Solemn re­minder

Fam­i­lies, friends to place pur­ple lanterns on Light Up Night to in­crease aware­ness about the toll of ad­dic­tion

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Front page - By Rich Lord

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

Stephanie Stras­burg/Post-Gazette

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.

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