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Tell us about your loved one.
Erik was a fine young man whose dream was to become a NYPD Police Officer and Detective. Erik's dream became a reality, we were so proud of him. Erik had many friends and a beautiful lovely girlfriend. He was funny, caring, polite and respectful with a bit of a daredevil in him.
Tell us about Erik's struggle with addiction
Erik hurt his back in early 2011 and was prescribed pain killers, that he became addicted to and within a year and half overdosed and died. Addiction is such a dark secret to us. Although we have witnessed the devastation it has wrought, we as a society are never prepared when it strikes our families.
Since it was such a short time period of his and our lives, it is very hard to describe his struggle. I would say what hurt him the most was he would say, "I just want to be the man I was."
What made Erik smile?
People. Erik loved helping his friends, he would listen and dispense advice, be there for his friends, he smiled a lot around people, had a hearty laugh, didn't mind being the brunt of a joke or telling a joke.
What do you miss most about Erik?
I miss him. The essence of Erik, who he was, who he would become. That is the sad part. Erik will always be 28. To share his future as a son, brother, husband, and father. There will always be an empty plate at the table.
I miss him calling me and saying, "Ma, I'm hungry, can you make Chicken Parm?" What I would do to hear those words again. Calling his Dad. Calling for advice on his job, car, many different things. We miss him every moment of the day.