Max Cota...gone too soon...

by Laurie Cota
(Henderson, NV)

Max and I, June 2011

Max and I, June 2011

Max and I, June 2011
Our last day together 8/8/11

Click on each photo to enlarge.

Max was 6'2, 225lbs. Brown hair, blue eyes and a smile that would stop anyone in their tracks. Max was athletic. He started playing competitive baseball at just 10 years, old was a high school football "stud" and strong as an ox. Max was an honor role student, extremely popular, charismatic, and if he loved you, you knew it.
He was all of those things.
And a drug addict.
Addiction is a progressive disease. His first rehab was when he was 16 years old...his second rehab at 18...his third at 19...
Somewhere Max was lost and drug Max took over.
At just 20 years old, and just 30 hours after he was released from a 90 day drug rehabilitation program Max was handed heroin by a "friend" and died.
I read so many stories that mirror my own...why is this happening to our children? Why aren't drug laws anywhere near as tough as alcohol laws?
Many states in the country are prosecuting the people that give drugs to someone and those drugs result in death. It is called drug induced homicide...and unfortunately not being enforced in the state of Utah where my son died.
If I drink and drive and kill a willing passenger in my car I go to jail for manslaughter. Yet in many states throughout the country you can hand someone the drugs that kill them and walk away...where is the justice in this?
As I read the stories and I see the grief I wonder why we aren't doing more...doing stop our beautiful children from dying...
Max was my only child. He died 9/7/11...and I miss him terribly. I have to assume that there is a reason I was left here and he was taken...maybe there is a reason we were all left here without our children. I search every day for reason in his death...I wonder why the man who gave him the drugs was never prosecuted...I wonder if I am still here to make sure that no other mother has to sit back and watch their child die while their drug supplier walks free just to kill another child.
My son was much more than the disease he fought so hard to son wanted to live.
The last day I shared with him was 8/8/11-his 20th birthday. After an amazing day together I had to leave him in Utah and head back to NV where I live. I began to cry...feeling guilty because this was the first year I hadn't been able to bake him a cake and because I knew it would be several weeks before I was back in Utah for a visit.
He hugged me so tight and he said, "don't cry mama, I will see you soon."
I never saw my handsome, healthy, vibrant son again.
He died while I was making the 6 hour drive to Utah to bring him his things from home. He had just signed up for school and was living close to campus...preparing to snow board all winter, go to school and work on his sobriety with an outpatient program...
Handing a recovering drug addict drugs is criminal. It's heinous...gross...and legal.
Through our pain I think it's time to join together and focus the anger, the grief, the unexplainable empty ache and make sure our children didn't die in vain.
No more parents should suffer...the drug suppliers should.
Addiction is a disease. It's not a choice.
My son did not choose to die. Faced with his drug of choice he simply couldn't say no...
I miss him every second of every day. I don't even know who I am without him.
I just keep waking up every day and trying to figure it out. Figure out what is left of my life without my son...figure out why I am here and that someone that shined as brightly as Max did is gone.
If you have any ideas...any thoughts on making drug laws as far reaching as alcohol laws, I would love to hear from you. Somehow, someway, something has to be done...

Comments for Max Cota...gone too soon...

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Feb 22, 2012
only child too
by: Molly

upon reading your story of the loss of your beautiful son I can realate on how it must feel to have lost your only child. My son Quinn was the love of my life and everything to me. He was handsome full of chrismia had many friends funny and fun to be with. My son died from a heart desease, it was so sudden and shocking because he was far away from me attending a basketball camp. This experience that should have been so wonderful turned out to be the worse day of my life and I think Quinns too because he loved life and wanted to live. I think I am more angry with God about that how can you take a life of someone that feels so much joy from their life. It seems to me that so many things are killing our kids drugs, suicide, mystery heart deseases, murder and there is nothing being done about any of it. Not only that there are no supports for the families left behind to try and get on with their lives we are just left to figure it out and get sometime off work but then have to begin again. Dealing with the loss of your child is so devestating that I don't know how any of us get up in the morning and start again. I know for me it has been 7 months everyone else has moved on with their lives and I am just trying to decide what is my life and do I want it because my whole identity is completely shattered, I feel like a fake smileing and talking when all I want to do is be with my son or run away and just keep running because I am not sure where I would end up. I too am trying to figure out why was I left behind to do what? to accomplish what? I am trying everything and can only hope some thing eventually makes sense to me because right now I feel lost and empty and really don't know what can ever fill my life with joy ever again. Please feel free to email me if you would like to talk I don't know about you but losing your only child is another situation all together. All I can do now is wait for the day when I see my Quinn again and get to hug him and kiss him and never let him go. I pray that I will have that day and I hope that for all mothers and fathers going through this tragedy in their lives will have that day too.

