Matthew Fielder
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one






  1/10/1986 - 8/11/2006

♥ Scroll down to the bottom and watch the slideshow of the 20 years we shared with Matthew!! ♥

♥ Light a candle for Matthew to the right (it doesn't cost), it just lets us know you have thought about him today!! We love to know he is remembered! ♥

My Poem about my struggle with losing my precious son:

A Mother's Pain (by Terri Fielder, 2/3/12):

When you’re sick of that deep pain down in your gut
And hopelessness has gone all awry.
You wonder how to climb out of the rut
You just don’t know how or why.

You listen to people close by and around you
And yet you feel so alone.
You wonder when the sadness will let go of you
If only you could go Home.

Home, not the house, the street or the road
But a place that’s promised to all
With golden streets and an unburdened load
And you know your name has been called

How I long for the days that I’m wrapped with that love
And the misery is no longer mine
When I meet with the people I have missed so dear
I know my son will be first in line
I long for that day and I won’t shed a tear
For happiness will finally be mine.


You were my world, my heart and soul Matthew and you filled my life with love and happiness.  I still don't know how to live this life without you, so this memorial is in your honor to share your life and your story with everyone.  I was so proud of you in life Matt, and that pride continues.  You have shed your physical body and the angels lifted you into Heaven, but I know your spirit will always remain here on Earth with us. I always told you that I could never live without you, so my life is sheer existence.  I know you are with me, but I don't know how to live with this vast void in my soul and with a heart so shattered.  I love you Matthew, and always will, as we used to say when you were little...more than a million oceans...


Matthew came into this world on 1/10/86, three weeks early, at 6:24 pm, weighing in at 6#10oz.  He immediately stole my heart and took my breath away.  We watched him grow from a curly hair toddler into a handsome young man (who hated the curls!). By 4 yrs old, we could tell he was blessed with an unbelievable imagination and a huge artistic talent. He went from markers and pens to acrylics and canvas.  Some of his paintings are in the slideshow below, and there's earlier drawings of his on the other picture tab.  He also started showing an interest in piano and in 2nd grade, after only 3 weeks of piano lessons, he played a solo of "Silent Night" using both hands and chords at his grade school Christmas program.  He played it effortlessly and perfectly.  In 5th grade, he started playing trumpet in band, and excelled at that too.  After this, he could pick up any instrument including the violin, clarinet, guitar, etc. and play without instruction.  As Matthew finished middle school and entering high school, he started displaying neurological problems, with no answers from the doctors for almost 2 years.  Then, Matthew had a drop-down, grand-mal seizure at school splitting the back of his head open that alerted the doctors that Matthew might have epilepsy.  EEG testing later confirmed the diagnosis. This condition plagued Matthew throughout high school and into college. He many types of seizures, somtimes for months on end on a daily basis, sometimes multiple seizures per day, even including a scare with status epelipticus that left him in a drug-induced coma and on a respirator for 3 days. 

 Matthew suffered from his physical condition that led to medicating with prescription pain pills.  You must know though that Matthew had a heart made of gold and a smile that would warm anyone he met.  His most attractive personality trait was his warm and compassionate heart.  He would give anyone the shirt off his back or the last penny he had.  When Matthew worked in the kitchen of a nursing home, after he clocked out, he would go to patients' rooms, sometimes talk, sometimes feed them, sometimes read to them, or maybe just hugged them. That was something he had lots and lots for people were hugs; he hugged his family, people he had just met and many, many friends.  He hugged them through good times and through bad.  As a matter of fact, unknowingly his last day on this earth, as I left in the morning for work, he hugged me tightly, cupped his hands around my face, and told me how beautiful I was and that he loved me very much.  This was the last time I saw him alive and I will cherish that hug and that memory forever.   


