Family's obituary for son who died from overdose goes viral

It's not common for obituaries to list a cause of death, but family members of a man who recently passed away included that and more in hopes that the honest and moving obituary they wrote might help others.

Clay Shepard, 22, of Apex, NC died last month from a drug overdose.

"We loved Clay with all of our hearts, but we now know that was not enough to shield him from the world," his obituary says. "This note isn't an attempt to assign blame for Clay's death. It's not to vent our anger and frustration at a world where drugs can be ordered and delivered through the internet.

We write this obituary in hope that it may provide an insight to those that need to change their behavior one night at a time."

The obituary, which has gone viral, goes on to say that Clay was likeable, a strong student, a decent athlete and much more.  

"Outwardly Clay looked like he had it all: Intelligence, confidence, athletic ability, height, beautiful blue eyes, broad smile, fantastic wit, and the ability to engage and forge a relationship with anyone," Clay's obituary says.

Despite his memorable qualities, Clay faced struggles that he kept hidden from his family and "drugs began to creep into Clay's life while he was in high school."

He completed drug rehab programs and his father, whom he bonded with, tried to help him. But ultimately, "the craving that comes from true addiction was more than he could overcome."

"To all children, this note is a simple reminder that there are people who love you, with everything they have and no matter what you do - don't be too afraid/ashamed/scared, too anything, to ask for help," the obituary says. "To all parents, pay attention to your children and the world that revolves around them - even when the surface is calm, the water may be turbulent just beneath."

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