With the sudden, tragic, and likely drug related passing of talented and passionate actor Philip Seymour Hoffman we are again reminded of the incredible power of addiction. Whenever a public figure dies from an overdose, we reflect on the loss of a gifted personality and the future opportunities we will miss to appreciate the wonders of their abilities. We reminisce about the most recent and memorable experiences of their talent. It is tragic to hear and read these stories; an unfortunate reminder of the perils of drugs and how an amazing person can be destroyed by an evil disease. Such a loss.
While we reflect on the talents, skills, and power of Mr. Hoffman, and the tragedy of his passing, we must also remember he was a son, a father, and a husband. Somewhere there is a family mourning the loss of a person who was more significant and important beyond his on screen talents. Although we knew him as a great actor — he was something much more to those who truly knew him and loved him.
The bigger tragedy is the millions of families dealing with the impact of this evil disease today. Though these struggles and losses may not make the headlines, they are just as significant, just as painful, and just as tragic to those affected. There are millions of moms, dads, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters who wish their bright, energetic, talented, gifted, and precious person were still in their lives today.
As we take pause to reflect on the loss of another great actor to drugs, take a moment to hug someone you know who is dealing with addiction in their lives. Their pain, their confusion, and their hurt never goes away. Whether their child or sibling or spouse is alive or lost on the street they constantly feel the pain and confusion of their loss. Please make time to reach out to someone you know is suffering with this disease and let them know they are not alone. Give them a hug and let them know they have a friend who recognizes their pain and, even if we don’t understand the disease, we understand and empathize with their suffering.