Mom who wrote honest obit for son opens up about addiction in effort to break the stigma

Posted at 10:14 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 10:14:36-04

"He never stopped fighting but he certainly didn't win that battle," said Michelle Benson, whose son, Adam Bear, died from a heroin overdose.

Benson's son had a whole life ahead of him at 25 years old but it was cut short because of a heroin addiction.

When her son passed away on April 27, instead of avoiding a reality so many families are dealing with across Ohio, she wrote a candid obituary describing her son's character, his hobbies and a drug addiction that flipped his world upside down.

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"What we have learned through this is that there are so many families struggling and they just keep it quiet because it's shameful and they are ashamed," Benson said. "There is such a stigma attached with that and we just have to break that cycle if we are going to do something different to about those struggling with addiction."

Following her honest recount of her son's addiction, strangers and friends offered condolences and support under Bear's obituary on Hummel Funeral Home's website.  Many applauded Benson's honesty and strength to tell the story of addiction through her son.

I'm very sorry for your loss. My wife and I lost our beautiful son Rodney in March of 2015, also to this demon. He was 24 years old. We miss him dearly. We share a pain no other parent should. Your son will live on through each of you, and please know that He lives now. He is more alive now than he ever was before. He has beating his demons. He is alive and well in the arms of Jesus. May your family find peace and may the spirit of God comfort each of you.

Others found comfort in relating to what Benson and her family are going through.

I don't know your family but I know your struggle. My brother overdosed last year. It's not easy to lose a loved one to the terrible disease of addiction. I hope that you find some peace some day, it will not be easy. My mom battles grief every day. Keep your head up and remember that you are in the thoughts and prayers of a lot of people, even strangers.

By breaking the silence, this mom hopes that her son's candid obituary will help others affected by addiction.

"For our family, at least we know Adam is finally at peace but now we want to be a part of helping other families, sharing resources and talking about addiction to erase the stigma," Benson said.