Nearly three months after her son’s death, Melissa Etheridge talks about her struggle to raise a child with an addiction and how she and her family mourn the loss of Beckett Cypher.
“As a mother of someone who was addicted to opioids, it’s a struggle. You want to help your child, you want to make them all better,” the 59-year-old singer-songwriter said during an interview with rolling stone. “He was a young adult, of course there were things I had no control over, and there came a time when I really had to sit down with myself and say I can’t save him. I can’t give up my life and start trying to live his life for him. And I had to stumble upon the possibility that he might die.”
That possibility became a reality in May when Etheridge and her former partner, filmmaker Julie Cypher, announced the death of their son. He was 21 at the time and Etheridge immediately revealed that it was the result of a opioid overdose. Now, months later, she gave more insight into the young man’s life just before his death and the impact it had on her.
“It was a good year where we knew he was really in trouble, with ups and downs. And again it was no surprise to the family,” Etheridge explained. “You hope OK, now is the time, this is the day he’s going to say, ‘Yes, I can do this, I can get through.’ So we all wished the best for him and supported him and loved him.”
Despite the support she gave him throughout his life, the singer revealed that she still wondered if she was doing enough once he passed. “There will always be that place in my heart, in my soul that has a little bit of, ‘What could I have done? And is it my fault he ended up like this?’ All that sort of thing,” she admitted.
But as those questions and sense of responsibility waned, Etheridge also explained that music continues to find its way. “What makes life meaningful has always been my music. I’ve always been able to sing and breathe and let it out and get the emotions out through music. It saved me my whole life,” she said.
Now the musician and her wife, Linda Wallem, have put together what they call Etheridge TV, which was created as a result of the “Heal Me” concerts Etheridge performed and streamed live from her garage. “We’ve created something we’ve always dreamed of, which is our own little studio.” And while Etheridge’s fans love the opportunity to hear her voice and get the experience of being on a show, the musician said every show helps her move forward.
“That’s where all the healing is,” she said. “I get to practice some of my music, I get to play my guitars. It gives us something to do every day, to get through this time. And it just really saved us.”
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