Which hurts more: the anniversary of the birth or the death?

Stock photo.

One of my teammates sent me this NPR article. She knows I am writing for this blog and wanted to help by contributing some content ideas.

I thanked her for the help and went on with whatever I was doing at that moment.

About an hour later she dropped back in my office to say she closely read the entire article, headlined “How Do Former Opioid Addicts Safely Get Pain Relief After Surgery?”

As she was reading she hoped it would have a different outcome, that there might be a happy ending out there instead of the all too numerous sad, painful endings.

So I read the article. I would ask you to do the same. Here is yet another example of an exceptionally regular human being taken way too soon. He could be my uncle, my nephew, my neighbor.

And indeed Max Baker of Massachusetts was someone’s uncle, nephew and neighbor. Max worked hard. He put in his time and did the tough work needed to shake his addiction. Then life happened, and a teenager caused him to have a serious car accident. He was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was scared that the pain medication needed after his surgery to fix a broken bone in his hand would hurt him … and he was right.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the deeper understanding that I now have as it relates to suffering the loss of a loved one. Today I would pose the question to all of you who have lost loved ones to this epidemic: What hurts more: the anniversary of their death or the anniversary of their birth?

I’m afraid I know my answer. Happy Birthday, Dad.