My personal loss puts the suffering of too many others in perspective

I am suffering a loss.

My loved one lived almost nine decades. I understand why he is gone but still I am sad, lonely, angry, heartbroken and at a loss as to what to do on this earth without him.

(Stock photo)

From this recent gut-wrenching experience, it has made me think of all those daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles who have lost loved ones way too early and without the understanding of why. I cannot imagine the sadness that is rippling across this state as a result of these inexcusable deaths.

Can you believe we are losing a life everyday to this opiate epidemic every day?! By the time I finish writing and editing this blog post there may be another life lost.

Last year we lost 378 lives. These deaths were caused almost entirely by opioids – prescription painkillers, heroin and now fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug. Remember when we were all scared of the “c word”? Well, now it’s the “o word.”

Things aren’t slowing down. They seem to be speeding up, and from what I can see there’s no signs of stopping.

So, enter Narcan. This is a drug that can be administered as easily as a nasal spray. You know what? Get this: An overdose can be occurring, and this drug will reverse it. Is it a life-saver? Yes, it is.

As I sit shocked and disguised by the stats, I know that these numbers would be higher, the list of loved ones would be longer, if not for the increased availability and use of Narcan.

In 2016, rescue workers used Narcan 2,380 times, up from 1,565 the year before, according to state data. That’s 2,380 lives that were saved — human beings who are loved and cared for, people who may now have the opportunity to show care and compassion to others, and to help their communities. That’s easily well over 10,000 people saved from experiencing the grief and sadness caused by a loved one’s death.

Attorney General Janet Mills was quoted saying:

“We are losing more than one person each day to a drug overdose. We need to reach out to friends and neighbors and let them know that whatever is wrong in their lives, no drug is going to solve their problems, not for one second.”

How do we help, how do we reach out? From the efforts of the Community Health Leadership Beard, there is now a way to help. Narcan. $50 will save a life. Go to to donate.

Created by St. Joe’s Communications team. Checks go to St. Joe’s Healthcare Foundation.

You know sometimes you just need to do something: $50 creates one risk reduction kit. Maybe that will help me in some small way to begin to heal from my loss.