After losing his daughter to a heroin overdose, a grieving dad penned an honest obituary for his child. He says he wanted to highlight the dangers of drug addiction, and to help others who may be fighting similar battles.
Molly Parks, 24, died on April 16. Her body was found in the restroom at her job; she still had a needle stuck in her arm.
Parks, who lived in Manchester, New Hampshire, had battled drug addiction for several years. But her dad, Tom Parks, told the Washington Post that there were signs recently that she’d maybe taken a turn for the better.
After three stints in rehab last year, she got a job delivering pizza. She reportedly worked 55 hours a week, and was seemingly getting her life in order.
“She was here last Monday and she looked great,” her father told the Post. “But it’s so hard, of course, and she got sucked back in.”
After her death, Tom Parks posted a heartbreaking, and candid, message on Facebook.
“My daughter Molly Parks made many good choices in her too short life and she made some bad choices. She tried to fight addiction in her own way and last night her fight came to an end in a bathroom of a restaurant with a needle of heroin,” he wrote. “Her whole family tried to help her win the battle but we couldn't show her a way that could cure her addiction ... If you have a friend or a relative who is fighting the fight against addiction please do everything you can to be supportive."
"I hope my daughter can now find the peace that she looked for here on Earth," he added.
Tom Parks then decided to write a similarly honest obituary, and post it online. He told the Washington Post that he hoped to touch other lives by sharing his daughter's story.
“Even if one person reads that and says, ‘Oh my God, that can be me,’ and stops -- if we could save one life -- we could be happy,” he said. “That would mean that Molly didn’t die in vain.”
According to the obituary, Molly Parks loved Harry Potter, preferred red lipstick and enjoyed the theater and fashion. She's described as being "fearless," and a "loving daughter, sister, and granddaughter."
Here's the full obituary:
Molly Alice Parks, age 24, who most currently resided in Manchester, NH, passed away in Manchester on April 16, 2015 as the result of a heroin overdose.
She was born in York, Maine on March 13, 1991, a daughter of Tom and Patti (Michaud) Parks.
Molly graduated from Old Orchard Beach High School in 2009 and attended one year at SMCC until her addiction took over. Most recently, she was employed as a delivery driver for Portland Pie Co. in Manchester, NH. She enjoyed theater, fashion, reading – especially Harry Potter, and will always be remembered for fearless personality and her trademark red lipstick. Along Molly's journey through life, she made a lot of bad decisions including experimenting with drugs. She fought her addiction to heroin for at least five years and had experienced a near fatal overdose before. Molly's family truly loved her and tried to be as supportive as possible as she struggled with the heroin epidemic that has been so destructive to individuals and families in her age bracket.
She is survived by her parents- Tom Parks and his wife Pat Noble of Saco and Patti Michaud Parks of Berlin, NH; sister- Kasey Parks of OOB; step siblings — Dustin and Delayna Denicourt of Biddeford; maternal grandparents - Rita and Raymond Michaud of Berlin, NH; paternal grandmother - Ruth Parks of OOB; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and a niece.
If you have any loved one's who are fighting addiction, Molly's family asks that you do everything possible to be supportive, and guide them to rehabilitation before it is too late.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-662-4357 for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 24-hour helpline.