Families, friends to place purple lanterns on Light Up Night to increase awareness about the toll of addiction
TPittsburgh Post-Gazette here’s no chance that a makeshift purple lantern glowing on some Downtown corner will chase the dark questions from Catherine Robinson’s mind. She has been asking them ever since her son, Mark Jones, 26, called her hours before his fatal fentanyl overdose. He told her that he’d put his son to bed and was about to watch a movie, and then became uncharacteristically repetitive.
“He said, ‘I love you, Mommy. I really love you,’” she said this week, recounting the events of April 22. “Was he telling me something? Was he trying to ask for help? What was it?”
The nagging doubts will remain, but maybe 100 purple lanterns, or 150, or 200, marked with the name of an overdose victim and distributed guerrillastyle on Light Up Night, could help to change some attitudes about addiction, the Dormont mother hopes.
“All of these people who passed away, I don’t want any of them forgotten, because they weren’t bad people, they just made bad choices,” she said. “It just seems like everyday there’s another one.”
On Friday afternoon, members of the advocacy group Pittsburgh Won’t Forget U plan to gather Downtown with homemade purple lanterns and distribute them just as the Golden Triangle prepares to glow in its annual bid to excite
Catherine Robinson, 49, right, references an obituary as she writes the names and dates of death for area overdose victims onto paper bag lanterns Tuesday at her home in Dormont.