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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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