‘I’m OK mom. I love you too,’ was the last thing he said to me. That was 10:20 on Saturday night.’: Mother tragically loses her ‘best friend’ son to heroin overdose

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“This is Giancarlo. He was 19 years old. He died last Sunday in his apartment from a heroin overdose.

I am his mother. I don’t want to sugarcoat what happened. I want people to know the ugly truth of drug addiction. The ugly truth about heroin. The ugly truth that it can happen to anyone. Heroin doesn’t care if you’re young or old. If you’re rich or poor. If you’re black or white. Heroin doesn’t care. He is my baby boy.

This ugly drug can hide behind a beautiful sweet face. Giancarlo showed no signs of heroin use. No nodding out, no disappearing for days, he was never mean or raised his voice at me, he never stole from us… he did seem a bit isolated, but don’t all teenagers hole up in there room at some point?

Mother stands outside in snowy weather smiling beside teen son in selfie
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

Kids are DYING, and people are too afraid to be honest even in obituaries because of the social stigma. How can I go on Craigslist right now and search for black roofing tar and find heroin for sale? And clear sealant? That means meth. How do I know this and the police don’t? Why isn’t this a weekly segment on the news?

Young man stands outside holding the hands of little boy who sits on his shoulders
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

My son had been clean for 10 months and working for the County of Marin. He had his own apartment. He and his girlfriend were so proud to sign this lease.

Young woman sits at table writing check beside her boyfriend
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

We found out he was using on July 24, 2017. We sent him to a rehab that cost $45,000 for 45 days.

Then we sent him to intensive outpatient rehab for another 3 months, and then a sober living house in Mill Valley for a year.

He relapsed and died alone in his bed. He was the most gentle soul.

Young man who will die from overdose sits on kids chair in home
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

He had a 6-year-old brother, Clyde. He promised to wake up on Christmas Eve so they could look for Santa together.

Young man who overdosed and died stands outside holding younger brother
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

He was my best friend. The last thing he said to me was: ‘I’m ok mom, I love you too.’

That was at 10:20 on Saturday night.

He always answered my calls. But on Sunday morning he didn’t. And I just knew.

Mother on her wedding day holding face of son who will die from drug overdose
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

The only way I can explain this pain is that every cell in my body that created my son is on fire yearning to hold him again. It’s a physical pain only a mother would know. It’s in my bone marrow. Just a deep yearning to touch him, and hold him.

Mother smiles at restaurant table with son who has since passed from drug overdose
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

My husband took Giancarlo’s brother Clyde out for a drive to tell him what happened. He told Clyde: ‘I know you see a lot of family coming over, and you probably don’t know why.’

Clyde said: ‘No I don’t dad.’

He said: ‘Giancarlo had an invisible disease that made him sad and he took medicine that the doctor did not give him, and it made him very sick and he died and went to heaven.’

I wasn’t there but my husband said that my son gave a gut wrenching scream that didn’t sound like it could come from a 6-year-old.

He then brought him home through the back door, and he laid in bed with me and covered his face with a blanket and fell asleep.

Young man who died from drug overdose leans head on younger brother who sits in car seat
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

Giancarlo was buried on January 7th. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I’m learning now it also takes a village to bury a child.

I don’t know what the solution is, but we have to open the conversation in a big way.

Please use my son’s story. Please help me warn parents this is out there. Even in Napa. Please help me help other families. Please, please, please. It’s all I can do now.”

Young man who has since passed from drug overdose walks on path holding hand with younger brother
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger
Young man who has since passed from drug overdose sits on cliff by body of water
Courtesy of Amanda Poole Krueger

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amanda Poole Krueger of Napa, California. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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‘Hun, whatcha doing? You ok?’ Silence. ‘Hun…?’ I tried turning the knob. Locked. My heartbeat grew faster.’: Woman struggles to overcome husband’s death from heroin overdose

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