MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Remembering the good times is what helps Kim Lance deal with the pain.
“It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my life,” Lance said.
Her daughter, Rachel Ann Hodges, died from a drug overdose on Saturday.
She was 29.
“I know she’s with God,” Lance said. “I know she’s not struggling.”
Rachel battled heroin addiction for 11 years and went to nine different rehab centers for treatment, according to Lance.
“I was her cheerleader,” the mother said. “And, I just prayed with her.”
Lance is now turning her pain into transparency.
She included Rachel’s struggle with addiction in her obituary.
She writes, “Her death was the result of an accidental overdose following a long struggle with addiction.”
The obituary goes on to say, “Chances are someone you know is struggling with the disease of addiction.”
It later asks for the public’s support as the family continues to “fight the darkness.”
“She did not die in vain,” Lance said. “She would be proud of that. She wouldn’t be ashamed.”
Drug overdoses in Tennessee set a record last year with more than 1,800 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control.
“People need to know that this happens to all types of people in this walk of life,” Lance said. “It can happen to anybody.”
It’s a message the mother hopes will help other families find light in the darkness of addiction.
“Hopefully, she can be a face that saves somebody else’s life,” she said.
In lieu of flowers, the family wants donations to made to the Helen Ross McNabb Center in Knoxville.
The center treats substance abuse and is one of the places where Rachel went to seek help.