A grieving family from Burlington, Vermont, has penned a heartbreaking obituary for a 30-year-old single mother who died following a years-long addiction to drugs.
The obituary, published in The Burlington Free Press on Sunday, paid tribute to Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir. She died on Oct. 7 at the age of 30 and is survived by her son, Ayden.
“While her death was unexpected, Madelyn suffered from drug addiction, and for years we feared her addiction would claim her life,” it read. “We are grateful that when she died she was safe and she was with her family.”
The obituary revealed how Linsenmeir — who as a child was a keen swimmer, skier, snowboarder and singer — first tried OxyContin at a high school party. It led to “a relationship with opiates that would dominate the rest of her life.”
“To some, Maddie was just a junkie — when they saw her addiction they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them,” the obit stated. “Because Maddie was hilarious and warm and fearless and resilient. She could and would talk to anyone, and when you were in her company you wanted to stay.”
Linsenmeir’s addiction “brought her to places of incredible darkness,” which “compounded on itself” as “each unspeakable thing that happened to her and each horrible thing she did in the name of her disease exponentially increased her pain and shame,” the obit added.
The obituary also contained a message for others struggling with addiction:
“Know that hundreds of thousands of families who have lost someone to this disease are praying and rooting for you. Know that we believe with all our hearts that you can and will make it. It is never too late.”
Read the full obituary here.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.