Charming, kind, smart, fair, loved
Cullen was funny, kind, and fun-loving with a deep sense of fairness that he often displayed when standing up for the underdog. He had a wide variety of friends from all walks of life and was best friends with his older brother William. He loved fishing, music, cooking, pretty girls, animals, family, and the Washington Redskins!
Cullen graduated from high school at 16 with an HVAC journeyman’s card and started working full time. He was planning to join the military in the fall of 2019. He wanted to be a paratrooper and later own his own HVAC company. His mother Christy said to him, “Out of all the jobs in the world, you want one that requires jumping out of an airplane while people shoot at you?” He replied, “It’s all good because I get to shoot back!” His mom didn’t find that comforting.
Since he was seven, Cullen’s birthdays were spent at Buckroe Pier for overnight fishing; these memorable family trips continued until his last birthday at age 18. Another memory was how Cullen always wanted the turkey legs at Thanksgiving. “We bought a tray of legs just for him,” his mom said. He claimed eating them made him feel like Henry the 8th, which seemed appropriate because Cullen’s first name was Henry after his great-grandfather.
Cullen was generous with his time and spirit. At Cullen’s funeral, the family heard many stories of how Cullen gave people money, bought people a meal, or found them a job. Others attributed their sobriety to Cullen, saying his death was the catalyst for their sobriety. Cullen passed away from an accidental overdose one week after graduating from drug court.
Christy shared that watching the slow-motion train wreck happening in front of her and not being able to stop it was excruciating. Though Cullen never had the anger that many people with substance use disorder experience, he would hide from those he loved when he was in active addiction. “Knowing that Cullen is gone, and I will never see him again is the hardest part,” his mom said. She now attends weekly support group meetings and is attending an 8-week course on grief. She will soon host a “Cruising for Cullen” Poker Run to raise money for a treatment center in Cullen’s honor.
Cullen’s mother, Christy Farmer, provided the information for this narrative.
June 22, 2000-May 7, 2019
Age 18-Lived with the disease of addiction 8 years