A Double Tragedy for One Family

When you bury a child you die with them. Yet you still wake up each morning and somehow have to function in your “new” normal. I’ve always considered myself as “politically” correct so when marijuana became “medicine” I didn’t think it would ever affect my life. Whether or not my views would have changed my story I will never know. It’s too late for me and many other parents suffering these losses but it may not be too late for those parents navigating the marijuana minefield.

Corey and Alyssa were two years apart in age and very close siblings. Corey was always protective of her and she looked up to her big brother and knew that he was always there for her whenever she needed him. Both were popular and had big hearts for other people and each other. Corey excelled in football while Alyssa excelled in academics.

The kids had a happy home life where they were loved and thrived up until the ages of seven and nine. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom those young years up until my divorce from their father. Our divorce was the one crack in their life that I could never fill. Marijuana was being accepted in Colorado as “medicine” at the time. I lived in Florida and really never thought about how that casual attitude would affect my kids.

Corey had shared with me that he first saw marijuana in middle school. In high school it was a weekend and summer thing with friends at the lake and beach. Florida was the pill mill state by the time Corey graduated high school. He once told me that when the marijuana ran out someone always had pills that were passed around. He stated, “when you are having fun with your friends, you never want that to end. When the marijuana ran out, pills were available to keep the fun going.” I imagine that in a stoned state of mind you would be more open to taking pills that weren’t prescribed to you than if you were sober. We have lost so many young lives in our small town. America’s children have become collateral damage to the wanton greed of others.

As easily as Corey and Alyssa had shared a joint or bong, they shared pills on Sept. 21, 2011. Corey died and Alyssa survived. Three and a half years later, Alyssa took her life. Marijuana changes your child first and it changes them forever.

Karen Bailey
Florida

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6 Comments

  1. Dale

    Reply

    My heart breaks for you. A very difficult story to read. You couldn’t have done anything differently. The story describes just how using marijuana feeds right into using pills and is a good argument that you can’t substitute one for the other. One doctor told me that marijuana and opioids are “companions.” Society and government were complicit in this loss, and we still haven’t learned our lessons.

  2. Reply

    I’m crying, the reality of this drug crisis is in Karen’s story. Both her children. My heart aches. I’m so sorry, and I will continue to provided education and stand in the way of more drugs. God bless Karen and her family. Her beautiful children will not die in vain, we will continue to fight for the health and safety of our children.

  3. Sherry Gee

    Reply

    My condolences on the loss of your children. I admire you for your ability to continue to move forward in your life – not an easy task. I agree with you that marijuana is the starting point for many people in society who wind up on drugs or pills. I was a marijuana addict for 13 years and when I got sober I realized it was because my father had died when I was young and I was anesthetizing myself. Sobriety is so fun, exciting, and worth it! God bless you.

  4. Reply

    PLEASE, CONTINUE TO TELL THEIR STORY. IT IS SO IMPORTANT. WE ARE INVOLVED IN A GREAT STRUGGLE FOR THE TRUTH. THIS SUBSTANCE CHANGES THE WAY BRAINS FUNCTION AND THEREFORE THE MINDS THAT DEVELOP AND THE DECISIONS THAT THEY MAKE. ONLY THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE AND IT IS THIS INCONVENIENT TRUTH IN A CULTURE THAT WANTS QUICK EASY GOOD FEELINGS THAT WILL SET US FREE AND WILL SAVE THE NEXT VICTIMS. YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS.

  5. Sally Schindel

    Reply

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for sharing with us on Moms Strong. My heart aches for you and Corey and Alyssa. When we share like this we help reduce stigmas and help band together to weather the onslaught from those who defend their marijuana use and tell us their drug of choice is harmless and not to blame for our childrens’ fates. We know differently without any doubt. It is NOT riskless and very harmful for too many. Thank you for being here with us Karen.

  6. Illona Mager

    Reply

    Dear Karen,
    I am so sorry. Corey and Alyssa were beautiful children and should have had a wonderful future. You demonstrated tremendous strength by sharing your tragedy on Moms Strong. I also lost my only child and felt I died. I cannot imagine losing a second child. Marijuana is a gateway drug. It destroys lives. Public safety and our countries future is at risk with legalization of use and easy access to this dangerous drug. I hope you will join in the fight. I am so so sorry for your loss.

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