Melissa Etheridge Opens Up About 'Troubled' Son Beckett's Death: He Was 'Addicted to Opioids'
Speaking with Rolling Stone, the singer, 59, discussed her son's death and his struggles prior to his passing. "As the 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. He was a young adult," the mother of four said.
"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," she said. "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."
On May 13, Etheridge, who is also mom to daughter Bailey, 23, and 13-year-old twins Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven, confirmed Beckett died from an opioid overdose. "My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today," she said in a statement to PEOPLE. "He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends."
Ten days after Beckett's death, Etheridge tweeted a statement to express her gratitude for the support fans sent her way. "My family has cried and grieved. We have held each other and remembered. We have eased each other's regrets and doubts. We have received so much love and generosity from friends and fans. We are beginning the new path. I am so grateful for you [sic] kind thoughts and words. Healing..." she wrote.
In her conversation with Rolling Stone, Etheridge said she is attempting to move forward with her life after feeling guilt.
"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. 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," she shared.
"I believe life is meant to be lived with as much joy as we can. But life is also a 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 said.
As she continues to mourn her son's death, the star continues to use music in her healing process. "The thing that makes life make sense has always been my music," she said. "It gives us something to do every day to get through this time, and it's really just saved us."
Previously in July, during her first live television interview, Etheridge told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts: "There's something about singing, something about opening the soul, it's got me through everything. So many people throughout my life said, 'Your music got me through this, your music got me through that.' And I now am using my music to get me through this."
In addition, she has used Etheridge TV, her program of live concerts and "chat shows" from her own home garage studio, to speak and interact with fans through music.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.