GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. -- Two grieving Gloucester mothers have formed an unlikely friendship, connecting after losing both their sons to fentanyl poisoning.
"It’s just really hard," said mother Donna Haynes. "I get angry, there’s just so many emotions every day.”
Haynes lost her son Jonathon Hogge to fentanyl poisoning in 2021. Kristen Toll lost her son Jeremy Forrest in 2022.
The two now have an unbreakable bond, connected through grief.
"There are days still that I can’t believe it," Toll said. "I hear that laugh, I hear that beautiful voice, I hear him messing with me and joking around, and I’m expecting him to still walk in the door.”
Often times fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is disguised as another drug. Haynes and Toll said they do not think their sons knew what they were taking.
“He wanted to be here, he never wanted to die,” said Haynes.
The two mothers are now on a crusade to spread awareness about the drug while honoring their sons and leaning on each other.
“We’re hoping all the time that our boys are just hanging out together up there,” said Toll.
There is a fentanyl awareness event and walk happening on June 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 5555 Portsmouth Boulevard in Portsmouth.