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Melissa Etheridge details grief from death of son Beckett Cypher: 'The shame is too big'

Melissa Etheridge is opening up about her continued grief following the death of her son, Beckett Cypher.

The singer-songwriter shared on a Wednesday episode of the "Making Space" podcast, hosted by Hoda Kotb, that after her loss she's managed to avoid the "shame" that some families experience following the death of a loved one due to opioids.

Cypher died at 21 from causes related to opioid addiction in May 2020.

Melissa Ethridge is opening up about her continued grief following the death of her son, Beckett Cypher.
Melissa Ethridge is opening up about her continued grief following the death of her son, Beckett Cypher.

"When I lost my son, I learned how much my capacity for love was," she said. "Not only loving him and missing him, … (but) being OK but loving myself enough not to go into major depression and guilt and shame, which so many families that lose loved ones to opioid addiction, just the shame is too big.

"It's huge. So, I had to believe that … there's an over-surrounding love to everything," she continued. "Everything is love."

Her son died, and she felt alone. In her grief, she found YouTube.

Etheridge, 62, added that despite her grief, she is looking at the "light in the dark."

"You've got the light in the dark and the positive and the negative … the good and the bad. Yet it's all one thing, and that one thing is love," she said.

The Grammy-winning musician detailed how she's coping with loss years later, saying she's taking her son's death day by day.

"There can be days where the shadow comes on me. And I find myself thinking, 'Oh, what if? What if I had done this? What if I had only done that?'" she said. "And that doesn't serve me, and it causes me pain. So, my practice is to go, 'No … he has gone from this physical world … he is part of that larger nonphysical space.'"

Ethridge lost her father when she was 30. She said that amid the loss, her father is watching over her.

"I'd already been kind of pulling on his energy," she said. "And so, you know, I really feel surrounded. So, I call it talking to my angels," she said, referring to the name of her September memoir, "Talking to My Angels."

"That's why the book is titled that because that energy, those lives, those souls that I have known that have been a part of my heart, are still supporting me," she added.

Cypher was one of two children that Etheridge shared with her ex-partner, Julie Cypher, 59. They also have a daughter together, Bailey Cypher, 26. The pair split in 2000.

Etheridge shares 17-year-old twins Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, 49. The couple separated in 2010.

The singer has been married to actor Linda Wallem, 62, since 2014.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Melissa Etheridge details grief after son's death of opioid addiction