We humbly ask for any financial assistance that you can provide in helping us to cover Derek’s funeral costs. Since you are reading this, hopefully you knew Derek or a member of his family and are open to aiding us in properly honoring him in his passing.
When reading obituaries, one always wonders, “died at home” what does that mean? Well Derek was an honest and open person who loved to help others. So, if his honesty can benefit others then maybe he can do one last service - to educate. Derek died from an accidental overdose.
Derek struggled with addiction the last few years and was working very hard to overcome his past mistakes. He desperately wanted his life back and was willing to fight for it. As anyone who followed some of his latest Facebook posts could see, he had a positive attitude and was showing improved self-esteem and a powerful resilience. He was so proud of the good decisions he was making, his plans for the future and being able to spend more time with Haylie.
· “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” (Japanese proverb)
· “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Well Derek succumbed to his weakness and “fell” in the early morning hours of Tuesday August 9th. Derek was not depressed or suicidal and he certainly thought that he would be able to get up again later that day and restart his battle to conquer his addiction. However, this time……he became one of an overwhelmingly sad and growing statistic showing just how insidious drug addiction in America is. Last year, over 73,000 people died from drug overdoses in this country.
We will not remember Derek solely for his failings, but instead focus on his many strengths. The things Derek loved most in this world were helping others, his family, music, and spending time with friends. His smile was contagious and he had a wonderful sense of humor. He wanted nothing more than to be a good Dad to his daughter, to be someone she would be proud of and to be able to spend time with her on a regular basis.
Derek fought hard with everything he had but in the end, he relapsed and lost the battle. Even though we didn’t always know how to help, Derek knew how deeply his family & friends loved him, that we never gave up hope and were by his side every step of the way. We had great respect for the way he fought this difficult battle. There is no shame –there's this dangerous idea that permeates the popular culture that drug addicts are a whole separate category of people. But the truth is, there is no "other" kind of people. There are only people, and all of us — rich and poor, white and black, suburban and urban and rural — know someone whose life is vulnerable to addiction.
He struggles no more but is instead, flying with angels. He was loved by many who will continue to cherish the time and memories they share of him. It will be through these stories and memories that Haylie will grow up knowing what a loving and kind man her father was.
To all that have given their love and support to both Derek and his family, we thank you.
The family also asks that you educate yourself and others about addiction. Nobody asks or wants to be an addict. Help stop the shame and stigma of addiction. Our son, like all the others suffering from this disease, was so much more than his addiction.
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