Madelyn Linsenmeir, 1988-2018: All Parents Need to Read Her Obituary

Yesterday one of my Facebook friends shared a link to an obituary; a photo of a young mom beaming, wearing a baby on her back, went with the simple headline: Obituary: Madelyn Linsenmeir, 1988-2018.

The friend’s Facebook status simply said, “Wow. Read this.”

And so I did.

What followed was one of the most heartbreaking essays I have ever read. It was the story of Madelyn’s life: the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. It was a reminder that a person is so. much. MORE than they way he or she died.

But in the end, Madelyn Linsenmeir’s life ended tragically, and nearly half of it was lived that way, because, as her obituary says, when the incredibly kind, talented, fun-loving Maddie “was 16, she moved with her parents from Vermont to Florida to attend a performing arts high school. Soon after she tried OxyContin for the first time at a high school party, and so began a relationship with opiates that would dominate the rest of her life.”

Madelyn Linsenmeir’s obituary is a thing of dichotomous beauty; it is carefully crafted to truly celebrate her life but also expose the disease that led to her death. Opioid addiction in insidious and it is no respecter of persons; it does not discriminate between the person who was raised in poverty, abused and neglected, and the person who was raised and cherished in a house full of love and given every opportunity to succeed. It comes in an alters your brain in an instant, so that one choice made as an immature teen or one bad accident or injury can lead to a lifetime of battle against the disease of addiction.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

Related Posts


Recent Stories