Memorial

Memorial

Andrew Berndt

Born
Died

When my 6' 2" Andrew would come up behind me, wrap his arms around me, and yell "Mama" while lifting me off the floor.

Tell us about your loved one.

Andrew was our gentle giant. Kind and loving to his niece, and to all children. He loved his family. He didn't judge. He didn't gossip. He only spoke when he had something to say.

Tell us about Andrew's struggle with addiction

Andrew had severe anxiety, even as a child. He was later diagnosed bipolar also. In middle school he began experimenting with alcohol and pot. By the time he was 18 he had tried heroin. The family was helping to get mental health treatment, but medication management was constantly interrupted by jail. Twice he went to rehabs that did not allow psyche meds. When he didn't have insurance, he went a year with no medication. In between homelessness, jail, mandated sober houses, and drug testing, he was hospitalized with psychosis, but discharged to the street after three days because of no insurance. He worked hard at periods of sobriety. On his 30th birthday, three weeks before his death, Andrew told us he was very tired and did not believe his life could ever change. The final days he was clearly not of sound mind, but our attempts to make him see a psychiatric failed. We took him to the ER, but he left AMA. We should have tried harder to get a judge to commit him. I didn't know then what I know now.

What made Andrew smile?

New shoes! Ava, his niece. Watching "Storage Wars" with his Dad. Finding a bargain at the Salvation Army store with his Mom.

What do you miss most about Andrew?

When my 6' 2" Andrew would come up behind me, wrap his arms around me, and yell "Mama" while lifting me off the floor.

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