IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Melissa Etheridge on when she most feels the presence of late son, whom she lost to opioid addiction

"When I lost my son, I learned how much my capacity for love was,” Etheridge said on Hoda Kotb's "Making Space" podcast.
/ Source: TODAY

Melissa Etheridge says she always feels her late son with her, and especially in the mornings, when she is “first waking up.”

“You know, the times I used to always text with him and talk with him,” she said in the newest episode of Hoda Kotb's “Making Space" podcast. “And so, it’s like he’s there. I’m like, ‘OK, good morning, you know, watch out for me all day.’”

Etheridge’s eldest son, Beckett Cypher, died at 21 in 2020 from causes related to opioid addiction. 

Melissa Etheridge with her late son Beckett
Melissa Etheridge with her late son, Beckett, during her Walk of Fame ceremony in Hollywood in 2011.Chris Delmas / AFP via Getty Images

The Grammy winner, 62, who recently released a new memoir, “Talking to My Angels,” said she also feels the presence of her late father.

“I lost my father when I was 30. I’d already been kind of pulling on his energy and asking that. And so, you know, I really feel surrounded. So I call it talking to my angels,” she said. “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.”

The singer also opened up about how her belief that “everything is love” has helped her navigate her grief.

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

“When I lost my son, I learned how much my capacity for love was,” she added. “Not only loving him and missing him and 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. Everything is love.”

The singer also said that coping with her son's loss is “a practice.”

“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.”

“When I’m in a dark space, I’m away from all of my loved ones,” she added. “It’s my job to find my space again, of loving myself, going, ‘No, no, I did the best I could. And he made his choices.’ And there are some that check out, and there are some that leave earlier than others. And he could not handle his life at this time.”

The “I’m the Only One” singer launched a foundation to help others impacted by opioid addiction, the Etheridge Foundation, in 2020.

"It’s research to understand pain, to understand addiction, and there’s many alternatives,” Etheridge told TODAY in 2020.

“We really want to move to the forefront quickly of things that can help with opioid addiction,” she said.

She also opened up to TODAY in 2020 about how she was coping with the loss of Beckett.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Etheridge shared Beckett with her ex-partner, Julie Cypher. The former couple also share a 26-year-old daughter, Bailey Jean. 

The singer also welcomed twins, son Miller and daughter Johnnie, with former partner Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2006.

Etheridge has been married to actor Linda Wallem since 2014.