Life is made up of moments. Some moments stay with us for a lifetime, making up smile every time we think of them. Others, we wish would could just forget.
Stephen Wood was visiting his grandmother when he received the heartbreaking phone call that would change his life forever. He and his new wife had just returned from their honeymoon when his grandmother answered the phone to be told that her grandson, Stephen’s younger brother, Brandon, had died.
Brandon had been struggling with drug addition and had overdosed. He was only 21 years old. In response to his grief, Stephen posted a heartbreaking and honest plea to his Facebook account.
Stephen hopes that the post will show what it’s really like having a family member who struggles with addiction and that another way of life is possible. His message has since gone viral.
The original post has been shared in rehab facilities and prisons around the world, and has helped addicts and their families by bringing them hope. It reads as follows:
“This isn’t easy but I want to speak directly to Brandon’s friends and enablers, and anybody else struggling with addiction.
Tuesday night I was at my grandma’s house for a normal visit. My new wife and I had just gotten back from our honeymoon the day before. The phone rang and my grandma answered with a sarcastic “what.” But the mood quickly changed and I knew what the call was.
I rushed to Brandon’s girlfriend’s apartment where her and my mom were standing in the parking lot losing it. I kept it together pretty good until I climbed in the ambulance and looked at my little brother laying there knowing he was gone.
Yesterday I went and planned his funeral and picked out his casket. Today I had to go look at him again and I bought a suit to wear to his funeral. These things shouldn’t have to be done for a 21-year-old.”
Stephen continued, addressing the next part of his letter to Brandon’s friends who are still using opioids.
“So to his friends who are doing the same things he was. What I wanted to say to you is how badly I want you to use his life to turn yours around. It’s too late for him but there is still time for you. You think the drugs are only affecting yourself. But what you don’t know is how much it impacts everyone around you.”