Melissa Etheridge has opened up about how she is coping with the death of her 21-year-old son, who died from opioid addiction back in May this year. She has since begun a foundation for opioid research after losing her son, Beckett Cypher, to the deadly disease of addiction.
“Our family is very, very close and the strength comes from the love of the rest of us,” she reveals. “I’m not alone in this nation of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction… It was a long journey. In the end, there’s a small amount of peace knowing he’s not in pain anymore. Of course we miss him. My wife and my three other children, we come together, and we know he’s here in spirit, so we do what we love, and we love each other and come together. You just do it one day at a time.”
Melissa Etheridge on how she’s coping with the death of her son, Beckett Cypher
Etheridge started The Etheridge Foundation in June to support research into the effects of opioids and opioid addiction. The foundation will hold its first official fundraiser on October 11th. “Unfortunately there’s way too many of us. This is an epidemic. We lose over 150,000 people a year to opioid addiction. One thing that helped me heal was starting the Etheridge Foundation.”
She continues, “It’s a foundation to research alternatives, to get off of this track of pharmaceuticals for pain. It’s research to understand pain, to understand addiction, and there’s many alternatives, there’s many people trying things that just understand the mind and the body and addiction. We really want to move to the forefront quickly of things that can help with opioid addiction.”
Music has also been helping her to heal during this time
She has also opened up about how music has helped her heal. “We struggle with what else we could have done to save him, and in the end we know he is out of the pain now,” she writes on Twitter. “I will sing again, soon. It has always healed me.” Since the pandemic began, Etheridge and her wife, Linda Wallem, have set up a studio at their home where Etheridge has been streaming live performances on her subscription-based Etheridge TV.
The idea first came to her back in March during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. “I decided at that time, oh my gosh, one, I just have to sing because I love to sing and I can’t imagine not getting up and singing. Two, I wanted to connect with my fans and I knew that we were looking at a world for many months now without coming together as a community.”