Shira was one of the funniest girls I ever knew. Running into her was like hitting the jackpot, because the laughter and fun were a always a given. But, underneath the smile was the pain she always carried. She was a musician, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. And she was way more than anyone ever knew.

Shira could play the piano like a dream. Her music would have surely changed the world. When she passed away we not only lost someone special, we lost all that she would have given of herself. She had a lot to give.

I heard somewhere that there’s nothing more powerful than a mother’s love…except addiction. There’s no better example that I can think of than Shira and her three beautiful children, and her love for them. Losing them broke what was left of her heart.

She struggled for years with her behavioral health. She had periods of recovery and she tried for dear life to find a way through it. In the end of her life she was living in her car and just trying to survive the best she could.

I believe that we must do everything to save the lives of people like Shira. She wasn’t just a homeless drug user who overdosed. She was beautiful and wonderful and the world was better with her in it. I wish that she had somewhere to go to use her drug that was safe and clean, where people would have loved her as she was and helped her move beyond the pain that she carried around with her. I wish that we still had her here with us.

A supervised consumption space could have saved Shira. Or, someone else’s Shira. If there’s a chance, shouldn’t we try?