Matthew admitted that he had a pain killer addiction and begged for help. We researched methadone treatment centers and there happened to be one right here in our city. Everything we read described methadone treatment centers as safe and effective. So, Matthew started methadone treatment on Monday, 8/7/06. He was checked by the doctor and his dosage was supposedly calculated and ordered for that day, with subsequent increases everyday that week.   On the afternoon after Matt's first dosage, he started experiencing very negative (and what turned out to be abnormal), side effects. He reported these side effects to the center the next morning and they brushed him aside and dosed him at his increased dose that the doctor dictated. He complained in the mornings, the evenings and he was repeatedly told his body would adjust. It never did. But during this time that Matthew complained, nobody actually checked him, not the LPN, the RN or the doctor, but yet the doctor increased his dosage everyday. His signs of what I now know were methadone toxicity intensified everyday; they were obvious signs for everyone at the treatment center of his intolerance to the level of methadone he was receiving. He suffered cruelly that week, but asked me to remind him that "this too shall pass"... and it did. On the 5th day of treatment, 8/11/06, I talked with Matt on the phone from work around 10am, about two hours after his dosage, and he sounded extremely groggy; I just figured he needed a nap since he had not been able to sleep the night before; I told him to go lay down and call me back later. He never called. I came home from work around 5pm to an eerie silence. I walked through the house to find my son slumped over in the floor of the hallway of our home, he was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall, knees bent and his head bent over. At first I thought he was playing a trick on me; he was such a prankster, always playing tricks on me.  But he didn't move.  I laid him down on the floor thinking maybe he had just passed out or probably had a seizure, but it quickly hit me - My brain knew instantly that he was dead, but my heart could not begin to accept what I was seeing. I was shocked by what I saw and felt.  His snow white handsome face was covered with grotesque purple splotches and he was ice cold. I immediately called 911 and then went back to his body and tried to start CPR, wanting to breathe my life into him. However, his mouth and jaw were locked and rigid. I was sure when the paramedics arrived, that they would be able to revive him. However, when the paramedics arrived, it took them less than a minute to pronounce to me, all by myself, that he was dead. A parent's true nightmare was happening! All I could think was this couldn't be "it", it couldn't be "the end". In the blink of my eye he was there and then gone.  One minute everything is fine, the next I'm standing beside my dead son?! I was unable to breathe or make a cry. I called my parents who live close by and my mother came to the house, not sure what I was saying on the phone. She then called my father, siblings, and Matthew's father. The torture of watching my father crying out loud and lying beside Matthew in the hallway stroking his hair to the enormous blood-curdling scream his father let out when he saw Matthew were almost as unbearable as the pain in my heart. Due to the fact that Matthew was by himself when he died, the police were called and arrived quickly, along with detectives, the coroner and family members. They kept asking questions, trying to be kind, but my mind was one big painful blur. I tried to answer the barrage of questions.. Here are his meds... no I talked to him earlier, I don't know if he was having trouble breathing... I just don't know! How he could be dead? Soon, our pastor arrived and he helped me through that time. But I just wanted to be with my son, touch him one more time, smell him, hug him. I knew when they took him away he would NEVER be in our house again. It was several hours before they removed his body, and I thought I would die when they brought his body through the house in a black body bag! It felt like one of those nightmares when you try to scream, but nothing comes out. This thought and pain are second only to the absolutely unbearable thought that I will never, ever get to see my son again, hear his voice, his laughter or ever feel his loving hugs again.

