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Shawn and Jessica S.

By Shawn and Jessica's mom, Laura

Shawn & Jessica Sperling

Paramus, NJ​

Shawn & Jessica. Brother & sister. Son & daughter. Beautiful & beautiful. Shawn & Jessica, two of my three, children lost to addiction.

Shawn, from the day he was born on April 8, 1990 was that kid who lit up a room. He was friends with everyone. Funny, witty, athletic, smart and charming. We called him “Ferris Bueller” because just like the character in the movie, he was loved by all. He was voted “most contagious laugh” in his yearbook. What started with an OxyContin prescription from the doctor for simple back pain quickly turned into an addiction. Shawn turned to heroin, which was so much easier to get. We sent him to an inpatient rehab, but three days after he came home, he overdosed and died. Shawn was 22. His brother was the one who found him in the house.

Jessica, my baby and only girl, was 20 years old at the time. She became severely depressed and began self-medicating herself with drugs. Jessica was a talented gymnast and head cheerleader at her high school. For the past six years, she had been in and out of various inpatient rehab facilities. She seemed to be in a better place when she came home from an inpatient rehab in California in May of this year. Suddenly one of her closest friends overdosed and died, and Jessica couldn’t handle yet another sadness and loss. She spiraled back to addiction. We lost her on Sept. 8th, just eight weeks ago. Almost six years to the day we lost our Shawn. She was 26 years old. Jessica was the love of my life. We did everything together. The loss is unbearable for me. We buried her with her brother.

No one knows what to say to me. There are no words. This monster “addiction “ stole the lives of two of my children. I will never see them fall in love, get married or become parents. Addiction stole all of our futures. It robbed us all of what should have been. There is no evil like it. To look into the eyes of your child as they are struggling is beyond heartbreaking. Even though you try everything to save them, you are powerless. There is no greater pain than to bury a child. I buried two.

Shawn 4/8/90- 9/30/12. Forever 22! ❤️

Jessica 7/3/92- 9/8/18. Forever 26 ❤️


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