reason, my less than 24 hours old fiance, decided to relapse and shoot heroine for his last time. The difference was, in this day and age, for no intelligent reason, his heroin was laced with Fentanyl. It took him so quickly that had I even had the chance to give him the nose spray I secretly hid in the cabinet, it would have done no good. As much as I know how irrational this is, I will never be able to forgive myself for taking my sleeping medication that night and sleeping through him leaving this world, not even 10 feet from me, with just our bedroom wall between us. I relive the horror of giving him mouth to mouth CPR, when he had been gone for several hours. It didn’t register that death was a possibility.
Josh was the brightest light I had ever met. He was a student (in so many ways), a musician, an artist, a humanitarian, a comedian, he quickly became my life. His lifelong war with addiction was terrifying and dark. However, he did genuinely want a life of sobriety and recovery. As taboo as it was and still is, for good reason, we met in a recovery group. He told me I looked like an angel standing in the tulips that had freshly popped up, my red hair apparently glowing as if on fire, he always said. We were honestly friends first but my heart knew. He supported my recovery 100%, going to meetings with me, helping me to engage in the recovery circuit in our city. We even went back to college together, studying psychology with a focus on addiction studies. We came up with new and engaging things to do sober; hiking by the river, making music together, writing poetry and songs, home organizing projects, and OH, the cooking. Japanese food, instantly became my favorite. Sadly, this is one of the only memories that I can currently look back on and not be completely devastated by.
To this day, I still can’t understand why he made the decision to use one more time. Sadly, this time, the dealer he went through sold him a gram of heroin, that was laced with a lethal dose of Fentanyl. Having been sober from heroin for a significant amount of time, his tolerance was extremely low. I was told he probably didn’t even know what was happening, it was that quick. They did go after the dealer for Drug Induced Homicide. It was technically the absurd amount of Fentanyl his dose was laced with that took him.
Fast forward through the scathing Hell that has been my life since, I just today, with him by my side (I swear I felt him there), was offered the job of Certified Recovery Support Specialist at a local non-profit. The whole experience has been bittersweet. I never imagined it this way, he was supposed to be here. I do believe, for many reasons, that he in fact placed the person I am spending the rest of my life with now, in my path. I will not ignore, or pretend that their matching names is a coincidence. I know, since he had always felt the urge to make sure, no matter the situation, that I was safe and taken care of, that he has had a hand in giving a lot of situations a push in my life since. I’ve had so many people ask if I could go back, if I could change the decision to be with him, would I? NO, NOT FOR A SECOND. Because his living presence in my life changed me for the better, made me strong, challenged me to find and be myself. I like to believe I inspired him to, after all, he called me his Muse. It will always outweigh the way he left.
Joshua, like we said when it got hard, #thistooshallpass. Except this won’t.