Family pic with dad in casket warns of addiction

Posted at 1:13 PM, Sep 16, 2015

CINCINNATI — A local woman is hoping a photo she posted to Facebook will help spread awareness of the dangers of drug addiction.

And that photo has gone viral.

Shortly following the funeral of her children’s father, Mike, Eva Holland posted a photo of herself and her two kids standing next to his casket.

In the post, Holland described Mike as someone who struggled with opiate addiction — both with pain medication and, later, heroin — and, while she later clarified that the coroner has yet to identify the official cause of death, she called his death "preventable."

She said she knew the photo would make “a lot of people uncomfortable” but also said she “just needed to share his story in case it can help anyone else.”

In her post, Holland remembered him as “once so happy and full of life” and “a great son, brother, friend, but most of all…a great dad.”

The photo has now been shared over 280,000 times. Here is the caption that accompanied Holland's photo, in full and unedited:

I'm sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable it may even piss a few people off but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction. If you don't choose recovery every single day this will be your only way out. No parent should have to bury their child and no child as young as ours should have to bury their parent. This was preventable it didn't have to happen but one wrong choice destroyed his family. I know a lot of people may be upset I'm putting it out in the open like This but hiding the facts is only going to keep this epidemic going. The cold hard truth is heroin kills. You may think it will never happen to you but guess what that's what Mike thought too. We were together 11 years. I was there before it all started. I knew what he wanted out of this life, all his hopes and dreams. He never would've imagined his life would turn out this way. He was once so happy and full of life. He was a great son, brother, friend but most importantly he was a great dad. He loved those kids more than anything. But as we all know sometimes life gets tough and we make some wrong choices. His addiction started off with pain pills then inevitably heroin. He loved us all so much he decided enough was enough and went to rehab at the end of last year. He got out right before Christmas as a brand new man. He had found His purpose for living again, he found his gorgeous smile again, he became the man, the son, the brother, the dad that we all needed him to be again. He did so good for so long but then a couple months ago It started with a single pill for a "tooth ache" which inevitably lead him back down the road of addiction instead of staying the coarse of recovery. He said he could handle it, that he could stop on his own and didn't need to get help again. Well he was wrong, last Wednesday he took his last breath. My kids’ father, the man I loved since I was a kid, a great son and a great person lost his battle. I just needed to share his story in case it can help anyone else.

See the photo here (WARNING: some may find the photo disturbing).

In a later post, Holland related an encounter she had shortly after posting the photo, when a woman who identified herself as a heroin addict thanked her for posting the photo.