From Holden's Mom: Tarah
The best day of my life was February 26, 1999, when I gave birth to a healthy baby boy I named Holden. The most devastating day of my life was March 16, 2021, when I lost him to a substance abuse disorder.
Growing up, Holden was sweet, shy, and full of curiosity. He loved being with family and friends and spent most of his time riding his bike and playing with his friends. He loved everything that had to do with the water. He loved to fish, boat, and swim. He was naturally funny and loved to make people laugh. One of his best qualities was his big heart and his desire to always fight for the “underdog.” He couldn’t bear to see anyone go without and always did what he could to help anyone in need. Just like all children, he was loved by so many.
Sadly, in his teen years, Holden developed a substance abuse disorder and was introduced to opioids, and quickly became hooked. Holden didn’t want to become addicted any more than I wanted him to become addicted. No one wants their child to suffer from anything. Addiction led my son to make many poor choices resulting in difficult consequences. Drugs stole my son’s happiness, future, and ultimately his life. Even in recovery, he was unable to break free from the stronghold opioids had on him and would relapse time and time again. Fentanyl was the drug that ended my son’s life. He was twenty-two years young with so many things to still experience in his life. Our family misses him every single hour of every single day.
I know there are many families out there living in this “alternate universe,” too. I call it an alternate universe, because most parents of a child struggling with a substance abuse disorder feel as though we are the only ones in this situation. Because of the social stigma attached to drug addiction, parents and families feel very isolated and helpless and choose to suffer in private. Hiding someone’s addiction must change in order to start to chip away at this epidemic. So please don’t judge the people or families fighting the battle against addiction. Please be understanding and empathetic to their situation. We tried everything we could to save Holden, and I know other families have done the same for their children.
By speaking out, I hope to ease the social stigma of drug addiction and bring awareness to a place (Opportunity House) that I know is doing its part in helping more people just like my son before it’s too late for them. And I know that Holden would want to do everything he could to help others caught in the vicious cycle of addiction, even if he physically isn’t here anymore. That’s Holden still helping those in need.
I am asking that you make a charitable donation in my son’s name, Holden, to ensure that other families facing the fight with addiction can be encouraged and supported. I know it would be Holden’s Hope to save as many lives as he could.