Sean Patrick Mulligan was many things – a father, a son, a brother, a friend. A Boston College High School class of ’04 grad, a member of the Hingham community, a talented musician, a jokester, a cooking enthusiast. A kind person.
He was also someone who grappled for years with addiction. In February 2015, he lost his battle.
While addiction took the driver’s seat at the end of Sean’s life, it does not begin to define the man he was. But we all lost the father, son, brother, friend he would have been to this evil illness. And it’s startling how “not alone” we are. Our family has joined tens of thousands of others (just in the year 2015) who lost a loved one to addiction. Addiction knows no bounds and does not discriminate. We are all touched by its ripple effect in some way.
The last few years have been tough for us to mourn our personal, individual loss of Sean while grappling with the bigger picture of a nationwide epidemic he was unfortunately a part of. The statistics are truly frightening and not nearly enough is being done to stem the devastating human toll of addiction. We still have more questions than answers, and haven’t always known how best to channel our grief and loss to take action. But this year, at what would have been his 32nd birthday, we want to try with a first step—to do something more to fight stigma, spread empathy, and make a practical impact in Sean’s memory.
Please consider donating to the Herren Project—an organization that does important work in addiction treatment navigation and mentoring, as well as prevention through education. Our family plans to match the donation amount now through the end of March, Sean’s birthday month. And feel free to leave a comment—we’d love to hear any words or stories you have about Sean, ideas on fighting this disease or other thoughts to keep the discussion going.
Thanks for reading, for donating if you’re able, and for thinking of Sean today. It means so much to us.
Love, The Mulligan Family