|Early on the morning of November 18th my partner in love & in life died from a heroin overdose on our living room floor. Jared was a brilliant, generous, and kind man. He had been a part of my life for 18 years. The fog that settled around me was heavy and dark. A few days later I walked into my therapist’s office, just a few steps from Haywood Street. The only thing I knew for certain was that after my appointment I needed to head down the sidewalk and through the doors that read “Holy Chaos.” Something pulled me that direction.
I first became familiar with Haywood Street through my friend Brook and then through my volunteer work with Steady Collective. Just before he died, Jared had been talking to me about going through training to be a Companion. I must admit, we are both atheists, but something compelled both of us towards the work of HSC. All the jagged edges of Haywood Street seemed to fit perfectly into ours. The pure love of all humans resonated deeply with us.
Brook met me and swiftly brought me into worship. I sunk into the pew and allowed myself to be enveloped in the moment. When a man rose to speak, and the name Lazarus tumbled from his mouth I began to cry. I cried because I couldn’t raise Jared from the dead. Vial after vial of Narcan I injected into him would not allow my Jared to be a Lazarus. I wept. And as I wept I was wrapped in love. Hugs from strangers, hands on my shoulders, your Holy Chaos held me upright. I knew this little atheist in the pew was as loved as anyone else. This was exactly where I needed to be. The compassion, kindness and love that flows out the door of Haywood Street truly transcends doctrine.
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