My husband, John, and I live and work in Tucson, Arizona. We lost our son to a heroin overdose in 2014. John Leif was 25 and had struggled with opiate addiction and alcoholism for 10 years. After he died, we kept a journal together for a year, writing to our son as a way to hold on to him and as an enduring memorial to document our grief. My decision to write a memoir based on our journal and our son’s life and death grew from my desire to help reduce the overwhelming number of lives being lost to drug addiction in the 21st century. We are passionately open and honest in writing about our failures and regrets because we are convinced that only by letting light into the secret and hidden places where addiction thrives will shame and stigma disappear and lives be saved. Our hope and prayer is that our family’s story will encourage others to share their stories and also help any who may be walking the painful path of grief.

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