Melissa Etheridge's 21-year-old son Beckett Cypher died in May from causes related to his opioid addiction, and the musician is now opening up about her son's death in a new interview with Rolling Stone, calling Beckett's passing the "deepest wound" she has ever experienced.
"As a mother of someone who was addicted to opioids, it's a struggle," Etheridge said. "You want to help your child. You want to make them all better. He was a young adult. There were things out of my control, of course. And there came a time when I needed to really sit down with myself and say, 'I can't save him. I can't give up my life and go try to live his life for him.' And I had to come up against the possibility that he might die. But I had to be able to go on living. Of course, it's nothing a parent ever wants. But as a human being, I just needed to be at peace with a troubled son who did the best he could, who believed what he believed and then his life ended way, way too soon."
She also shared a message for other parents who might be in a similar situation to the one Etheridge experienced with Beckett, explaining that it doesn't benefit her to keep going over "What-ifs." "There will always be that that place in my heart and my soul that that has a little bit of, 'Oh, what could I have done? And is it my fault he ended this way?' and all that sort of thing," the musician said. "And it just gets smaller and smaller, because it doesn't serve me anymore, and where he is now, he certainly doesn't want me to take that on."
"If that can help any parents who might be torturing themselves with that, I hope so," she continued. "I believe life is meant to be lived in as much joy as we can, but life is also contrast. Life is also up and down. I've lived enough of it now to know. And you can't lay down. You can't be shattered. You can't die and give up. You know, that's what my son did. It's to be lived. It's to learn. I still struggle with it, but that's what I can say."
Etheridge confirmed Beckett's death in May, writing that her son "succumbed" to his addiction. "He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends," she shared. "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."