Michael Neil Hoyle

Michael Neil Hoyle

Just for today, know hope.

At 6’3” Michael was a big presence when he came into a room. He had an enormous heart, was always smiling and had a gift for making people feel loved and cared for; a legacy he left with many people over his brief life.

Michael was crazy about cars. He liked working on them, driving them and even sitting in them at the dealership with his mom Freida. He would point out to her all the advantages and disadvantages of every vehicle and ask how each one made her feel. Michael was taking business classes at Wake Tech. He planned to get married, have children and bring his kids into the business he hoped to start. He even talked with his mom about working for him when she retired.

Michael, his brother Stephen and his mom were a “trio.” They made an annual trip to the beach where they met lifetime friends and enjoyed repeating the same activities each year. There was “man’s night,” where the men grilled out, movie day for when it rained or they were sunburnt, fish night at a local restaurant and the requisite trip to Jungle Land, a jungle themed amusement park. It was a special time for all of them and provided many memories that Freida still holds and shares with friends.

When Michael was 20, his older brother Stephen was murdered. Michael experienced deep grief and anxiety, and began taking anti-anxiety medication, which led to his addiction and subsequent overdose. Freida attended NA meetings with Michael, which brought them much closer. Michael had always been empathetic to people who were struggling but now reached out more to people. Freida says: “His love for other people was his greatest gift.”

“The hardest part of living with Michael’s addiction was seeing him hurting, depressed and sick. He had been so strong and healthy. He would still smile, but he lost the twinkle in his eyes,” Freida said.

Since Michael’s death Freida has become active in GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) and HEAT (Heroin Education Action Team) and some online groups. She says: “I feel the best when I am with Michael’s friends who remember him and are working hard to improve their lives due to his influence. I have many young friends and “adopted” children because of Michael.”

She misses movie nights and pizza with Michael and his hugs where he raised her off the floor. “My life will never be the same without Michael, but I will strive to make the best out of the worst and the best better,” a quote they both loved from Michael’s brother Stephen.

Michael’s mother, Freida Knott MacDonald, provided the information for this narrative.

September 16, 1991-February 14, 2016
Age 24–Lived with addiction 2-3 years

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