Mom of Harvard grad who overdosed on heroin works to give her son a life after death

While Joshua Hubbell’s mother was in a deep sleep for three days, he spent time with his friends and family in her room, and she says that during those interactions, he spoke of his heroin addiction and that he was down in the dumps. The bright, bubbly young man, who graduated from Harvard, had always been vivacious and active, but as his mother explains, he had been socially withdrawn and skeptical of all his friends, largely because of his own mistakes.

“He was lying to us and we knew it,” Jenny Hubbell tells The New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein.

Without knowing where Josh was, his mother put his phone under a spot in the living room, and tried to wake him up. She hadn’t heard anything.

“He’s going off the deep end,” she thought to herself.

Joshua said, “Mum, please wake me up.”

And, thankfully, he was. But by that time, Jillary’s feelings were twofold. Her son had long needed treatment and was going off the deep end, and she now thought he would never get help.

The pain and shame she felt was difficult to reconcile with the fantastic opportunities she and her husband had offered Josh and his friends as their kids progressed through school. She recounts being horrified and traumatized, and crying in front of her kids. She remembered how she and her husband had offered to take Josh, if he had any kind of intervention needed, and that he had at the time begun referring to them as his “parents.” Josh’s mother didn’t allow the group to meet alone; she insisted it was a mom, not a dad, thing.

Her biggest fear, according to The Times: that if her son was off her radar, she could never look him in the eye and ask what was wrong.

So, how did she and her husband deal with the prospect of their son dying? According to Jenny, the term she and Josh both used was inclusive: which meant, yes, he would be a part of their family, but also that he didn’t have to kill himself to be worthy of it.

“He wouldn’t have to do it for me, but he would have to do it for the four years of his life that we are trying to reclaim,” she told Goodstein.

Joshua’s own publicist, Jerry Zaks, offered to fund Josh’s treatment so that, for her, it wouldn’t have to be “the insurer and the lawyer and the hospital and the people that Josh says he is looking forward to suing.”

Josh received outpatient treatment for about a year, and last week, he went to be formally detoxed. He is currently rehab-bound in Connecticut.

“He will always be my son and I’ll always be his mother,” said Jenny. “So much of my hope is that he’ll feel understood for his mistakes and that he will own what he has done, and not be a victim of his circumstance.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


How a ‘misleading’ feature led a family to sue a former Massachusetts insurance company for PTSD they were sure their son suffered on war front

Leave a Comment