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.
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-d ropping 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 motive behind recording and posting his son's reaction for the world to see, he explains, is basically to make it count. He hopes it is driving home
another reality of the epidemic.
"If you have kids and you love your kids, put your kids first. Go get help. Go get treatment so nobody has to tell your kids you died from overdose someday like I had to," he said.
A three month recovering addict himself, he says he got help. Now he's getting attention online that he never saw coming, with some praising him and some blasting him. He maintains he doesn't regret it.
"I'm not going to lie, I don't regret it," he said.
He wants to make it clear he feels he has to be honest with his son, who he says is well aware of his parents' drug problems. He says he also knew he was being recorded, though he didn't know why and was agreeable to his dad sharing the reaction.
That video was recorded on Monday. Bickerstaff-Clark says his son is doing surprisingly well right now. He also says he wants that video to be a reminder to himself and his son for the rest of their lives how important it is to stay away from drugs.
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.