Updated: Jun 14
Tyler Hallahan was born July 25th 1993.
An Eagle Scout who absolutely loved the mountains Tyler moved to Crested Butte Colorado when he was 19 with two bags and a couch to crash on. He got a job at the ski resort and spent every day on the mountain, snowboarding on his breaks and days off. His favorite place on earth was Glacier National Park, Sperry Trail to be specific.
Whenever Tyler was in the mountains, he was ok. No matter what was happening, in the fresh crisp air thousands of feet up everything was ok. That's where I hope he is now. Gliding down the mountain on his snowboard or complaining about his knees on the trail.
He deserves the same peace he worked to give others.
Tyler Hallahan grew up the middle of three kids in Dubuque, Iowa. He was weird, kind and annoyingly intelligent from the start.
He found AP Chemistry easy, could solve a Rubik's cube in 20 seconds or less and would play the piano for hours off the top of his head. He said he couldn't read music but we all knew he could, he just didn't need it. He would listen to a song and be able to play the melody with no music or help and would play hours of improvisation just because he wanted to play.
Tyler was also addicted to heroin for 8 years. Beginning after being prescribed opiates at 17.
Tyler was kind and compassionate to everyone he met, especially those he knew who were also struggling with addiction. He would drive anyone anywhere at any time even if he didn't have any gas. He would help his friends seek treatment and support them even when he was losing his own fight.
Tyler never wanted someone else to feel the isolation and shame he felt. He did everything he could to make someone's day better. When he was being taken advantage of Tyler didn't care because that wasn't important.
Addiction changes people, it drastically shifts their perspective and priorities. Tyler was kind and compassionate to everyone he met but, he wasn't that to the ones who loved him most, his family. He tried, he wanted to be kind to us. He fought like hell but, addiction changes people.
There are good and bad days in anything, the same is true for addiction and recovery. On the good days we would have Tyler back. He'd be chatting about the space documentary he just watched, play the piano for hours and would talk about what he could do to keep getting better. Sometimes these good days lasted for months.
But, the bad days came, as they always do. And some days he wasn't strong enough to keep fighting. On days the addiction took over Tyler was gone physically, mentally or both. He would walk out of the house saying nothing, ignore all texts and calls and not come back for days refusing to explain. Tyler stole from us, lied to us, would yell and scream at us out of seemingly nowhere. When confronted with any evidence of his addiction or its consequences Tyler would deny, escalate and leave.
He had paranoia and delusions so severe he would barricade himself in his bedroom with every piece of furniture available. He would punch holes in doors and walls trying to hit a delusion coming to hurt him.
One night when confronted with his addiction he became violent and started hitting his older brother Casey. Casey swung once, got Tyler in a bear hug and held him there. Tyler faught and screamed but it didn't take long for him to break down crying and apologizing. He was in pain. Tyler was hurting so much more than he could've ever hurt us, and he hurt us a lot.
Tyler never acted out of malice. He never wanted to hurt us.
He was simply doing his best. We knew that and we still loved him.
We will always love him.
In February of 2019 Tyler purposefully got himself arrested so he would receive a court sentenced rehabilitation. After years of addiction, relapse and outpatient treatment he knew that if he went into treatment willingly and had the ability to check himself out, he would.
Tyler was in residential rehabilitation until May 26th. He became sober and made connections to help him on the outside. Due to a clerical error somewhere, Tyler was released ahead of schedule and with no notification to anyone. Tyler called his dad to pick him up, he had a ceremony and went home.
Sometime after returning home Tyler left, was picked up and got high with a long time acquaintance. After getting high Tyler began to overdose. The people with Tyler knew he was overdosing but didn't try to get help until 6 hours later where they lied about Tyler's state, saying he was very drunk.
Tyler Hallahan died in the early morning of May 27th 2019.
Less than 12 hours after leaving inpatient treatment.
The LavaLamp Foundation was created with the goal of keeping Tyler's kindness alive. It truly is what Tyler would have created had he survived. Helping people feel less alone and more informed was Tyler's goal. Now it's ours.
This and all LavaLamp Foundation content was written by Tyler's little sister, Sarah Hallahan. Through all of the grief, anger and sadness she knew she couldn't let Tyler's dreams of helping others die with him.
The LavaLamp Foundation is what Tyler should have been able to create. The world is a little darker without him here, but there's always a LavaLamp at the end of the tunnel.