Can death by heroin be classed as accidental? This isn’t a question laced with sarcasm or judgment but I do think it needs to be answered after the findings of an inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof. I am not a heroin addict, I am not a mother but I am someone who can’t see how the two can merge together without the risk of unimaginable consequences.
The definition of accidental is when something happens by chance, unexpected, not planned so how can a possible cause of death be called accidental when you choose to administer into your body a drug that can end your life? I am not a drug addict but I do understand the pull of something that when once experienced you want more of.
The choice the first time we do anything is ours, the choice not to do it again is much harder and it seems, for some, that even their children aren’t a strong enough deterrent. The majority of us when asked what a child needs will probably say love and whilst a show of love via encouragement, cuddles, listening and support in every stage of their life is essential, they can only work if the parent is present.
Parents are taken from children for many reasons. Heartbroken parents who have been dealt with the unfair card of an incurable disease will only be thinking how will their children cope and who will nurture them now. As devastating as this loss is and after the first thoughts of how unfair it is, a child knows deep down that they are not to blame and that their mother or father would have chosen a very different end if they could.
The loss however, of a parent who is an addict is altogether different and the understanding of it through a child’s eyes can be blindingly murky. How can a child understand addiction? When they do, they look back at how happy they were on the good days and wonder why they were not enough.
Life throws the most unexpected situations our way and many of them are not in our control but the biggest gift you can give to your child is to be around for as long as possible. To feel a loss at any age leaves a hole that is hard to fill but to lose a parent through a single, seemingly selfish act will leave behind something that will change another child’s life in the future; the risk of history repeating itself.