Mike Stollings' son Jeramie was 20 years old when he passed away earlier this week. Jeramie was a new father to a 10-month-old son named Asher, and he had recently gotten a new job.
He had had a problem with drugs for years - as his father puts it, he had had a “relationship” with LSD, which he was very public about. He was not so open about his love of Dextromethorphan, an ingredient in over-the-counter cough and cold medicines.
It was this “relationship” which led to his untimely death this week, and Stollings told WHIO that he is racked with guilt and grief.
“I’ll spend the rest of my days on this earth racking my brain trying to figure out what I should have done differently,” he said.
But he's taking a proactive approach, trying to get others - Jeramie's friends, classmates, and complete strangers - to learn from this experience in the hope that his son's death can stop others from cutting short their lives.
Stollings posted this blunt message to Facebook on Wednesday, paired with the image of Jeramie, who had just arrived at the funeral home.
In the message, Stollings asks that people get help, any way they can - even from him, even if they don't know him personally. He later spoke with WHIO about why he shared it:
“Just brutal, cold, reality. People need to see that. This stuff's not just fun and games and feeling good and going out with your buddies. Too many times, it turns into this. People need to see that.”
Stollings' message has clearly made an impact on people - as of this writing, it has been shared over 5,800 times.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeramie's family and friends.