Memorial

Memorial

Benjamin November

Born
Died

I miss his phone calls when he was in a really good mood. I miss him calling me, "Ma Mere" because he thought it sounded better than Mom or Ma. I miss his infectious laugh and his stupid jokes that he would laugh at. I miss going on walks with him and eating fancy meals he had made. I miss his hugs and his smile.

Tell us about your loved one.

Ben was full of life and energy. There was nothing he wouldn't try to do. He could be the most loving person in the world and he could be unmentionable cruel. He had an artist's spirit and was very talented in cooking and in painting. When he was two years old, his favorite toy was his Fisher Price kitchen - he could play there for hours - making the fake toast and cooking on the burners and shoving things in the oven. He looked at the world with wonder and fear. He was very sensitive and seemingly small things could devastate him. He loved cars and collected Porsche models. He loved animals and babies. As a young adult, he would seek out his younger cousins and entertain them for hours. He also loved the elderly, especially his maternal grandmother and could talk with her for hours on end.

Tell us about Benjamin's struggle with addiction

Ben seemed to struggle the most with his impulses. He had very little impulse control. If he felt something - he said it. If he wanted something - he took it. He was diagnosed at age 5 with ADHD and struggled with school and expected behavior for his entire school career. He came home from Kindergarten and said something like, "At recess, I run for the swings because if I get a swing, I can just stay on it for the whole recess and I know I won't get in trouble." Ben started stealing beers and alcohol as a young teen. He was very smart and therefore very sneaky and good at stealing alcohol. He started smoking weed and moved on to all kinds of other drugs by high school. He was a very talented chef and went to the state level of Pro-start, a chef program in high schools. He tried college, but it didn't work so well for him. He did get a great job as a chef; however, that restaurant life was rampant with drugs and alcohol and he continued using. Throughout high school and young adulthood, his family tried many, many programs for recovery and sobriety. They would work for awhile and soon he would be back using. Ben moved to California in 2012 and there he found heroin. He went through rehab after rehab in Cali. He was finally clean for four months and living in a good sober living house. He was working at the deli at Albertson's in Dana Point. He was staying clean and finally owning his own shit for the first time in his life. On the morning of July 22, 2014, he hooked up with an old druggie acquaintance. At 3 pm that afternoon, he was found dead in his room from a heroin overdose. He didn't even inject it, he had only smoked it, and yet he died from it.

What made Benjamin smile?

Food definitely made Ben smile! As did animals, babies and the elderly. He had the sweetest, most gentle nature with those groups. He loved dinosaurs as a child and would cry when he read about endangered species because just the thought of animals being gone from the earth filled him with despair. He loved to be outside, which was one of the reasons he moved to southern California, because he loved the beach and the temperate climate. He was also so happy in the water- whether it was a bathtub or the ocean - he was happy! He loved and adored his baby sister! As a toddler, he would asked to be put in her crib with her and would entertain her with stuffed animals and toys for hours.

What do you miss most about Benjamin?

I miss his phone calls when he was in a really good mood. I miss him calling me, "Ma Mere" because he thought it sounded better than Mom or Ma. I miss his infectious laugh and his stupid jokes that he would laugh at. I miss going on walks with him and eating fancy meals he had made. I miss his hugs and his smile.

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