A few months ago I became acquainted with a mom who is suffering from the recent loss of her beautiful daughter, Lexi. My daughter Kenzie’s church youth group leader, Lorraine, asked me to connect with this mom who is her dear friend and now grieving the death of her daughter. Lorraine had just mailed her friend a copy of my book “Wish You A Goode Journey”. I wholeheartedly agreed to connect, but asked her to first get permission for me to reach out not knowing if this mom would be open to talking about her loss with a stranger. But things did not quite work out in that sequence. As I was waiting several days to hear back from Lorraine, I read the following post that Lorraine had shared on social media:
Is the girl in the photograph the image you picture when you hear the words “heroin addict”?
This is my daughter, Alexa. And from the moment she was born to the moment she left this earth, she was adored. Loved not only by her family but also by those whose path she crossed. She was inquisitive, playful and intelligent. She was kind and loving with a smile that lit up a conversation, lit up a room, and warmed a heart. She loved books, especially books about spirituality, holistic living, books to help her understand the injustices in the world, and ways that she could find herself. Among her favorites were “The Secret”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and Victorian romances. Alexa had a devotion for animals especially horses and her two dogs and spent time training them and caring for them. She kept journals throughout her life with pages full of raw emotion, poetry, and delicate sketches. She was deeply sensitive and felt life intensely.
In the beginning of her college years, Alexa excelled in her classes and earned her place on the Dean’s List. Sometime later, still in college, she met a ‘friend’; a young man who gave Alexa her first dose of heroin. “Just give it a try”. “What harm can it do”? It was from that first use, our daughter became physically and mentally addicted to this drug. She fought desperately and admiringly to overcome the tremendous grip heroin had on her life. Every single day was a battle for Alexa as well as those of us who loved her and had to watch her suffer. We did everything we could; would have given our lives for her. Despite the love and guidance bestowed upon her, the rehabs and detoxes, her perseverance, heroin inevitably took her in and suffocated every dream and aspiration she ever had.
Alexa died of an overdose on September 21st, 2017.
She had periods of time where she was free from heroin. During these times she begged God to keep her sober, sought counseling, used holistic practices, and tried to keep her focus on holistic living and organics, and exercise. But the darkness would eventually settle in again and she would turn to the very drug that caused her so much pain, desperate to escape for a time from her tortuous thoughts of guilt and shame she felt hurting the family she loved so. Alexa described heroin as a “very lonely drug that takes you away from every part of your life and leaves you hanging on the brink of death”.
This is Alexa’s story and I ask that you share it with your loved ones and friends. Because:
1. The horrible stigma that many people have of heroin addicts needs to be dispelled. Our daughter was beautiful, intelligent, educated and well spoken. She was given every opportunity a child should have. We are hard working parents who have raised our children with morals and values. We are not addicts. We are normal people who have always given the best to our children. Alexa was not a ‘street junkie’. She worked from the age of 16 and supported herself up until a few months before her death. She was somebody. She was our beloved daughter. And we will forever wonder if there was anything we could have done differently.
2. If this can happen to Alexa then it can happen to anyone. It only takes one time to become addicted to heroin. ONE TIME is what it was for Alexa. She took heroin having no idea the power it would have over her. Heroin is EVERYWHERE. Alexa used for the first time on her college campus while she was drinking and her judgement was weakened. Your loved one could be offered heroin, just like Alexa. He/she might take it and think they won’t get addicted, just like Alexa. You can be assured that if my precious daughter, who had the world at her feet, could become addicted to heroin and die from an overdose, it can just as easily happen to your child or loved one as well.
Please share my daughter, Alexa’s story and when you do, please show her picture.
Susan Frost Lamoureux
So I decided to just reach out to Susan, who happens to be the mom that Lorraine wanted me to reach out to. I am amazed at this woman and her tenacity. Although she too is experiencing the valleys of grief, she has already recognized her biggest purpose in this tragedy. We have since exchanged many texts back and forth and then I had not heard from her for a week or so until I received this, her text and also
Marcy, you wont believe this…or maybe you will: i have a small wicker basket full of papers to organize relating to my daughter, Alexa. I put the basket on my bed just now because for the first time in weeks i thought i might sort through some of it to find things to put on her website. The dogs were on my bed and knocked the basket over. I went to pick up the items that had fallen out and the first thing i went to pick up was the Winter/Spring 2017 REFLECTIONS Newsletter from New England Donor Services. Marcy, Kenzie’s story and pictures were right there in front of me. I looked and thought “kenzie….” and read your name underneath ‘Kenzie’s Perfect Day”.
I had to look at it again and again…..marcy, what does this mean? Why do i have this? Why did i save it? Why is it in with Lexi’s papers? What is God telling me? I am in tears. I want to know what this all means….
I believe wholeheartedly that my Kenzie and Susan’s Lexi have connected in heaven. And that God has weaved the threads of this His exquisite tapestry by connecting us to share His amazing love and goodness with the world for healing the broken. Susan has recognized her purpose and this will help her through her grief as she focuses on serving others. The magnitude of loss from drug overdose is now inconceivable. We need to stand up with one another in awareness and fight hard for our children. Will you help?
There are so many things in life that grapple for our attention. I find that most, I do faint heartedly at best. I realize that I need to re-examine my priorities and most importantly give my stuff to God as He is ultimately in control. My prayer is for wisdom and discernment to use my time and my life wisely for God’s perfect purpose. God has given me obvious passion in some areas of my life. How about you? Have you given thought to areas in your life that you are passionate? It is most likely a nudge from God in an area that you can be used. Pay attention to the Godwinks, my friends. They are gems in the treasure hunt of our lives. You could be missing out on the amazing reason for the season in your life.
The season that I am in right now is nothing that I would have chosen nor even contemplated. To be called to nurture and to be a good listener to other moms who have lost a child seems almost contrary to anything that I believed about myself. And yet I feel like God wants to use me to inspire others who are grieving, as they seek to heal from the absolute biggest hurt in their lives. It is sometimes difficult to raise awareness of what I feel called to and yet do it humbly as a servant for Christ. My hope is to lead others to their healing through Christ as they find their purpose in the unimaginable.
What do you feel you are being led to do to help in your corner of the world? If you have something that seems to inspire, motivate, or simply tug at you to get involved and lose the complacency than heed that tug; don’t allow it to be a tug of war. Please just get busy; we all have a purpose. And do it wholeheartedly by offering up your best!
So my answer to my new friend Susan’s text was this:
So exciting !!! I think God has your attention… time to get busy my friend … He has a divine purpose in all of this.. I promise💜🙏✝️✝️