The parents of a young Pennsylvania woman whose life was tragically cut short earlier this month by a heroin overdose are sharing painfully honest details of their daughter’s life and death in hopes it will help other families avoid their heartbreak.
23-year-old Delaney Farrell had been battling a heroin addiction for about five years when she died of an overdose on July 1. According to WNEP, Farrell was one of more than 50 people to overdose in Pennsylvania’s Lycoming County that week alone. She had been living in a halfway house and working at a local Red Roof Inn, where she was found unresponsive in the bathroom, at the time of her death.
Farrell’s parents, Brian and Bridget, had a close relationship with their daughter until the end. They actually thought her condition was improving in recent weeks, but the power of addiction proved to be too much.
“She told me the night before she died that she knew all those kids (who) overdosed,” Brian recalled. “She called me and said ‘Did you see it on the news?’”
Farrell was an avid writer and often used her journal as a place to open up about her condition. In the days leading up to her death, she forwarded a poem to her sister, in which she eloquently depicts the pain and suffering she was enduring. Her family chose to include the poem in her obituary published in the Danville News, and, in the wake of the opioid and heroin epidemic currently sweeping the nation, Farrell’s dying words made national news.
“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 sisters 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 sisters 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 completion. 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!!!”
“That’s what she was going through,” her mother said of the poem. “And that’s what was going through her mind and that was her life at the time.”
In the days and weeks following her death, Farrell’s friends have taken to social media to share memories of their friend and paint a picture of her that goes beyond that of a young woman who tragically succumbed to addition.
“I know Del’s all over the media and the tragedy behind our loss is a very real lesson to be learned, and hopefully it motivates people to seek whatever help they need,” wrote Shawn Cooper in a Facebook post.“I also want to remind everyone that reads her words, shares her story, or watches the news that Delaney Farrell was so much more than a trending topic, and although, yes, she was a drug addict, that that is not ALL that she was. She was held close by so many, so I hope that in our grief that you keep her in your heart and in your memory as I do.”
I know there were a lot of you that couldn't make it earlier today but really wanted to be there. So I didn't want you to not see this. If I missed tagging anyone, feel free to share it or tag them, I don't want anyone to feel left out or thinking I forgot them.I know Del's all over the media and the tragedy behind our loss is a very real lesson to be learned, and hopefully it motivates people to seek whatever help they need. I also want to remind everyone that reads her words, shares her story, or watches the news that Delaney Farrell was so much more than a trending topic, and although, yes, she was a drug addict, that that is not ALL that she was. She was held close by so many, so I hope that in our grief that you keep her in your heart and in your memory as I do.
Posted by Shawn Cooper on Saturday, July 8, 2017
While the Farrell family has mostly received an outpouring of support for their willingness to share such an intimate portrait of their daughter’s addiction, they said they have faced a bit of backlash. Regardless, Brian and Bridget have no regrets because they have chosen to see their daughter’s death as an opportunity to help others.
“If it could help even just one person it would be worth it,” Bridget said. “What do you think she would have said? She definitely would have wanted me to do it.”
You can read Farrell’s obituary in its entirety HERE.
(H/T: Hello Christian)