Mother of OD victim earns praise for death notice bluntness

Kelsey Grace Endicott

BOSTON — A Massachusetts mother’s blunt yet heartfelt tribute after her daughter died from a heroin overdose is spreading around the world via social media and earning praise for its brutal honesty.

Kathleen Errico found her daughter, 23-year-old Kelsey Endicott, dead in her bed on April 2.

Instead of dealing in euphemisms in the death notice, such as saying the 23-year-old Endicott “died suddenly,” the Haverhill woman came right out and said her daughter “passed away from an accidental overdose.”

Errico wrote: “The disease of addiction is merciless,” adding later that Kelsey “wants us to use our voices to speak up about what is happening to her generation.”

Errico tells The Boston Globe she wrote the death notice hoping to reach only one other person, or one other family, struggling with addiction.

The obituary titled Life Legacy as published by

HAVERHILL- Kelsey Grace Endicott, age 23, passed away on April 2, 2016, from an accidental overdose. For many years, she fought a heroic battle with addiction. She had been sober for almost ten months, but her disease still had a powerful hold on her. We wish she had recognized the beauty and strength everyone else saw in her. Kelsey did not want to leave this world. She yearned for a life without fear and pain; a life that would permit her to realize that the world was open for her to explore and that change was possible. During her adolescence, Kelsey hid her vulnerability with meticulously-crafted sarcasm, but in recent years, she had allowed her kindness and compassion to shine – she had found the courage to be herself.  It is not true that everything happens for a reason. The reality of Kelsey’s death is devastating, and no possible reason can justify the loss of this beautiful young woman, who had so much to give to the world. Wherever she went, people loved her. The disease of addiction is merciless.  It is up to us to open our minds and hearts to those who are still sick and suffering. Kelsey does not want us to cry for her.  She wants us to fight for her.  She wants us to fight for her memory and all she believed.  She wants us to use our voices to speak up about what is happening to her generation.  She wants us to tell her story and never forget she was an amazing young woman with a bright future…not a statistic.

Kelsey is survived by her son Camden Endicott, her parents Kathleen(Meehan) Errico and Paul Errico of Haverhill and her father Stephen Endicott of Malden. She is also survived by her sisters, Kaitlyn Meehan of Haverhill and Melissa Fucci of Holden and her nephew, Colin Thomas Meehan-Daniels. Also among her survivors are her grandparents, maternal grandfather , John Terrance  Meehan of Hampstead and her paternal grandmother Grace Endicott of Bridgewater as well as Paul and Carole Errico of Littleton. She is also survived by many cousins, aunts and uncles.

A Funeral Mass will be offered on Friday at 10 AM at St. Michael’s Church in North Andover. Burial will follow in Ridgewood Cemetery also in North Andover.

Family and friends may call on Thursday from 4-8 PM at the Conte Funeral Home 17 Third Street North Andover.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to North Shore Recovery High School located at 112 Sohier Road, Beverly, MA  01915 or to the H.A.R.T House located at 365 East St. P.O. Box 477 Tewksbury, MA 01876 in Kelsey’s name

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