​Loving Family Writes Brutally Honest Obituary for Drug-Addicted Brother

“If his story can help one person not make the same mistakes that Alex did,” the obituary reads, “... then sharing this tragedy will be worth it and help to add meaning to a life cut far too short.” Alex Hesse was a Harrison, Ohio, man who died at just 26 years old last week, and his family has chosen a heartbreakingly honest way of honoring him in the obituary they wrote.

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Hesse overdosed on heroin, and his loved ones chose to give the story of his addiction a prominent place in his obituary. According to his mother, this is how his siblings wanted to honor his life, by recognizing what he lost through heroin:

His brother, Andrew, and sister, Allie, wrote his obituary. And they felt it necessary to let other people know this drug kills.

The obituary starts out by stating how old Hesse was, and where he was born. It notes that he had had one brother named Andrew and two sisters, Allie and Angela. Then it reads, in part:

Growing up he was just like any other young man. He was active in sports, playing football and baseball as a child, and playing on the high school golf team. He loved music and could pick up any instrument and learn how to play it. He especially loved the guitar and piano and often composed songs for those instruments. He had an array of talents that many could envy. However, in the naivity of his youth, he made some mistakes that ended up costing him his life. All of the wonderful blessings that he had: talent, friendships, positive outlook on life, and, most importantly, family were sidelined by a wrong decision to do drugs.

In life, one little decision can make a huge impact on not just you but also those that love and care for you. Alex had a loving and supporting family and had everything a young man could want. But drugs took ahold of his life, changed him, and destroyed so much of the hope and promise in his future. You may ask why we are sharing this personal part of Alex’s life. Hopefully by making more people aware of Alex's struggle, we can shed some light on this devastating issue and work to fix a very big problem in our community. This was a wonderful life, full of hope and promise, ended far too short. If his story can help one person not make the same mistakes that Alex did, save one family from losing a loved one far too young, then sharing this tragedy will be worth it and help to add meaning to a life cut far too short. While we are sad to see him go, we are relieved that his struggle is over and now he is at peace. The family thanks all of their close friends and family that have stood by their side in support over the many years of Alex’s addiction. Without each of you this family wouldn’t be as strong as they are today.

His mother said she wants people to know how dangerous heroin can be:

Nobody wanted more than him to get better and it took over and made him a different person. ... It is an epidemic, it’s worse than the plague and it’s wiping out an entire generation.

Hesse’s father:

It doesn’t take more than one time with heroin. One time you take it and you’re hooked.

Hesse’s family asked that any donations be made in his memory to Drug Free America.

What a horribly sad story, and one that’s all too common. I know many families wouldn’t feel comfortable being this open about how their child died, but I think it was immensely brave to share the whole story of this man’s life. I suspect Alex Hesse was like most addicts in that he wouldn’t have wished his drug problems on his worst enemies, and perhaps he would have found some comfort in knowing he may have helped someone else steer clear of the choices he made.

Do you think the family made a loving choice in being open about this man’s addiction?


Image via WLWT

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