Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief & Healing

Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief & Healing

Losing a loved one to addiction is certainly life-altering. This event was a catalyst for self-discovery; the need to reexamine who I was and who I wanted to become. We need not allow tragedy and loss to anchor us. Loss is not what defines us. How we respond defines and shapes our future. Determination infused me. The need for transparency engulfed me. Writing is just words on a page, but allowing them to flow from the heart reveals the soul, and healing begins.

Losing a daughter to overdose is tragic. Finding her was incredibly traumatic. How does one heal from this? Written after my daughter, Sarah's death by overdose with the intent to present awareness, address the stigma attached to addiction and give my daughter a voice as I merged my words with her own.

Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief & Healing was written in the midst of deepest grief and is a very personal account of my journey toward healing from the loss of my daughter, Sarah to opiate addiction leading to her death by overdose. Using her journals, I merged her words with mine, giving her a voice, one she no longer had. The ripple effects of addiction and the opiate crisis are ongoing. It is my hope by sharing our family's story, other families will recognize they are not alone. They do matter. Their children matter. Everyone deserves to be loved and recognized for their potential and worth. Writing this story was not a whim. It was a need, a compulsion. It was written to spread awareness and help others face their very personal challenges connected to addiction with knowledge and insight.




“Taking for granted the world she knew, she left behind those who loved her true.”


Emma's adventure into the unknown would guide her to a place of personal discovery. Everyone needs someone to talk to, to share their heart, fears and dreams with. Especially when life does not go as smoothly as you would like it to go.  

We all have good days and bad days. Do you ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong? Well, for Emma, this was one of those days, leading Emma towards making a momentous decision.  

Emma’s family life was changing, and she did not like it. Her dad was not home very much anymore. Her mother was so busy, that she had little time to spend with Emma as she once did. She and her brother, Alex were not getting along well and were bickering more often. Emma wished that things were different and that she could turn the clock back to what it was like before. But there is no such thing as time reversal or any other magical events. At least, that is what her mom told her. Emma was not so sure. She began to daydream more and more.  

Her thoughts wandered toward the forest. There were mysterious things happening out there. She could feel it. Her dad described her feelings as her mystery radar. It was her dad who she usually talked to about her mystery radar though. Although her mom used to listen to her heart when her dad was not around, lately she was way too busy.  

Emma wanted to explore the mysterious world that waited just beyond the apple orchard. She wanted to know many things! Where did the owl go when it flew away into the darkness? What caused the rustling sounds in the bushes? What caused the trees to sway with the wind? What secrets did the forest hold? Before she fell asleep, Emma came up with a plan.

Maine Author