A heartbreaking video purporting to show the moment an Ohio father told his young son that his mother died from a suspected drug overdose has been viewed millions of times since been posted to Facebook this week.
Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark shared the somber moment Monday, writing that he made the difficult decision to do so to help others.
“This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My son has no mother because of heroin,” Bickerstaff-Clark wrote in the widely shared post. “Don’t let this disease have to make someone tell your child that (you’re) dead.”
In the video, Bickerstaff-Clark can be seen sitting outside at a picnic table with his 8-year-old son across from him.
“Mommy died last night,” he can be heard saying in the video.
“What do you mean, my mom? How?” the child asks before bursting into tears.
“From drugs,” Bickerstaff-Clark tells the little boy.
He then reaches across the table and takes his son’s arms in his hands. A woman sitting next to the boy hugs and comforts the distressed boy.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the video has been viewed 26 million times.
“Please get help so our children don’t have to suffer,” he said. “This wasn’t staged. This was real. I had someone record so addicts with children can see the seriousness of our epidemic.”
Bickestestaff-Clark noted that he is a recovering addict who has been clean for about three months.
He encouraged others to share the video to “maybe help save a child’s parent’s life.”
The video, which has been commented on more than 81,000 times, has also generated some criticism.
While a number of the commenters expressed their condolences and support, others were critical of the video, asking the father why he would share such a private moment on the internet.
One commenter wrote: “This is disgusting, why would you have someone record you telling you poor child that his mama is dead!”
Another said: “Thank you for sharing an emotional event that helps spread awareness. I hope you do stay clean of all drugs. My condolences to you, your son, and family. I hope this inspires you to make a better difference in the world.”
Editor’s note: We have chosen not to embed the actual video in the story because it shows the boy’s face. You can watch the full video if you choose by clicking here.