The United States is currently in the middle of an opioid overdose epidemic. Since 2002 the number of deaths from overdoses by heroin has dramatically increased. In 2015 alone, almost 13,000 people died from an overdose. That same year, the number of new heroin users was over 100,000 out of the total of 828 thousand, recorded the Department of Health and Human Services.
One of those who recently died of an overdose was 23-year-old Delaney Farrell.
About five years ago, Farrell was introduced to heroin. Her father, Brian, told WNEP that his daughter wasn’t even sure what the substance was when she first tried it, but like many, she became addicted instantly.
Although the addiction had consumed her for the past several years, Delaney had recently moved into a halfway house so she could get clean. According to her parents, it appeared that in the days leading up to her death she was doing well and making progress. Unfortunately, the night after she called her father to discuss a local news report about a number of people overdosing, she overdosed on heroin and passed away.
She was discovered in a bathroom at a Red Roof Inn where she worked.
After Delaney passed away, her mother, Bridget, wrote her 23-year-old daughter’s obituary. Although grieving, Bridget tried to keep it light. In the obituary she wrote about how her daughter loved to laugh and make others laugh, as well as Delaney’s other addiction… to Oreo cookies. She also went on to talk about Delaney’s fondness for writing and it was this part of the obituary that got everyone talking.
“I think she would love it,” Dillion Farrell, Delaney’s brother told WNEP about her obituary. “If it helps one person, I think she would be proud.”
“Funny, I don’t remember no good dope days.”
Bridget used her daughter’s own words to illustrate the pain that Delaney went through as she struggled to get clean. It’s unclear when exactly Delaney wrote the poem that her mother included in her obituary, but in the poem Delaney talks about how while she remembers everything, none of it brings back good memories.
“I remember the birthdays and holiday celebrations. All the things I missed during my incarceration.” She continues, “I remember overdosing on my bedroom floor. I remember my sisters cry and my dad having to break down the door.”
Delaney’s mom said she hoped her choice to include the poem would help at least one person.
And it appears that so far it has helped more than one person. The family says they have received “hundreds” of messages since Delaney passed away with many of them sounding like the one Brian, her father, shared with WNEP.
“I’m heeding the message and checking myself into the hospital today. Thanks. Christine from Chicago,” he relayed to WNEP.
Many people have also left similar comments on Delaney’s Facebook page, which has turned into a memorial page.
You can read Delaney’s full obituary here.