A family’s touching obituary for their son who died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 has been shared by many on social media.
Clay William Shephard died Sunday morning, according to an obituary posted on Legacy.com and in The News and Observer Wednesday.
The obituary said Shephard was the youngest of four children and was raised in a loving home in in Apex with his two brothers and a sister.
“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. Inwardly Clay was sensitive and had struggles that he hid well from his close and clannish family,” the obituary said.
“We loved Clay with all of our hearts, but we now know that was not enough to shield him from the world. 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 didn’t shy away from Shephard’s problems, In fact, Wake County arrest records show he was charged with a DWI on May 5. The family described Shephard as a “solid student” and good athlete who was liked by many. But the obit said “drugs began to creep into Clay’s life while he was in high school.”
His father became close to Shephard and sought to help him.
“Although Clay could never be completely honest about the trouble he was in, his love and respect for his father became a lifeline over the last few years,” the obituary said. “He successfully completed drug rehab several times, but the craving that comes from true addiction was more than he could overcome.”
“While we always felt we had some grip on Clay’s issues, his ability to hide and disguise his addiction proved superior to our parental (and sibling) sixth sense.”
The obituary closed by saying, “Goodbye Clay, we love you and miss you dearly.
Mom & Dad, Cole, Wade & Jess, Jean & Lucas.”
Clay Shephard was having a private burial at Apex Funeral Home.
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