Mom Who Found Daughter Dead Writes Devastatingly Honest Obituary

Kelsey Endicott, 23, died of accidental overdose
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2016 4:56 PM CDT
Mom Who Found Daughter Dead Writes Devastatingly Honest Obituary
Stock image.   (Shutterstock)

Kathleen Errico is the latest devastated family member to take part in a heartbreaking trend: being brutally honest about a person's untimely death. Errico found her 23-year-old daughter dead in her bed, TV still on, at 3:45am on April 2. Kelsey Endicott, who leaves behind a 2-year-old son, had struggled with an opioid addiction for years, the Boston Globe reports, but she had been sober for almost 10 months and was just two months away from graduating from a residential treatment facility; she was allowed weekend visits at her mom and stepdad's Haverhill, Mass., home, which is where she was when she died. Her mom decided not to use any euphemisms in Kelsey's obituary, which opens: "Kelsey Grace Endicott, age 23, passed away on April 2, 2016, from an accidental overdose."

"It is not true that everything happens for a reason. The reality of Kelsey’s death is devastating," the obituary continues, noting that Kelsey "yearned for a life without fear and pain," but that the disease of addiction had too strong a hold on her. Errico was similarly frank in her daughter's eulogy: "To the person who doesn’t understand addiction, she is just another statistic who chose to make a bad decision," Errico said. "For the people who do understand, this was our baby." The obituary and eulogy show that addiction affects the lives of even the most "average Joe Schmo middle-class Americans" like her family, Errico tells the Globe, and they've been shared far and wide, with many readers reaching out to Errico. One addiction expert says Errico's words "[open] the door for others to get support and help." (Similar obituaries here, here, here, and one that confronts depression and suicide here.)

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