Bobby’s Story

Our oldest son Bobby, died of a heroin overdose in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 18, 2015. He was 31 years old. That was a gut-wrenching day that will live with our family forever. What helps us cope with our loss is our faith in God, family, friends and the motivation to help prevent other families from going through such a devastating loss.

From an early age Bobby was surrounded by friends. His big personality was attractive and entertaining. He had a passion for making music whether it was playing his guitar or mixing electronic beats as a DJ in local venues and private parties. Bobby also had an affinity for stories about Big Foot, which I used to tease him about, and he was always quick to reply
“mom you’ve just gotta believe”!

Bobby struggled with addiction for thirteen years starting in college. He had periods of sobriety during that time which always gave me hope for his recovery. I knew little about addiction then and there were few resources available to help him and our family. He said two things to me during that time that have never left me to this day. It has opened my eyes to the struggle a person has in fighting addiction. Bobby said he didn’t think he would live to be very old, and that the thought of drugs sometimes invaded his dreams. I think at the time he was trying to tell me how much of a struggle it was for him and his worry that he might not always have the strength to fight it. Sadly those words became a reality and those feelings of worry and fear are now replaced with grief.

In the weeks that followed Bobby’s passing I thought a lot about his life, our family and what I wished I had to help us during those years he struggled. I really wanted someone to talk to who knew what I was going through and I wished that there was an easier way to find help. It was very isolating dealing with a problem that carried so much stigma, and the hours spent on the computer looking for reputable treatment programs was exhausting.

In February 2016 I formed the Come As You Are Coalition under the Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services Board and in December 2017 we became a nonprofit organization. Come As You Are, Inc. is a safe and nonjudgemental community to connect you to support and available treatment resources.