Molly Parks' family hopes their transparency about her death will save lives

By Andrea Park
Updated April 24, 2015 12:30 PM
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After their daughter died of a heroin overdose, Molly Parks’ parents decided not to gloss over the gritty details.

“Molly Alice Parks, age 24, who most currently resided in Manchester, NH, passed away in Manchester on April 16, 2015 as the result of a heroin overdose,” her obituary begins.

It goes on to describe Parks’ “fearless personality,” in addition to her love of the Harry Potter series and her trademark red lipstick. But then the obituary addresses her struggle with addiction: “Along Molly’s journey through life, she made a lot of bad decisions including experimenting with drugs. She fought her addiction to heroin for at least five years and had experienced a near fatal overdose before.”

Her father, Tom Parks, told the Washington Post that the family decided to use their devastating loss as a way to raise awareness and help others who may be on the brink of a similar tragedy.

“Even if one person reads that and says, ‘Oh my God, that can be me,’ and stops – if we could save one life – we could be happy,” he said. “That would mean that Molly didn’t die in vain.”

Included in the obituary is a plea to readers: “If you have any loved ones who are fighting addiction, Molly’s family asks that you do everything possible to be supportive, and guide them to rehabilitation before it is too late.”

Parks’ death came as a shock to her family, as she had recently appeared to be getting her life back on track. After being in and out of rehab three times in the last year, Parks was holding down a steady job delivering pizzas 55 hours a week in Manchester.

“She was here last Monday and she looked great. But it’s so hard, of course, and she got sucked back in,” her father said. Four days later, Parks was found dead in the bathroom at work with a needle stuck in her arm.

Parks hopes that the family’s transparency about his daughter’s death will inspire others not only to seek help for loved ones who may be battling an addiction, but also to stand by them throughout their road to recovery.

“I see a lot of obituaries from families that are losing 20-somethings, 30-somethings and 40-somethings, and they’re all saying they died suddenly,” he told the Post. “But that’s not the truth, and we know that because we just went through it.”