A heartbroken Lafayette family had to bury their son last week, but they refused to bury the truth.

Patrick and Kathleen Cunningham described their 34-year-old son, Sean, as someone who was friendly and likable—saying that he "never met a stranger." They were proud of their son and his accomplishments when it came to music, as well as his love for sports, history, and his "fierce" competitive spirit when it came to trivia.

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They said that one of the most amazing things to witness was how "time and again" Sean would never be afraid to approach random people and introduce himself. It was the type of outgoing spirit that also made people comfortable enough to walk up and greet him as well. But Sean also had a deep dark secret. He was a drug addict—and as hard as he tried to fight it, he would ultimately lose his battle with the disease of drug addiction.

I should note that parents who lose a child to this type of addiction almost never share the grim details behind their untimely passing, but the Cunningham's decided to share Sean's story and his struggles in hopes that it could get someone the help they need or possibly save the life of a loved one who is battling with addiction.

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As the Cunningham's noted in their brutally honest obituary for their son, Sean's disease of drug addiction wasn't an isolated incident. His family said that he had a "good soul" but his addiction led him to believe that he was "indestructible." Like most people who suffer from drug addiction, Sean made bad decisions as a result—one in particular that his parents said would "determine the rest of his life."

We decided to share Sean’s story of his struggles with the disease of drug addiction to hopefully help someone else help or save someone they love. Sean was a good soul and always tried to help someone that was suffering or in pain. Being young, naive and clueless, Sean had no idea that one bad decision would determine the rest of his life. Like most young people, he tended to think he was indestructible. He certainly tried with all his might to fight the pull of addiction.

Sean was buried on Saturday, October 2, but his family is hoping that their message lives on to prevent this type of unnecessary heartbreak from happening to someone else or their family.

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You can read the full obituary they wrote for their son, Sean, here.

On September 27, 2021, our beloved son, Sean Patrick Cunningham, 34, died of an accidental overdose. The son of Patrick J. Cunningham and Kathleen Breaux Cunningham, Sean was born in Lafayette, LA on September 23, 1987.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the Sunrise Chapel at Walters Funeral Home on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 12:00p.m. Deacon Kenneth Soignier will officiate the ceremony. Visitation hours will be observed on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 10:00a.m. until time of service at 12:00p.m.

Sean never met a stranger. He was one of the friendliest, most likeable people you could ever meet. You couldn't go anywhere that someone didn’t know Sean. Random people frequently walked up to greet him. He was outgoing and never afraid to walk up to people and introduce himself. It was an amazing thing to witness time and again.

Sean was a graduate of Lafayette High School and a member of the Mighty Lion Marching Band. He had a gift for music, especially the drums and piano. Nearly everyday he was compelled to share newly discovered You Tube videos of music that meant a lot to him. He had aspirations for great things, for the most part building on his love of music.

He had varied interests, including Arsenal Football Club soccer, Black Hawk hockey, and baseball, particularly the Boston Red Sox. He was also a big history buff, mainly of World War II. He was a big fan of documentaries. Sean was an avid reader of Harlan Cohen. He was also a fierce trivia competitor.

We decided to share Sean’s story of his struggles with the disease of drug addiction to hopefully help someone else help or save someone they love. Sean was a good soul and always tried to help someone that was suffering or in pain. Being young, naive and clueless, Sean had no idea that one bad decision would determine the rest of his life. Like most young people, he tended to think he was indestructible. He certainly tried with all his might to fight the pull of addiction.

Everyone needs to remember that drug addiction robs a person of self worth, self-respect, and the opportunity to find someone to love and share their life. Ask questions, watch for subtle changes, and most importantly be there for your loved one. It could save a life.

Sean was preceded in death by maternal grandparents Euel and Anna Lois D. Breaux, maternal great-parents Lillie and Marshall Domingue; and paternal grandparents Jack and Melva Cunningham. He is survived by his parents, Patrick and Kathleen B. Cunningham, paternal family members, Mark and June Cunningham, Charles and Connie Cunningham, Remi and Lisa Judice, and Chris Cunningham. He is also survived by maternal family members, Tim and Lana Breaux and Mark and Bibiane Breaux, in addition to numerous cousins.

Sean should be remembered for being funny, articulate, a loyal friend and a loving, caring, thoughtful son. He will be missed with all our hearts.

The Cunningham's shared a few important numbers that can help someone who is battling addiction.

Partnership for a Drug Free America , (855) DRUG=FREE (378-4373)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services , (800)-662-HELP (4357)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline, (800) 273-TALK (8255)

While they will undoubtedly miss their son, they want others to be aware of how addiction "robs a person of self-worth, self-respect, and the opportunity to find someone to love and share their life."

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The Cunninghams can't bring back their son but hope that sharing their heartbreaking experience publicly will help to save a life.

Walters Funeral Home

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