Creative, eclectic, loving, unique, spontaneous
Alex was tall and striking with engaging energy. They reveled in attention and enjoyed performing in their band in Los Angeles, modeling, and studying Cybersecurity at college. They wanted to be famous. But mostly they craved connection, spontaneity, and growing into their unique beingness. They were a world traveler, living in Switzerland as a youngster, and traveling back and forth to Europe at various times. Travel gave them a broader sense of the world from an early age.
They were a sensitive soul, ever since infancy. Alex’s mother said that they could sense things that others couldn’t; they were a very spiritual person. “This world was too small for them, it was too confining, and they kept trying to move toward a larger, spiritually energetic connection.”
Alex cared deeply. They helped the homeless. They were there for the underdog. Alex was fiercely loyal, caring, thoughtful, loving, and protective of their friends and family. If their friends needed help, they would go at any time. They would stay all night talking with someone who was suicidal or help their friend whose cat was sick with just as much compassion. Their mother said, “If they gave themself the self-care they gave everyone else, it may have been a different story.”
Mainstream was something Alex disliked. Their fashion sense was unique, and their poetry, music, and lifestyle were more trendsetting than merely trying to fit in. Their sisters commented on how Alex was insecure in many ways, but with some things they exuded confidence – like when Alex decided to dye their hair blueberry blue, or go to a vintage shop and create stunning outfits from old ladies’ velvet jackets.
They were proud of themselves for their sobriety. They were sober for almost four years, but the isolation of COVID seemed to lead to their relapse. In attempting to become independent from their parent’s support, they were disappointed in themselves and felt they would never be able to maintain a decent lifestyle for themselves and their girlfriend. Even when they got back into recovery, it seemed their hope for a sober future had dimmed. They felt unworthy and ashamed, which led to falling back into substance use quickly and deeply.
Alex’s influence continues to reverberate with those they loved. Their mother has learned to appreciate each moment more.“They taught me compassion, to relax, and to have fun. I asked, ‘How do I do that?’ They said, ‘Just sit with me here. Just sit and be present.’ Alex taught me to really listen, just care, and don’t let fear run my life,” Alex’s mother stated.
Alex’s family wants you to see their portrait, read this narrative, and embrace their humanness. They were a person who lived an exceptional life. They might say with a glint in their eye, “You are in the presence of greatness.” Their sister Ashley said, ” I think it’s important for people to take the time to grasp that this was a person who lived, who had favorite things, who disliked things, who went to the bathroom just like them; who bought underwear at the store just like them, who liked to eat Lucky Charms; the things that make them a real, visceral experience, versus a memory, or yet another person that died from a fentanyl overdose. That’s my main thing that I want to portray by this experience. All of these individuals were people that are literally just like us.”
Alex’s sisters, Ashley and Katie, and their mother, Shannon, were interviewed for this narrative.
December 9, 1999-July 23, 2021
Age 21-Lived with the disease of addiction for six years.