"I’m still standing and am trying to live a life that you’d be proud of."
Zoe writes a letter to her mum, Avril, who died due to alcohol in 2016.
No one could have guessed things were going to turn out the way that they did. We had 25 years of fun, friendship, fights, silliness and love before things began to go wrong.
I have an idea of some of the reasons you became depressed and began to drink heavily, but of course I will never really understand it fully. You were such a beautiful and vibrant person with so much to live for, which shows just how strong a force it was that was pulling you down.
You pushed me away time and again as your addiction tightened its grip. Eventually I realised there was nothing I could do, and I just had to watch as you disappeared slowly but surely out of view.
You caused me so much anguish during the alcohol years mum that there were times I thought I’d be relieved when you were gone. And if I’m honest there were even times I wished you gone. But when your body eventually gave up the fight I was absolutely blindsided by grief and thought I could never learn to live with the loss. I loved you deeply and completely and I know you felt the same. I now understand that your addiction sometimes made it difficult for you to show it though, in those final years.
As time’s gone on, I’ve felt more at peace and have realised that no one’s to blame for what happened. As much as I once doubted it, life has gone on. I’m still standing and am trying to live a life that you’d be proud of.
I miss you every day mum, but for now I’ll love you by loving the grandchildren I know you would have cherished.
Avril's death was preventable.
Zoe'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.