Getting Our Lives Back

Earlier this year our family suffered the loss of my grandmother, Mary Moore. She had breast cancer that spread through her body and killed her quickly. I, her grandson, was her caretaker for many years. After her death I had to plan quickly to move everything out of her house and into storage because she had an existing credit line of $67,000 and the bank was set to repossess her house.

After struggling to get everything out of her house I moved in back home with my mother, Tammy Westfall, as her caretaker. My mother had been unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis, as well as suffering many other problems such as bladder infections and pulmonary embolisms in her lungs. She was catheterized for some time and unable to do simple tasks without help.

Two months after my grandmother's passing we received news that my father, David French, had overdosed and died in his apartment at the young age of 47. Stricken with grief, my mother began to abuse her meds. She took a lot of Dilaudid, which is an opioid for relieving pain.

More and more I struggled to keep her coherent and emotionally stable, until finally, after two months she decided to go to a methadone clinic to help rid her body of the terrible drugs that had taken hold of her. She was clean for a good month and things were starting to look up for our family until tragedy struck once again. Five nights ago I held my mother in my arms as she died after several futile attempts to restart her heart. The perliminary coroner's report shows that it was a chemical mixture that took her life. After what seemed like the rebuilding of our shattered family, my mother turned once more to her drugs.

Now it's just my sister and I, as well as some extended family. My sister, Andrea French, had moved downtown near the university where she was attending school, but had the misfortune of being in my mother's house with me the night she died.

My mother had debts ammounting to more than $100,000 and no mortgage insurance, and as a result the bank will be repossessing our home in just a few weeks. Now I find myself once more tasked with moving out the entire contents of a house and into storage. I have no income myself, have yet to go back to school due to helping family, and have to find a way to live. Very soon I'll be homeless, and I need to make payments for storage space as well as several other expenses.

In the span of 5 short months our lives have become impossibly difficult -- not just dealing with the emotions, but having to worry about finances too. This year has been the worst of our lives, and it's become incredibly difficult to move forward. My sister and I would greatly appreciate any help possible.


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Matthew French 
Windsor, ON
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