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No parent should have to bury a child, no matter how old the offspring.

I’m sure every parent hopes and prays it never happens. Unfortunately, it does.

Writing a child’s obituary, a parent would probably want to say lots of positive things and express love for the child. What if, however, the child’s death resulted from the child’s own undoing? Would a parent want that mentioned?

One Pennsylvania mother painstakingly included what happened to her 20-year-old daughter so another family might not have to endure such a loss. According to online published reports, Michelle Schwartzmier wrote how her daughter, Casey Schwartzmier, 20, struggled with drug addiction, and the affects of that addiction ultimately took her life.

According to Casey’s obituary, she was one day shy of going to rehabilitation.

“Casey wanted to live. She had dreams of a future career, children of her own and fought hard all the way until the end, one day away from entering rehab, but couldn’t break the chains of this demon that’s wiping out a generation,” her mother wrote. “Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it will take hold and destroy anyone in its path, including the families and people who love them. Addiction hides in the faces of everyday people all around us.”

That said, just take a look at stories about addiction. It affects all walks of life. It happens in high and middle class homes. It reaches to people in poverty, business professionals, scholarly students, student athletes. All it takes is one hit of heroin, one snort of cocaine or too many doses of a particular medication.

One has to wonder, how does this happen? All of the drug education programs, education at home and the urgency to “just say no” are out there, yet it persists. There is always the reality that youths witness and experience the drug culture at home. Sad, but true.

As for kicking the habit, it is said the journey is long and hard. Sobriety remains a daily challenge. It might prove difficult to not look down on those affected, but remember, it could easily be you, your child, a relative or friend.

May Casey’s mother find peace, and may Casey rest in peace.