Whitney was very kind, smart, funny, and lighthearted. I always loved to be around her because she made everything seem fine even if it wasn't. She could take the brutal reality of a situation and make it sound hilarious. She was always around her friends and she loved music, computers, movies, and concerts. She was an empathic person listening intently to friends' problems and careful not to share their confidences. She had been involved in many activities such as cheerleading, ballet, band, and art graphics and was a good student. In terms of art graphics and photography, Whitney had an eye...a different perspective that made her very talented in this area.
She was a very sensitive soul that seemed to experience life on a different level. When I think of her it seems she was like a gentle breeze...carefree and unfettered by life's harsh realities. This is who she portrayed but inside she was plagued by a relentless anxiety and an emotional turmoil that led to her addiction to heroin and ultimately her death. She was 20 years old when I received the news that my child had been found dead in a credit union parking lot. She had died of an overdose. The child that I had cared for and loved with all my heart was gone. Previously, Whitney had been in recovery for a year and a half and was doing well. She had just completed her coursework to become a recovery coach and was engaged to be married. Addiction does not discriminate...recovery is lifelong...and one time is all it takes to wipe out a future. I love and miss my girl.