Please forgive me for taking so long to update you since my last post.  With my decision to believe in “Hope” and give her the opportunity to seek help;  I thought it was only fair to give her a chance to do so and not risk interfering with her success in any way.  It has been several months and I am now happy to share this update.

“Hope” successfully completed her first 30 days at Sierra Tuscon in Arizona, and has been at her new, current, residential rehabilitation center ever since.  Most of what I know comes directly from talking to Hope because I have had very limited contact with either rehabilitation center.   Hope seems very sincere in her ongoing commitment to learn about herself and how to never repeat the behavior she exhibited with Max.  She seems to be embracing the process, understands the amount of long term work she has ahead of her and constantly expresses her empathy for all of our pain in the loss of Max and the manner in which she contributed to it.  She currently plans to be at the current treatment center until at least the end of September and will then continue through out-patient programs for as long as is necessary.  I have done my part and she is doing hers.  All we can do now is encourage and believe in her success.

Many of you have been following the case of Michelle Carter in the media wherein she contributed towards Conrad Roy’s suicide via a relationship based predominantly on texting. Ms. Carter was convicted, received only 15 months in jail and is being allowed to go home with her family until all appeal efforts have been exhausted. ( ).  I’d like to believe, at this point in time, that how I have chosen to handle Max’s case may have already produced a more positive result and hopeful outcome.  Even if the judge ultimately requires that Ms. Carter to obtain mental health care, she would be doing so involuntarily which, typically, means receiveing such treatment from a facility surrounded by others who are there involuntarily as well.  With my limited knowledge, I fear that all this does is release someone into society who has gained even more negative knowledge from their peers than they had prior to receiving the treatment, and remains upset that they were forced to receive such treatment.  Is that someone who is rehabilitated and unlikely to repeat prior behavior?  Hope is seeking help because she wants the help and has a desire to get the most from what is being offered to her.  Even if Max were alive today, I believe we would still be taking these same steps because she was becoming aware of and asking for help; often telling him that she didn’t understand why she did the things she did to him.  Although I truly believe she will succeed, at least we will still have options should Hope chose to revert back to her old habits, abandon her treatment and attempt to hurt others in the future.  My heart breaks for the Roy family and I hope they find some sense of peace… if that is even possible.

In the meantime, I am trying to do the same.  I am in a kind of pain that I hope none of you ever experience and I ask that you not even try to relate.  While treading water in search of a new normal, the meaning of life, the courage to show Jackson that life is worth fighting for…even now, and a reason to get out of bed every day; I hope to provide further updates that address some more details about Max’s death that need to be shared.

Max’s relationship with Hope is what made him WANT to die, however that does not explain what gave him the ability to actually take his life and in the manner that he chose.  As I have said before, unlike Ms. Carter, Hope did not tell Max to commit suicide.  Wanting to die is not all that is required in committing suicide.  If so, many of us would not be here today.  Being sad or depressed does not make someone suicidal any more than wanting to die means someone will inevitably commit suicide.  What I have learned about Max’s death also involves psychiatrists prescribing medications in the benzodiazepine family, Hope’s personal struggle with and encouragement of such medications, and information on the internet about how to kill oneself with very little pain that Max was able to find only moments prior to taking his life.

I need to write these updates on the rare occasions that I feel I have a steady breath and my instincts are insistant on such, so please be patient.  I hope to address these topics very soon.  In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is being prescribed anything in the benzodiazepine family (i.e. Klonopin, Clorazapam, etc.) please be very careful.  It should not be given to anyone who suffers from depression or is even momentarily depressed or sad.  It is prescribed for anxiety, yet most people who suffer from anxiety know that anxiety leads to a feeling of depression.  Benzodiazepines are anti-seizure medication and can cause someone to want to commit suicide.  An episode of “Orange is the New Black” perfectly referenced it as a drug that makes you feel good but then you will simply  stub your toe and want to die!  Even if taking as prescribed, and in small doses, it can cause this.  Please be very careful.  I am curious to learn how many victims of suicide were also prescribed or had access to benzodiazepines.

I will share such updates with the simple intention of educating people in hopes of saving lives before it is too late.  Beyond that, I would like to begin working on more positive things and focusing on a project that Max and I were working on which encourages random acts of kindness and paying it forward.  Once/if I accept that he is truly gone, I will then need to accept I can’t bring him back.  The only thing to do in that case is to move forward and try to encourage more love and less pain, more acceptance and less competition; and living for the ultimate goal of contributing positively to society through whatever gift and purpose we were born with; in search of happiness as opposed to compensation.

Thank you for support, patience and understanding.

Here is an interview that I have found to be very eye opening about prescription medication.     




  1. Erica! You are an amazing, loving mom and I admire you so much! Your intervention with Hope is unbelievably generous and inspiring! Thank you for sharing this encouraging update on her treatment. Praying for you and Jackson! XOXO

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