An obituary for a Louisiana man published over the weekend has struck a chord with many readers, touched not only by the tragedy of a life lost too soon, but for his mother’s heartfelt thoughts on her son’s drug-addicted life and death.
Brian Dijon Knox, 40, died Dec. 30 in his apartment in Metairie.
His obituary, which ran in editions of The Advocate, has been shared across social media and generated numerous guest book messages, many from people who didn’t know the deceased but were inspired or strengthened by his mother’s words about loved ones who suffer from addiction.
Knox’s mother, Gwen Knox, writes in his obit of his love of soccer, his “beautiful eyes” and “caring heart,” but also of his “tormented spirit” trying to deal with drug addiction and the consequences of his choices.
“He started experimenting with drugs in his teens and came to think that the only solution to whatever he was dealing with was drugs,” she wrote. “Coping with life was not a skill that he ever acquired.”
Gwen Knox concludes that her efforts to “cushion his fall” were a mistake that other family members of addicts could learn from: “Love your addict, know that they are sick, but don’t let their sickness make you ill.”
She quotes an unknown author’s words from a piece titled, “Let Me Fall All By Myself”: “Don’t you see ?? Don’t you know?? You can’t do this for me ... I have to do it for myself, but if you are always breaking the fall how am I ever supposed to feel the pain that is part of the driving force to want to get well. It is my burden to carry, not yours ...”