Joel Kegan McInnis

Joel Kegan McInnis

Magical, beautiful, painful, brutal and too short of a life

Kegan was funny and smart and also painfully sensitive. He felt everything deeply and as a result, experienced a great deal of anxiety and depression. It was a burden to feel this way, but he wasn’t comfortable getting professional help from psychiatry. He had a passionate interest in plant medicine and went to Mexico to investigate plants he believed would heal his brain and eradicate his craving for drugs. “He just wanted to feel okay about himself, to feel normal,” his mother, Sherri said.

Kegan was a very spiritual person; people were energetically drawn to him and felt good in his presence. He also had an intuitive sense about people, knowing immediately if they were kindhearted people that he wanted to spend time with.

Kegan had a lot of interests and many friends to share them with. He liked computer games and music, especially soul and rap. He could also be found flying the model helicopters that he built. He was a dog whisperer and spoiled his dogs. Sherri said: “His dogs were lucky to belong to him.”

The plans Kegan had for the future were simple; he wanted to settle down with his loving girlfriend, have children and live a quiet family life in the mountains of North Carolina. “He would have been so proud to be a dad,” his mother said. But before he could reach his goals, his health and his mind deteriorated from the drug use. The mood swings were hard to handle and he was often sick. He became someone the family hardly recognized.

Sherri has learned a lot living through this experience with Kegan and is educating her younger children about the dangers of drug use. She misses Kegan’s hugs, his voice, and how he would share his excitement with her when he was passionate about something. Sherri says: “We were so stressed out and always scared something would happen to him; now he is gone and I miss him every minute. I am proud of how he kept trying, he had a good heart and a beautiful mind.”

Kegan’s mother, Sherri McInnis, provided the information for this narrative.

March 16, 1990 – March 31, 2020
Age 30 – Lived with addiction 15 years

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