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Parents' openness is loving

I have been deeply touched by the openness of the parents of several young people who have died as a result of drug overdoses. Their courage in the face of such tragedy sets a standard for all of us.

Tears finally came when I read the obituary for John Reagan Philips. The phrase "for reasons we do not understand" seems to summarize for all parents the bewilderment they feel when their much-loved children make such heartbreaking choices. Then, a few days later, you published your interview with Michael Doron about the recent death of his son Joey. In his grief, he is trying to warn others — hoping, I am sure, to squeeze a little good out of such senselessness and loss. The article reminded me of the father of Amelia Sorich at the time of her death and the quotations from the relatives of Zachary Martinez. All of them have come forward to share their stories in the hopes that other young people will not have to die, never having a chance to give to the world and leaving such devastation behind.

These people have not hidden behind a so-called stigma, but instead have chosen to represent the best in humanity — the ability to sacrifice for others. Thank you for seeking out and sharing their stories. One line in John's obituary says it all for all of us: "We are so sorry."

Sherry McMullin

Salt Lake City