Two parents in Ohio decided not to mince words when it came to the cause of their daughter’s sudden passing. In the obituary, Fred and Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake clearly stated that their 18-year-old daughter, Alison, died of a heroin overdose.

The Associated Press reports heroin-related deaths have increased nearly four times in the past decade, but it is still rare to name the cause in obits. “There was no hesitation,” said Dorothy. “We’ve seen other deaths when it’s heroin, and the families don’t talk about it because they’re ashamed or they feel guilty. Shame doesn’t matter right now.”

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By being open about their tragedy, Fred and Dorothy hope they can help prevent other young people from going down the same path as their daughter. Last month, both Alison and her boyfriend, Luther, died in the apartment they shared. A heroin needle was found next to their bodies. After Dorothy told Luther’s parents of her plan to be open about the cause of death, they decided to do the same with his obituary.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

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Image via AP.