A heartbroken family penned an emotional obituary for a young mother who sadly passed away following a 12 year battle with opioid addiction.
The touching tribute to Madelyn Linsenmeir has left many fighting back tears as the family expressed the pain they felt over the loss of their loved one.
Speaking candidly about the 30-year-olds addiction, the obituary detailed not only Madelyn’s fight for her life, but the love she had for her family, especially her young son.
However, the family also stressed how, despite her drug addiction, the young mother was still a person with strong family vales and someone who will be dearly missed by those who knew her best.
“It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addiction,” the obituary, published by the Burlington Free Press, read.
“To some, Maddie was just a junkie – when they saw her addiction, they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them. Because Maddie was hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient.
“In a system that seems to have hardened itself against addicts and is failing them every day, she befriended and delighted cops, social workers, public defenders, and doctors, who advocated for and believed in her till the end.”
49,000 people died in 2017 from opioid overdoses. This number does not include people like my sister, who died a week agotonight not from an overdose but a staph infection that bloomed throughout her body as a result of IV drug use. The term opioid epidemic has been used to the point of non-meaning, and the response to it has been equally meaningless. But this is what the opioid epidemic looks like. It has freckles and a dimple on its right cheek. It is 30 years old and has a singing voice so beautiful people stop in the street to listen. It has a son, two sisters, a mother and a father. Its name is Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir. This is what the opioid epidemic looks like. ——————————————— There’s a link to Maddie’s obituary in my bio if you’d like to read it; a memorial service for her will take place Sunday, October 21, at 2:00 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society sanctuary at the top of Church Street in Burlington.
According to the obituary, the young woman was just 16-years-old when she first fell victim to drug abuse, which quickly took over her life and ultimately led to her tragic death.
Remembered as “warm and fearless”, the family spoke of the many times they believed Madelyn had broken away from the grasp of the substance, only to be drawn back in again.
Like many others who have seen the effects of drug addiction, the obituary detailed how much the young woman’s family hoped she would be able to escape the grips of opioid and live the life she really deserved.
“Though we would have paid any ransom to have her back, any price in the world, this disease would not let her go until she was gone,” the family wrote.
“We take comfort in knowing that Maddie is surrounded by light, free from the struggle that haunted her. We would have given anything for her to experience that freedom in this lifetime. Our grief over losing her is infinite.”
Sadly, Madelyn’s fight against opioid ended in early October after a harrowing two years filled with darkness, pain and shame. Reaching out to those affected by drug addiction, the family finished the tribute by calling for more awareness around the disease and the damage it can cause.
“If you are reading this with judgment, educate yourself about this disease, because that is what it is. It is not a choice or a weakness. And chances are very good that someone you know is struggling with it, and that person needs and deserves your empathy and support,” they wrote. “If you yourself are struggling from addiction, know that every breath is a fresh start … It is never too late.”