Support group for parents who have lost a child to addiction or overdose
Our grief support group is for parents who have lost a child to an overdose or addiction. We meet bi-weekly by Zoom to discuss our grief, share memories of our children, and support one another.
As parents, we share a unique language forged by having loved and lost an addicted child. We want to cope with our anguish and grief and honor our children.
Losing a child to a substance use disorder can be lonely, isolating, and painful. LITT is here for you.
What to expect from a LITT support group
There is no fee to join any of our groups.
All groups currently meet by Zoom and once you have been placed in a group you will receive a Zoom link to attend meetings.
Group leaders are also available for one-on-one confidential conversations and support.
Your privacy is important to us and your information will not be shared.
Meet our support group leaders
Lisa Bertucci lost her son, Alex, on July 16, 2016, to an accidental overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. He was 24 years old. Lisa, her husband, daughter, and large extended family did their best to support Alex as he fought his illness. They were devastated by their loss, knowing that Alex deeply wanted a life in recovery.
Three years after the loss of Alex, Lisa started her work with LITT as a grief group leader. Lisa believes that if something good can come from something so tragic, it is most certainly the people she has met along the way.
Sarah Sartipy lost her son, Bijan, on October 11, 2019, to a fentanyl overdose. He was 21 years old. The five years preceding Bijan’s death were chaotic and tumultuous for his parents and sister. Bijan’s addiction ravaged the family emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Sarah joined the LITT grief group not long after losing Bijan where she found a safe place to share and process the trauma around addiction and grief.
Sarah considers the parents in LITT an extended family and a soft place during the hardest times. She lives in Baltimore with her partner, daughter, and two dogs. As a grief group leader, she finds meaning in helping other parents navigate this painful journey.
Lisa Filer lost her son, Aidan, on July 22, 2020 to fentanyl poisoning. Aidan was 22 years old. Lisa and Aidan’s dad struggled for years helping Aidan deal with his mental health issues and subsequent substance use disorder. Aidan completed his third rehab in 2020 and passed away six weeks later. Lisa, Aidan’s dad, and his older brother will always be devastated by their loss. For Lisa, the year following the loss of her son was one of confusion and soul searching. Eventually, Lisa returned home to Maryland and found LITT to be the community of parents she needed to process what had happened to her son and her family.
Lisa wants to help others process their loss through sharing and connecting. She believes that no one should be alone through this difficult journey and that through education and communication we can recognize that the sons and daughters we have lost to this illness were so much more than their disease. We can move forward and help destigmatize substance use disorder.
Kristin Seeberger lost her son, James Preston, on June 8, 2020, to fentanyl poisoning. James was twenty and living in Portland, Oregon, when he overdosed. A week before James died, he reached out to his mom to get help and gave her access to his therapist. James was days away from getting into the treatment that he requested. Kristin holds on to James’s intention.
The way Kristin tells the story, LITT found her a few weeks after James died. Fellow group leader Sarah Sartipy contacted her to share the story of her son Bijan and invited her to her first LITT group. LITT became a refuge for Kristin, helping her process her grief, and by bearing witness to other parents’ grief, her grief became lighter. She believes that substance use disorder is related to unresolved emotions, often from trauma. The death of a child from an overdose is one of the most traumatic events in a parent’s life. Kristin believes in the healing power of LITT’s grief groups to heal in a supportive and non judgmental place.
Kristin lives in Baltimore with her dog, Rux. Her oldest son Garrett lives in Portland, Oregon. She is currently pursuing her MFA in writing at Bennington College, writing essays about addiction, James, her family, Baltimore, dogs, butterflies, tattoos, grief, and the silver linings she finds along the way.
Maryrose Gans lost her son, David, on January 16, 2019, to fentanyl poisoning. David was 30 years old. He made his parents and brother aware of his addiction to opioids three years before his death. They loved and supported him throughout his journey, which was not hard, since there was so much about him to love. He signed himself up and attended several inpatient and outpatient rehabs. David hated his addiction. He relapsed and overdosed after months of sobriety.
When Maryrose joined LITT to grieve her son’s loss, she formed some incredibly special relationships. Through them, she learned that life goes on even after such a tragic loss. Maryrose wants to help others navigating their grief and is leading a group of parents who are further along the grief journey. We all agree that our children were so much more than their disease.
Daniel Ledesma lost his son, Oscar, on February 3, 2022, to an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was 17 years old. Oscar had dealt with anxiety issues during his early teen years. The Covid years were actually positive for him removing peer pressure and allowing him time to focus on his mental health. He returned to school for his senior year and joined a new group of friends who introduced serious illegal drugs to his life. As a family all gathered around him to help Oscar focus on changing his surroundings, graduating early and registering him for college. He attended his first substance support group, then tragically overdosed only hours later that evening.
Daniel was devastated and lost as a father for months. A dear friend, Robbie, saw Daniel’s desperation to find healing and peace. He researched parent support groups online and found LITT. The parent support group led by Lisa Filer was a turning point in his healing. After 6 months and with LITT in need of additional leaders to support new parents, he volunteered to lead a group for the organization. Daniel wants to support other parents through a community and “safe place” his group can provide. He recognizes a new grieving parent needs multiple resources and time to heal and process their tragedy. He is also very focused on raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl with other teens and parents.