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Labor of Love: a quilt to honor those who have died in opioid addiction epidemic

Opioid Crisis

MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — A woman is making an opioid epidemic quilt that will travel to towns and cities across Connecticut.

The quilt features faces of the victims who have fallen to the addiction epidemic in the state.

Anna Gopoian of Tricircle Inc. told News 8 about her quilting, “Every time I move one of these squares I think of the people.”

Ceci Iliff is getting ready to add her son, Benjamin, to the quilt. He was 28 years old and left behind a 21 month-old son who Ceci held in her arms while they both were creating a square on Tricircle Inc’s new opioids quilt that’s being created in their offices in Middlefield.

“Because they’re loved and they’re not gone from the heart,” said Ana Gopoian, of Tricircle Inc.

The goal is for loved ones to create squares that feature those who they’ve lost — their names, pictures, anything that shows off their personalities and the type of people they were — much like the National AIDS Quilt.

“We’re in the middle of really scary times,” Gopoian explained. “This could be anybody’s children, anybody’s mom or dad, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister.”

Once it’s finished, Tricircle will take it to events all over the state to raise awareness about the opioids crisis and reduce the stigma associated with addiction.

“The stigma and isolation created by this disease is just as detrimental as the disease itself,” Gopoian said.

Gopoian says the disease effects people from all walks of life. Last year in Connecticut alone, the opioids crisis claimed the lives of more than a thousand people.

“To me, the only way to get on the other side is to talk about it — to educate people,” Gopoian said. “And we don’t want these people to be gone in vain.”

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