Tyler Vaughan

Tyler Vaughan

He was the most amazing.

Tyler was magnetic. He would walk in a room and it would brighten. He was the joke teller at every gathering and brought life to every party. He had a glorious smile and his laugh was so contagious that even if you didn’t know what he was laughing about; you had to join in.

From an early age, Tyler was up for anything fun. His parents had to hold him back because he would hit the ground running and cram as much fun as he could into a day. Music was an escape for Tyler. He loved many genres of music, especially classic rock, and could tell you facts about all of them. He spent hours playing Guitar Hero, a video game on PlayStation, with his buddies and his cousins.

Tyler had a deep love for family. He was five when his sister Riley was born. He asked to take her to school for show and tell, so mom brought two-week old Riley one day. Tyler held the kids at bay saying “stay back, this is my sister.” That protective attitude and tight bond between him and Riley continued as they got older. They got closer during Tyler’s addiction. Though she was just 17 when Tyler passed away, Riley would go visit him in rehab, jail or prison, rather than spend time with her friends. Their mom said; “She is amazing.”

Tyler had been sober from meth for two-and-a-half months, but had trouble turning off his racing thoughts and couldn’t sleep. He bought what he thought was Percocet to help with the insomnia, and what he got was pure fentanyl. He was scheduled to take his GED test the day he died.

Many people offered stories after Tyler’s death. One woman was trying to decide about an abortion and sought Tyler’s advice. When Tyler said he would be there for her, she had her child. She now has a beautiful daughter because of him. She keeps a picture of Tyler in her home, and her daughter refers to him as her “Uncle in Heaven.” Another story was about a kid who needed shoes; Tyler gave him not just any shoes, but his favorite Air Jordan’s.

His mom feels that she has aged from going through Tyler’s addiction with him. “It brought so much drama to my life, and I went years barely sleeping.” ‘It was like I was addicted along with him, only Tyler was my addiction. My focus on him was consuming me.’ ‘I am proud of myself for not turning my back on him. He needed me. No matter what, I am his mom.’

“I try now to find joy as I have a wonderful child and family and a new dog that I love.” She has compassion for those with addictions and carries blessing bags in her car she hands out to young people she sees holding signs by the road or other places. The bags include warms gloves, hats and other items. In each one, she places a note that says: Call your mom. Love, Tyler’s mom.

Tyler’s mother, Kelly Kline, provided the information for this narrative.

June 22, 1995-July 13,2017

Age 22-Lived with addiction 5 years

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