Moving Obituary Shakes and Awakes the World


Opioid Epidemic

“It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addiction. To some, Maddie was just a junkie — when they saw her addiction, they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them,” the eulogy so eloquently notes.

The obit — that’s taken the news cycle by storm — was covered by ABC News who detailed the situation as such:

“Madelyn Linsenmeir was a mother, sister and friend, who was ‘hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient.’ She was also an opioid addict.

Linsenmeir was a drug addict for 12 years and, at what her sister said were some of her darkest points, she would sometimes panhandle for money. She lost custody of her young son because of her disease.

On Oct. 7, the 30-year-old died in the hospital while in police custody, according to her sister, Kate O’Neill.

O’Neill does not want Linsenmeir to be remembered for her addiction. Her surprisingly honest obituary she wrote for a local Vermont paper is getting widespread attention for its warmth and candor.”

Perhaps the most heartwarming part of the obituary is the conclusion, which wraps up with three points of wisdom:


“If you yourself are struggling from addiction, know that every breath is a fresh start. Know that hundreds of thousands of families who have lost someone to this disease are praying and rooting for you. Know that we believe with all our hearts that you can and will make it. It is never too late.”


“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.”


“If you work in one of the many institutions through which addicts often pass — rehabs, hospitals, jails, courts — and treat them with the compassion and respect they deserve, thank you. If instead you see a junkie or thief or liar in front of you rather than a human being in need of help, consider a new profession.”

To Maddie and her family, you’re welcome. We at New Season are so terribly sorry for your loss. We will fight for our patients’ recovery in Maddie’s honor.

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