A Poignant Poem from a Beautiful Life that was Lost

silhouette of hopeless young woman

Every day, every hour in America, lives are lost to drugs like heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and meth. There are some people who think it’s okay to let these people die because they are “so obviously self-destructive” but those who love these lost souls know different. They know the good, funny, loving person inside the addicted person. They know the hope and promise of that individual when he or she was young—dressing up in a suit and tie or a prom dress for the first time, bringing home good grades, or taking pride in helping their parents or siblings. The parents and other family of this individual have felt their hearts swell with pride over and over again at this person’s early accomplishments.

When the joy of life began to slip away as drugs took over, this family fought the demon hard. They found rehab after rehab, even if there seemed to be no money for it. They intervened, checked up on the person at all hours of the day or night, whatever it took to try to save that person’s life.

But for more than a hundred Americans every day, the battle with deadly drugs was lost. And their loved one was finally in no more pain and had to fight the cravings no more.

In July 2017, the Farrell family in Pennsylvania had to say goodbye to their beautiful daughter Delaney, after a “long and hard battle with drug addiction.” She loved to make jokes and get people laughing, the family reported in her obituary. And she loved Oreo cookies, singing and posting selfies on Facebook.

She wrote about her tortured journey through addiction in her journal and sent one of her last entries to her sister. This poem accurately expresses the anguish a good, loving person feels as they are dragged through the degradation drugs like heroin and methamphetamine cause. Her poem reveals the truth: That good, loving person is still there. She or he is simply imprisoned in the cravings for drugs.

Read it for yourself and see what you think.

“Funny, I don’t remember no good dope days.
I remember walking for miles in a dope fiend haze.
I remember sleeping in houses that had no electric.
I remember being called a junkie, but I couldn’t accept it.
I remember hanging out in abandos that were empty and dark.
I remember shooting up in the bathroom and falling out at the park.
I remember nodding out in front of my sister’s kid.
I remember not remembering half of the things that I did.
I remember the dope man’s time frame, just ten more minutes.
I remember those days being so sick that I just wanted to end it.
I remember the birthdays and holiday celebrations.
All the things I missed during my incarceration.
I remember overdosing on my bedroom floor.
I remember my sister’s cry and my dad having to break down the door.
I remember the look on his face when I opened my eyes,
thinking today was the day that his baby had died.
I remember blaming myself when my mom decided to leave.
I remember the guilt I felt in my chest making it hard to breathe.
I remember caring so much but not knowing how to show it.
And I know to this day that she probably don’t even know it.
I remember feeling like I lost all hope.
I remember giving up my body for the next bag of dope.
I remember only causing pain, destruction and harm.
I remember the track marks the needles left on my arm.
I remember watching the slow break up of my home.
I remember thinking my family would be better off if I just left them alone.
I remember looking in the mirror at my sickly complexion.
I remember not recognizing myself in my own Damn reflection.
I remember constantly obsessing over my next score but what I remember most
is getting down on my knees and asking God to save me cuz I don’t want to do this no more!!!”

Perhaps it would be therapeutic for people who think that the addicted should be allowed to die to read this poem. Perhaps they would see the truth for themselves.

Everyone deserves the chance to live, to find recovery.

It is our great privilege to help at this desperate time of a person’s life. It gives us joy to see these people get back on their feet and learn how to live sober lives again. Time after time, we see the good person return, even after the worst experiences addiction has to offer. We know that always, there is hope.

To read Delaney’s obituary written by her loving family, click here.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.