By Nate's sister-in-law, Brooke
Nathan will always be known for his contagious smile and laugh. Nathan loved to fish and be outdoors. While he was in rehab before his sudden passing, he enjoyed drawing. One of my favorite memories of him was him meeting his nephew for the first time in the hospital. That was the first time I actually witnessed pure love from him to another. I loved watching him play with his nieces and nephews despite his drug addiction. Being addicted to drugs doesn’t make you any less of a loving individual. His heart was pure and he loved his family.
Nathan struggled with an opiate addiction. It began with pain medication. He went to rehab several times. He struggled with this demon for a very long time which progressed to the use of heroin. His birthday had passed while in rehab, but he was home for Christmas of 2019. I knew how happy he was to be home with his beloved family. He was attending meetings twice a day, even his mother was going with him because she wanted to be a part of this journey in a positive way. They would take walks together. He and her both knew how important it was for him to be physically active. Sobriety wasn’t just about not doing drugs, it’s also about your mental health and being physically active! Nathan was also taking a pill known as Rivea. It’s made to help your cravings, and also it blocks just about every drug (not all), and alcohol. Sadly, Nathan must’ve been going through it very hard one night and he went out and used. His body did not react the way we would’ve wanted it to. His body became sick and reacted to the drugs he took that night. He began vomiting and he fell asleep in hope to rest. Unfortunately, our family lost him but heaven gained another beautiful angel. A part of me feels guilty because I didn’t reach out to him to make sure he was okay. His family and I felt a bit of guilt. I wish I went to the meeting with him that he invited me to go to with him. I myself am a recovering addict of opiates. Him and I both went to rehab around the same time. Nathan and I shared a special connection because nobody understood why we did the drugs we did, only we knew! Nathan will always hold a special place in my heart. He was a wonderful uncle to my two children that I shared with his brother, Jeremy. Nathan will never be forgotten and we will always grieve losing him.
I have an awesome support system which includes his family as well as mine. I think my family and his are more aware of this issue and how much you can do for someone by simply reaching out. I have thought about speaking to his family about getting into counseling just so they can have a professional answer or simply someone to talk to about what they’re feeling. Nathan’s passing only brought our broken hearts closer together to each other.
Nathan’s passing has had a huge impact on my struggle with addiction; my two beautiful kids lost their uncle, my children’s father, aunts and uncles lost his brother, and my children’s papa and nana lost their son. I honor Nathan today by staying clean for him and my family. Sometimes I feel guilty like I should’ve been the one to go, but his family is amazing and pushes for me every single day. I could never imagine putting his family through that heartache again.
Nathan, every fish your friends and family catch, we will think of you.
Rest In Peace...until we meet again Uncle Nate ❤️