Cyrus Nathaniel Lathrop

1984 - 2010, Santa Barbara

After years of struggling with pain and illness, our beautiful boy is at peace. Cyrus was born in Santa Barbara. He enjoyed hiking the mountains and walking the beaches. He loved music, poetry, photography, and most especially time with his friends and family.

Cyrus was 25 years old and was between homes - using the services of the Casa Esperanza Shelter. He spent a night sleeping on the beach where he died. He was not a “transient.” He was dearly loved and connected with his family and many friends, and was working towards having a stable life with a caring and skilled psychologist. While he often battled despair, his death was most likely an accidental overdose and he died peacefully in his sleep in gentle company.

Cyrus was blessed to have so many people around him who could see his inner light and encouraged him. To the staffs of Casa Esperanza, CARES, Goleta and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Vista Del Mar Hospital, PAT, PHF, EMS, MIA, Rape Crisis Center, Mission Houses, Social Security Paseo Nuevo, SB Police Department and Sheriff’s Department: While I believe the system is tragically inadequate to deal with the magnitude of problems faced by the dually diagnosed and chronic pain syndromes, and that is impossible for those of you working in these services to connect in meaningfully with each person that you meet every time, please know that I recognize that you tried to help my son. I feel immense gratitude for every one of you who saw him as more than a “drug-seeker” and assisted him with compassion.

To everyone who has any authority to continue to seek changes to empower our system to help this lost population, please, be vigilant in your efforts. To everyone who crosses the path of someone struggling, remember that underneath their problems they are a person deserving of kindness and respect, even if this means a simple acknowledgement as you walk past. And to the families who suffer the heartache, confusion and despair of watching a loved one battle these unseen forces – you cannot “fix” this and you are not alone. I encourage you to seek the comfort and guidance from a group or professional to strive to have distance from the illness while continuing to express love and hope. Never have I done anything more difficult. To everyone who prayed, chanted, meditated and sent healing energy to my son and my family over the years we thank you for every bit of grace and comfort.

Cyrus, your mischievous smile, your generous heart, your strong capable hands, your inquiring mind, your kindness towards those in need, and your deep abiding love will be missed by your mother, Heidi Head, your father, Brent Lathrop, your sisters Orian Lathrop, Shawna and Desiree Albert, your grandmother, Ingrid Head, and grandfather, Allan Head, your Aunt Sophia Davis, nephew and niece Justin and Brianna Oroz, as well as many other family and friends. “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

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Condolences to his family.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2010 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How fortunate for Cyrus to have the love of your family. LifeChronicles did some work with a group of concerned parents with children in similar situations a couple of years ago...I think you were involved...we were so inspired by the level of love and concern from this group of parents. Having raised three children of my own and known the level of stress that can come about during those years, my heart goes out to you as well as my respect for how you are moving through this painful time. Not everyone is able to maintain the level of awareness you have for who Cyrus was, in spite of what was happening. I send you my best wishes for your comfort and for a future when you will have less pain and more fond remembrances. You have surely been a comfort to Cyrus.

katecarter (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2010 at 5:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My dear Ingrid and Heidi,
I worked with Ingrid for many years at the school district. I watched Cyrus grow up. One never knows what life will deal us. You were the perfect family to show this boy unconditional love, and compassion. Ingrid and Heidi were always angels on earth. You were given Cy to be guardians of, and you did that until the very end. He is in a peaceful place now.......He can rest.
Cindy Toohey

sports4me2 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2010 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

oh,..bull!!!! I was in Casa when they kicked Cyrus out and that is the night he died!!! Casa couldn't care less, the next week they kicked out "Jane" a woman featured in the cover of their newsletter,...oops, they forgot to mention they kicked her out to the street where she was found unconscious on the very beach Cyrus died on !!! Please save all the mushy B.S. we know whats real we are casa's clients and were going to speak our truth , I hope someone hears it before another one of us is sentenced to death by CASA ESPERANZA!!!! Stop giving CASA your $$$$, they DO NOT hel-p the homeless I should know I am one of them!!!

juliakessler (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2010 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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