About the Purple Chair: Maple Grove Family Brings Awareness to Addiction
For Chrissy Princeton, she still feels like she’s living a bad dream
“It’s a nightmare every day to have to wake up and the first thing I think about in the morning is him,” said Princeton. “He had a big smile and a goofy laugh.”
Princeton is remembering her son, Grant Simek. The 19-year-old loved basketball and football and towered over 6 feet tall. He had a circle of friends and family, but like one in seven young adults, he battled addiction.
“We struggled for a while with some drug abuse with him for the past few years, it progressively got worse,” said Princeton.
Then, on April 7, Princeton was watching television and noticed she hadn’t heard from Grant. She went to check on him and found him sitting on his bed, slumped over
“The second I saw him I knew he was gone,” said Princeton.
The family performed CPR on him, but couldn’t save him.
Princeton now hopes to share her son’s story in hopes of preventing another family from going through the same pain.
“Telling my son’s story because he’s here with me every day in my heart and he’s helping me spread the word so no other mother’s and father’s have to go through this pain,” said Princeton. “You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.”
Shortly after Grant died, the family moved to Maple Grove. A purple chair sits outside the family’s home, a reminder of the emptiness left behind.
“The chair represents the chair at the table that will be left, forever,” explained Princeton. “Without having my child there at the table every night for dinner. There will always be an empty spot and that chair represents him.”
The city of Maple Grove presented the family with a proclamation, declaring Aug, 31 International Overdose Awareness Day. The city will also light up its Town Green Park in purple lights to mark the occasion.
“It means the world to me, even though it’s one city,” said Princeton. “It’s just getting the word out there.”
For Chrissy Princeton, it also means the world to give families who are dealing with addiction, hope.
“Addiction is a disease and it’s nothing anybody chooses, it chooses you,” said Princeton.