Jan 05, 2012
by: Laurie, Max's mom

I want to thank all of you who have written me through this forum. It is so heart warming to receive your kind words and so heart wrenching to hear stories that mirror my sons.
I don't know exactly what direction I will take to change drug laws, but I know I will do something.
Addiction is an ugly disease...that without daily treatment is terminal.
My son was the most vibrant, strong, smart and loving son that any mother could want.
Drugs took him from me...
The "friend" that handed him those drugs walks free.
That fact haunts me every day.

Jan 05, 2012
so sad...
by: kevin's mom

Im so sorry for your loss, I know how you feel, I can son to died 22 March 2010 because of drugs. I dont know why they dont do anything to the drug dealers, the only thing that their get punished for is having drugs in their posetion! I live in Potchefstroom South Africa. Its a town that does not want to believe there is a drug problem. We too have a big university, there is alot of students. Most of the parents dont believe that drugs are available so easy. They all think their children wont get involved with drugs, they are so naive.
My beatifull son was 25 years young. He to was my only child. Its been 21 months since he died, and I still cant get over it, It feels like Im going crazy, no one can really relate to us, there is NOTHING to be done. We were always there to help our children, but this time, theres nothing we can do! Thats the hardest of it do nothing!
Thinking of you xxx

Jan 02, 2012
lost my son at 19 to heroine
by: star

Our stories are similar a sober best friend decided to try heroine one summer. My son had been pretty sober after rehab for a year. He tried heroine that summer and died within a few weeks. He was hansome extremely loved and a talented musician. He was so loved. He shot up home alone after trying to go cold turkey. I found him on the kitchen floor and he was warm. Did CPR but he never came around. His brother a year younger is traumatized and struggling and I fear loosing him. His older sister is well. The panic of possibly loosing another sucks the life out of me. It does get more tolerable. But heaven is looks a bit sweeter too. Check out myfox9 web site got to investigators and the the story with heroine in it. This was my try at helping. You can talk to me if you want. send a FB friend request with the note lost son and we can talk privately or on the phone.

Dec 31, 2011
your Max
by: Joann

I'm so sorry. Your son was so very handsome. I lost my husband to an accident this year. I just wanted to tell you that I've had friends who have also lost children this year to the exact same scenario, and the drug dealer seems to live forever. So unfair. Take care of yourself. I don't know yet how to go on, but we must, right? Take care Laurie., Joann

Dec 31, 2011
Sorry for your pain
by: Carol, Seans Mom

Laurie, I am so sorry for your pain. My son Sean died on November 15,2011. He actually died in his sleep. Cause of death is still being determined. My son like yours had an addiction problem. When he did not wake up my first thoughts were oh my god what did you mix? Sean,like Max wanted to live so i knew it would have been accidentally. When Seans tox screen came back it was clear and I hugged him while he was on life support and told him I was so proud. He and I talked a lot about what you wrote and you are right. Addiction is a disease that these kids are fighting. Our sons were a lot alike. Handsome,athletic and popular in high school. I miss him every second and the pain in my heart reminds me constantly that he is gone. I always wonder what I can do to make his life mean something so if you come up with something to battle this nasty addiction, Im in. Please write back under your comments. I am so sorry and I do know your pain. I wish you peace into the new year.

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