"we always thought we’d grow old together, but it was not meant to be."
Pauline writes a letter to her brother, Gerry, who died due to alcohol in 1994.
Hope you’re happy in heaven with the rest of the family. You’ve been gone for 28 years now, I can’t believe it.
It was my 60th birthday a few weeks ago. Remember that day at the post office you were pretending to be old when you were cashing someone else’s book? God, we thought that was old!
Life was cruel to you growing up, our father was so strict, an Irish Catholic and all that, but it didn’t stop you getting into trouble and we could never talk about it.
I miss you so much, I’m 2 years 5 months sober today who would have thought it. I’m doing acting now, something you know I always loved.
I miss your laughter. Boy your laughter was immense and the jokes you played on people!
But you had a great nature, kind, caring, easygoing, though there was a side to you when you got angry, which you rarely showed, but when you did it got you into trouble!
Me and you were so alike, only 16 months between us - we always thought we’d grow old together, but it was not meant to be.
You’re always in my heart Bro.
Gerry's death was preventable.
Pauline's story shows the devastating impact the loss of a life to alcohol or drugs has on the family and friends left behind.
We have the power to create change, especially when we come together to take action. You can support this work by agreeing to the "See Beyond" pledge below.
“I pledge to be respectful and compassionate towards those affected by substance use, including the families and friends of those who have died from alcohol or drugs.
I will show respect by using kind and non-judgmental language about those affected by alcohol or drugs.
I will show compassion by reaching out to someone who has lost a loved one to alcohol or drugs and asking them how they are doing today.”
Thank you for making a difference.
We have compiled some resources to provide support to people who are affected by someone’s drug/alcohol use as well as those impacted by the death of a loved one due to drugs/alcohol.