Beckett Cypher died in May 2020 from an opioid overdose. He was 21 years old.
The 59-year-old singer told Rolling Stone: “As a 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, there were things out of my control, of course, and there came a time that 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,” she continued.
“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.”
The Grammy-winner described that while she and her ex-partner, Julie Cypher, tried to help Beckett, he had many “ups and downs” and was “really in trouble.”
“[His death] wasn’t a surprise, again, to the family,” Etheridge explained. “You hope that OK, this is the time, this is the day that he’s gonna say, ‘Yeah, I can do this. I can get through.’ So we all wished the best for him and supported him and loved him.”
Now, Etheridge said she’s left with guilt wondering if she could have intervened and saved her son.
“There will always be that place in my heart, in my soul that has a little bit of, ‘What could I have done? And is it my fault he ended this way?’ All that sort of thing,” she admitted.
Turning to music has been one way Etheridge has begun to heal.
“The thing that makes life make sense has always been my music. I’ve always been able to sing and breathe and let it out and get the emotions out through music. It has saved me my whole entire life,” the “Come to My Window” singer said.
The Oscar winner and her wife, Linda Wallem, have been putting on concerts in her garage and streaming them.
“That’s where all the healing is,” Etheridge said. “I get to practice some of my music, I get to play my guitars. It gives us something to do every day to get through this time. And it’s just really saved us.”
Etheridge and Cypher also share a 23-year-old daughter, Bailey. The exes split in 2000.
The singer also has 13-year-old twins with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, whom she split from in 2010.
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.