Mother's Day Weekend Is Somber Reminder For Some Tulsa Moms

Sunday, May 9th 2021, 9:44 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

TULSA, Oklahoma -

It's a mother’s worst nightmare. Studies indicate about 250 women will get the call this Mother's Day that their child died from a drug overdose.  

Diana Searle lost her 19-year-old daughter, Jillian, to a drug overdose in March 2018. Now, Searle has a hole in her heart that cannot be filled.  

"She was a beautiful soul,” Searle said. “Had a great personality. She was also just the spunky little one. She just lit up the whole room when she walked in.”  

Searle is one of many women mourning the death of a child this Mother's Day. 

"We're never gonna see them have a wedding,” Searle said. “They're never gonna get to have a baby. My daughter never got to graduate high school.”

Searle founded the group "Families Supporting Families In This Drug Crisis In Oklahoma" to help people like Michelle Shannon.

Shannon lost her daughter Meagan to a fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl, she said, is a growing problem. Most street drugs are laced with it.  

"She was my only child. She was my everything,” Shannon said. “She had a great passion for softball. She loved church. She loved volunteer work with animals. Through all her struggle, she was always trying to help others.”

The dealer who sold the drugs to Meagan was found guilty of distribution of a dangerous controlled substance and sentenced to 60 years in prison back in March. 

"It's kind of like it never allows you to grieve, because you know, you have this constant reminder that you're dealing with your daughter's murder trial,” Shannon said.  

Shannon said she still views it as a step in the right direction.

“It’s never gonna bring [her] baby girl back,” Shannon said.

Shannon and Searle's group gathered at La Fortune Park Sunday afternoon to remember those lost to substance abuse. They hope to help other parents avoid going through the same thing.  

"Talk to your kids,” Searle said. “I don't care how graphic you have to be. Bring them out her. Show them all the crosses. Show them all the kid's pictures. Scare the heck out of them.”

If you’d like more information on how to get help for substance abuse, click here.

For more information on scientific research on drug abuse and addiction, click here.