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Remembering My Daughter, Taken From Me Because of Addiction


CIRCLEVILLE – Addiction can affect any family, it doesn’t discriminate on economic status or where you live.  This is a uncut, unedited story from a father who lost his daughter from addiction here in Circleville.  If you know anyone suffering with addiction and you need help to get sober and clean contact Sciotopost, Circleville Police Department, or Pickaway Addiction Action Coalition for help.

 Today my beautiful daughter Tracy Shawn Bell would be 31, my how time flies…………… From the time I held her hand until God took her hand I was a proud father and loved her very much. She is my hero! God’s plan has been perfect, and I’ve been blessed to be a part of that plan. The saying “The Absence Of  Meaning Makes A Tragedy So Intolerable” has been fulfilled with His love. The family at Freedom Hall Recovery Center, the Residents and Angie Pelphrey have given us the gift of love that will endure Tracy’s memory for a lifetime!

Beautiful Tracy,

As I write this letter, I pray that you will hear and understand my words. I don’t blame you for what happened; I blame myself for not being prepared to understand. I hope you will forgive me.

Growing up, you were the brightest student in all your classes. Your teachers loved you. Your classmates wanted to be your friends. In your sports, all eyes were on you. Your stunning smile and charisma made people pay attention to you. Your abilities that had you graduate with honors a year early from High School and already a sophomore in college was impressive! I never imaged you as an addict because I thought I knew you had it all together. I’m sorry for being so ignorant, but it was above my thoughts that you would have a substance abuse problem.

When you wanted to drop out of college, I felt something was very wrong.  Life turned upside down. I learned that you had used drugs and alcohol since you were 15. We also learned that you were very good at hiding it. 

During the next few years, you were in and out hospitals from overdoses. Again, you said you would stop; again, I believed you. I know you really wanted to stop, but by that time, you were in too deep. I finally arranged a trip for us to discuss getting you on the tract to healing, one of my most treasured times in my life. I was hoping it might have some impact your addiction, but the very next day, you overdosed and died.

Looking back, I can now see the warning signs. They started in high school. If I had understood the truth and arranged an intervention then, this tragedy might not have happened. I refused to believe that addiction could happen to you, but it did……

I would give anything just to hear you laugh again.

Love You Forever,


“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. Tracy 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.”


  1. Addiction is such a huge problem. My son also fought with addiction.it is a sad life they lead. He has been clean for 5 years. But you never stop wondering g if or when it might relapse.

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