YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WOIO) – A father in Youngstown asked someone to film the moment when he told his 8-year-old son that his mother died of a heroin overdose in what he said was an effort to save other parents struggling with addiction.
The video has gone viral with 25 million views in two days. The video is a more than 2 minutes long and it shows the father, Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark, and the 8-year-old’s grandmother consoling the young boy.
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Bickerstaff-Clark wrote on Facebook when he shared the video:
THIS FOR ANY AND EVERY ADDICT WITH CHILDREN. TODAY I HAD TO TELL MY 8 YEAR OLD SON THAT HIS MOMMY DIED FROM A DRUG OVERDOSE LAST NIGHT. THIS IS THE REALIZATION AND REALITY OF OUR DISEASE. DONT LET THIS DISEASE HAVE TO MAKE SOMEONE TELL YOUR CHILD THAT YOUR DEAD BECAUSE OF DRUGS. THIS WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS IVE EVER HAD TO DO. MY SON HAS NO MOTHER BECAUSE OF HEROIN… KINDA HARD TO HEAR BUT U CAN HEAR WHAT WE’RE SAYING.
PLEASE GET HELP SO OUR CHILDREN DONT HAVE TO SUFFER. THIS WASNT STAGED. THIS WAS REAL. I HAD SOMEONE RECORD THIS SO ADDICTS WITH CHILDREN CAN SEE THE SERIOUSNES OF OUR EPIDEMIC. I AM A RECOVERING ADDICT MYSELF WITH 94 DAYS CLEAN TODAY… PLEASE SHARE N MAYBE HELP SAVE A CHILDS PARENTS LIFE.
In the video, you see Bickerstaff-Clark across from his 8-year-old at a picnic table.
“I got something to tell you, OK?” he says. “Mommy died last night.”
It is both heartbreaking and jaw-dropping to watch. The boy silenced for a couple seconds, staring at his dad as if confused.
“What my mom?” he blurts. “How?”
His dad tells him it is because of drugs. That’s when the boy is embraced by a woman sitting next to him as he sobs.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Bickerstaff-Clark says.
The reaction to the controversial video has been both positive and negative. Many of the 82,600 people who have commented and 621,600 people who have shared it on Facebook applaud the young father for trying to spread awareness of addiction and others have condemned the man for being insensitive by putting his child in the public’s eye during a vulnerable situation.