Ilan Zafran G.C.

Ilan Zafran G.C.

Irreplaceable, lovable, amazing, noble

Ilan was extremely affectionate, attentive, amicable, caring, and a good listener. He was “an honest gentle king with a lot of humor,” his mother said. He was always polite and respectful and treated people with kindness. He was a shy mama’s boy who loved older people, kids, and animals. He loved to eat and cook and as he got older had lots of friends and loved to have fun.

Ilan was born in France and moved to Florida when he was six, learning English in less than a year. He went to Hebrew school and studied Hebrew and Spanish, and was fluent in French. He was a good student, played sax in the band, and attended the International Baccalaureate program. In 2002 he had a poem published in Young American Poetry.

The family was close-knit, spending holidays together and going to Club Med. He and his brother, Arthur, loved cooking, going out to dinner, and traveling to France, New York City, and New Orleans. “He was so much more than his secret addiction,” his mom, Claudine, said. “He was a wonderful son a caring big brother, and a wonderful grandson.”

Ilan loved to travel and often spent time with family overseas. At four and a half, he backpacked across the country, and at seven he traveled to Thailand. One time he and Arthur, journeyed as unaccompanied minors back to the States from France. Their mom got an unexpected call at 2 AM from the control tower at Kennedy Airport! He loved a globetrotting life, skiing in winter and spending summers in the south of France. He went to tennis and baseball camps on school breaks, and to Italy with his grandparents.

After graduating from high school Ilan went to college for sound engineering and opened his own recording studio. He worked hard to integrate himself into Miami Nightlife and attract known recording artists to record at his studio. Ilan helped musicians to reach their goals and make their dreams come true. He believed in them and loved what he was doing. He applied to go back to college for business management and received his acceptance letter two weeks after he passed away.

Claudine didn’t learn that her son was addicted to cocaine and heroin until he passed away from drugs containing a lethal dose of fentanyl. He was ashamed to tell anyone due to the stigma around drug addiction and he hid it. There were some red flags but if his mom asked questions, he evaded them. Since he had always been trustworthy, she believed his explanations.

Claudine has since educated herself about substance use disorder and visited treatment centers and groups to understand the effects of drugs on those who use them. “I have become an expert too late,” she said. She is now speaking out. “I felt guilty that I didn’t see it and take care of it,” she said. “I miss the future that will never happen, everything he would have done in his life.”

Claudine shared these thoughts: “To my Son, you took so much with you when you left us, the future, your bear hugs, your wit, your smile, and contagious laugh. A huge part of me went with you, and I am the one lost now. I deeply love and miss you. Thank you for choosing me as your mother, you brought so much happiness to my life. Je t’aime, mon amour.”

Ilan’s mother, Claudine, Mourjan, provided the information for this narrative

June 24, 1989-May 1, 2020

Age 30-Lived with the disease of addiction 5-6 years

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