‘Silence would mean Hunter’s death was in vain’: Mom hopes son’s obituary will prevent tragedy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville-based man’s obituary is in the spotlight. This comes after his mother got raw and real about what it’s like to be the parent of an addict. She is hoping by sharing her son’s story, she could help others.

22-year-old Hunter Clemons was described by his friends and family as funny charismatic and loyal.

“Families, a lot of time feel embarrassment and shame. I’m not ashamed of my son. I was never ashamed of my son. (I’m) still proud of my son,” Christy Couvillier said. Her son, Hunter, battled addiction for years. She said he went to rehab and then moved to Jacksonville. That’s when he got back into using.

On February 10, 2022, Hunter died of an overdose on fentanyl.

When it came time to write Hunter’s obituary, Couvillier took a different approach. (Obit: Hunter Lee Clemons Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information).

“I just wanted people to see that just an average, normal-looking, young adult is not exempt from fentanyl,” she said.

Couvillier wrote “his (Hunter’s) family would like to speak the truth about his death. Silence would mean Hunter’s death was in vain.” She went on to say, “hundreds of other people here in our community (are) suffering as addicts or as loved ones to them.”

In 2020, there were 4,991 people to the hospital for a drug overdose, according to data from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD). Opioid-related overdoses stood at 3,423. In 2021, the number of people taken to the hospital for an overdose went up to 5,285 with 3,464 being opioid related. So far, in 2022, for the month of January we’ve seen 363 transported and 244 of those were opioid related transports.

“If somebody’s out there watching and they sell these pills, you’re taking lives,” Couvillier said. “You’re taking kids away from their moms.”

Her hope is to save a family from the grief she is not experiencing through her son’s obituary. She wrote “if one person’s life is saved by his story, we would tell it a million more times.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t bring my son back. If I could possibly prevent this pain for another mother to feel, maybe if a young adult, teenager, child sees it, maybe they’ll think twice about taking one pill,” Couvillier said. “That’s all Hunter took.”