Twitter, though handy and immediate, seems a poor, somewhat insensitive method to convey feelings of sympathy with the buzzwords “thoughts and prayers” all too commonly used - but times change...and David did tweet the horrible news - so perhaps friends and followers thought tweets back would be acceptable.
What hasn’t changed, however, is the scourge of drugs and the terrible effects their misuse can cause to the taker and their loved ones. Shey was just 29. Apparently he died on his 29th birthday. The Golf Channel tweeted that “Family means everything to David...” and even if true, certainly something wrong happened along the way for his eldest boy to OD at such an early age. The young man had been fighting drug addiction and mental illness for quite some time. Did he feel pressure to live up to Dad’s aura? Or did he, the oldest boy of David’s from his first marriage to Caroline DeWitt, see some rationale for his experimentation with drugs, given that Dad had waged his own battles with depression, a bi-polar disorder - and insomnia - fueled in parts with Whiskey, Weed, Cocaine, and Vicodin? Maybe the young man had a sense of invulnerability. His Dad not only survived, he later thrived, and beat back his craziness and recklessness with drugs and alcohol, so maybe the son figured a little experimentation on his own part, might not only not be a bad idea, but a fun one.
And perhaps things from there spiraled out of control...
At any rate, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has graphs swinging upwards for deaths due to overdoses. (From 2002 to 2015, for example, the heroin graph shows a drastically steep climb of fatalities...)
For his bugaboos, David got help, aside from his wife, from none other than Tom Watson. He had solid companions, in part due to his public persona and in part due to his likability. David’s been sober for 12 years. It’s a shame that whatever help might have been offered and might have been accepted by Shey wasn’t enough to get him clean, on the right track.
Shey wasn’t a loser. He wasn’t a total outsider from society. He was, in fact, entrepreneurial and had his own consulting company named the Sheyco Group. It dealt with data and statistics and would summarize same to make sense for clients. Earlier, he and Christopher Crawford of the Marine Corps had formed an outfit called Sports Concie that specialized in “corporate solutions.” And prior to that he had worked for a Trucking company.
So where will David Feherty go from here? Will Feherty become a victim? Although he has immediately and thoughtfully asked that donations be made to the Center for Addiction and Recovery Studies in Dallas, Texas, he will have, now that the funeral is over, the aftermath and, no pun intended, downtime. It would be expected and understandable for him to step back from the limelight, perhaps to draw nearer to his 4 surviving kids. No doubt, unwittingly or otherwise, some harsh self-judgment and guilt will inflict themselves upon the eminently affable Feherty.
This would be a shame because, despite his tender age, Shey was an adult and was responsible for his own actions. Parents, no matter how well meaning and caring, and well off, can only do so much...It’s also sad that Shey couldn’t have learned more from his father’s willingness to take certain drugs to stem his mental afflictions. At one point Feherty admits he was taking 14 pills per day to help ward off his demons. (He also says that the act of playing golf, because it takes up so much time (especially for us average players) - is a great aid in solving the problem of too much spare time on one’s hands – time to get into trouble with intoxicants.
One never knows with life. It’s too short, with opportunities missed and advantages wasted – and these are but a few sad characteristics prevalent that are far too prevalent for many of us – who don’t suffer from addictions. We - all of us - are usually our own worst enemy. Most of our faults can be laid at our own doorstep. We’re so ashamed, or so proud, we don’t seek help. And again
- many of us -
need to “grow up” despite our having crossed the threshold of the 30’s decades ago. More than a few of us keep repeating the same old, same old, mistakes over and over - and over - again...to what end? Then, to add drugs or alcohol into this? Geez, No wonder so many of us, like Shey Feherty, depart far too early.