There is something incredibly transformative and resilient about a person who suffers well. The person who seeks to know and do better in response to pain and then help others in their own suffering, brings forth a torch of resilience that can only be nurtured from within and in the context of a caring family and community. And for the loved ones who are responding to suffering, our reaction is so important to draw upon the inner resources of the person who is afflicted.
This is what my friend and brother in Christ, Jon Daily, (LCSW, CADCII), showed the world before he passed away last week Monday morning, October 2 at 2:42.
A memorial service for Jon Daily was held Thursday, October 12, 2017 10am to noon, at Bayside Adventure Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, Roseville, CA.
Jon is the founder of and served as the clinical director of Recovery Happens with offices in Fair Oaks, Davis, Roseville and Walnut Creek, devoted to helping adolescents and young adults who suffer from drug addiction to conquer their affliction. With his wife Dr. Angela Chanter, (who is also my good friend and sister in Christ), and her sister “Weezy” by his side, Jon clung to his earthly life with gratitude for this gift of faith which makes it possible to defend love and cast out fear.
A number of weeks earlier I had visited him at Weezy’s home. He had an accident riding his bike and the medical scans to examine his injuries also discovered the cancer had advanced. Hospice care had been ordered and alerts were signaled to family and friends. Angela, Weezy, the Daily-Chanter children and his colleague and friend, Amy Rose, were with him as he lay in a hospital bed in the center of the family room.
Surrounded by the laughter of the kids playing games and coming back for seconds on the chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies I brought with me, Jon was amazingly strong and hopeful even though his body was weak and he knew his time in this earthly vessel was coming to a close. I witnessed his family responding to the joy in his own heart informed by his faith that this life was preparing him for something greater; for eternity and for Love’s sake. More importantly he had no regrets. He had chosen to fight the good fight.
We had a hearty conversation about faith, life, family and our work. Below is my tribute to this magnificent son of our community, who taught us much about the power of the indomitable human spirit.
As a person in recovery from adolescent addiction in his own life journey, Jon became an avid student of the neurobiological transactions in the brain associated with addiction. He studied how the brain can a) be duped into believing that the drug offers a satisfactory replacement for an essential connection of belonging, to fitting in, to “getting got”, in order to feel secure, and b) how the brain can also be retrained to realign within the boundaries of human relationships that are authentic (i.e. emotional attachments and love bonds in family and community), promote healing, fulfillment and security.
Jon’s work enlightened our community about the nature of addiction and how recovery from addiction does happen on purpose by confronting the painful experiences of life, especially a cyber-powered life, with the support of a community that empowers the individual who is afflicted to know and learn to choose to do better no matter how many setbacks and obstacles may be involved along the way. Below are two profound insights I have gleaned from Jon that inform my own work on family culture and bonding in a cyber-powered world, and youth substance abuse prevention and recovery:
Addiction is a pathological relationship to intoxication. People do not become addicted to a particular drug. If you remove the drug, then the person who is still addicted to intoxication will find another way to get high, using another substance or activity (sex, gambling as other examples).
- How to prepare kids to deal with bullying, sexual exploitation and addiction in the social network
- Talking points about Prop 64 and marijuana use among youth
Drug bias contributes to the risk of youth addiction. When we as a community believe that a youth seeking altered states with beer is at less risk of addiction or death than a youth using heroin, we are putting all youth at risk. A caring community will educate itself on the risks drugs and alcohol pose to young brains, hearts and minds and teach youth how to cope with their stresses in healthy ways.
So the questions we need to ask ourselves as caring adults are:
- Is my child/student/client seeking altered states? And if so, why?
- What can I do to help my child/young adult assess and respond to their painful issues in healthy ways? What really is my role in this?
In his life journey to heal and become whole, Jon showed us all how the antidote to addiction is a healthy relationship with the spirit of power and love and sound mind in you, in me and in our children. This is our authority to love. To respond to suffering with the confidence of our faith in the power of the individual to be self-determining and overcome afflictions and adversity with the support of family and community. I thank God for Jon and how by his faith he chose to respond to his own suffering as an opportunity to learn, know and do better as individuals, families and communities; and he was generous in sharing his insights. To that end, this quote from Larry Culliford, in Much Ado About Something: A Christian Vision of Maturity (2015), sums up beautifully how I witnessed a life fully lived by my friend Jon:
I have discovered that people grow towards maturity mainly through adversity, not by seeking to avoid it – both through suffering loss themselves and through sharing in the losses of others. This is the basis of many a vocation. At some deep level people know that we will be better off by dedicating our lives in the service of others. I also discovered that wisdom and compassion go together: wisdom without compassion is false; compassion without wisdom leads only to exhaustion.
- If you know your child/teen has been using drugs or alcohol, or suspect they are, go to: Recovery Happens, to get educated and counseling.
- To learn more about youth substance abuse prevention strategy and tips to talking with teens about drugs, go to: Coalition for Placer Youth.
- To create a family culture that fosters open communication, builds trust and cultivates resilience, go to: Fresh Start.
About: We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your donations are greatly appreciated. (Donations are payable to Banana Moments Foundation).
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and consultant on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. She is a former technology executive trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, a mother of two grown sons, and an author of books for practical guidance on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture. As a family and technology culture advisor, Joanna has appeared on 103.9FM The Fish, 710AM Keeping Faith in America, 1380AM The Answer, and Examiner.com.
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