A few weeks after Matt's death and before the autopsy results were available, his father and I visited the center requesting a copy of his medical file. After much bickering and contacting their Corporate Legal Dept, they finally conceded and said I could pick up a copy the following day. When I went to pick up the copy the next day, the clinic administrator, shoved them at me and told me she was sure that they would find "illegal drugs" in my dead son. This is an example of the care and compassion (or lack there-of) the center provides their patients and families, even knowing that my precious son, their patient, was dead and I was in unbearable pain. I also found out later that they reported his death to CSAT before the toxicology report was even released, and told them that he was abusing drugs. NOT!!!  And of course when the toxicology results came back a few weeks later, there was only the prescribed high levels of Methadone in his system (plus Phenergan prescribed for nausea and Benadryl he was taking for itching, both at normal levels). The State Medical Examiner called his father and I each personally to explain that Methadone solely was responsible for Matthew's death. I asked to be sure and confirm what he was saying "Do you mean the cure was the killer?" And he responded, "Yes Ma'am, that's what I am saying." However he explained, since Matthew had other prescribed, legal drugs at normal levels in his system, they have to class his death as a "Poly Drug Overdose" which sickens me. It does not reflect what happened in reality. Also, when reading Matthew's file from the treatment center, it was obvious they had time to "fix" his records. There was nothing there that resembled the truth. They had only documented his side effects once, and had back-dated numerous comments, and the dates were not in chronological order.  There were comments entered and dated over a week AFTER his death stating he was NOT a candidate for methadone treatment! I made a call to the Charleston DHHR (who provides their licensure)and they immediately did an audit.  In less than a day, they found 19 major violations, the first being that the methadone pump had not been calibrated correctly for over 5 years!!!!  The clinic appealed the violations but were refused twice by the DHHR.  One of he most important corrections they have had to make from the audit is to closely monitor new patients.  This correction alone would have saved Matthew's life.  I took Matt's story to the local level, the state level and even the federal level with SAMHSA and CSAT, even being invited to Washington DC to meet with their officials at a special annual meeting. There were 52 people consisting of governors, DEA officials, legislators... and me. Due to my numerous calls and e-mails to a top official at SAMHSA, I found out that they were having weekly meetings that they actually called "Matthew Fielder Meetings" to investigate why everything went wrong at a treatment center. The findings from the audit supported my accusations of serious problems at Methadone Treatment Centers.    SAMSHA has now put into place new FEDERAL guidelines that require treatment centers to closely monitor new patients (the induction phase). I truly believe these changes were made due to Matthew's death, it has saved many lives, and Matthew's death was not in vain. The only thing Matt did wrong that week was follow the doctor's orders - and it killed him. We also filed a lawsuit against the treatment center and the doctor, and they jumped at the chance of settling out of court, which we did to avoid a trial and Matthew's name being drug through the mud. Their eagerness to settle was an obvious sign of their guilt.

Matthew's favorite form of art was painting; he painited when he was sad and when he was happy.  I cherish each and everyone of his paintings and drawings now.  I have some of his paintings, but most of them he gave away to friends and family; they were a piece of him and his soul that he was sharing.  If YOU happen to have one of his paintings or drawings that I don't know about, please let me know.  I don't expect to take it back, but only to get a picture of another one of his masterpieces.   


Matthew's death has left us with shattered hearts, a hole in our souls, tears in our eyes, but he has imbedded footprints in our heart.  We know he is still painting from Heaven, as we stop and take awe of the majestic and beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and rainbows showering down from Heaven.  

As time goes by, people expect you to pick up with life as though everything is fine.  It will never be fine.  It will never be close to fine.  My heart aches and the hole in my soul is enormous, and nothing can begin to fill up that giant hole he left.  As long as it has been, I have terrifying flashbacks of finding him, seeing his purple splotched face that looked like a horror film, and the heartbreaking realization that he was dead.  The emptiness... nobody can describe the emptiness unless they have lost a child.  There are some things that time does not heal, and this is one of them. Time softens the rugged edges.... I don't expect him to bound in the door or hear his hysterical laughter, but the heart sick feeling of knowing you will never ever ever get to see your child on this earth, watch him sleep safely in his bed, hold his hand, feel his hugs never get easier.  They say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle, so he must have mistaken that He thought I was strong enough to live without my son. So I continuously ask for he strength God promises and lift up the 20 blessed years we had with such a wonderful child, grandchild, nephew, friend, cousin, etc.  We know that God catches our tears and gives us strength, after all he lost His only Son.



Turning To God
Poem by Matthew J. Fielder &
Amanda Sue Little, Age 15
 With fear in my heart and nothing to gain,
I cry at night these tears of pain.
With no one left to call my own,
Abandoned and scared; all alone.
With nothing left and nothing to be,
I bow down on bended knee.
With nowhere to run and no place to turn,
I pray to the Lord for the life that I yearn.
"Give me the will to dry my tears,
Give me the strength to face my fears."
"Give me the courage to find true love,
And to free my heart like a sacred dove,"

"Give me the power to be something great,
Lead me through that pearly gate."
"And in return for the life you gave,
I give you my soul for you to save." 

Poem written by his little sister Meghan, age 14 
Written 3 months after Matthew passed away
(Published in 2006-2007 WoodWhispers Book)

When I look upon a picture
All I can do is cry
I thought we had a future
But instead you had to die.

I miss you my beloved big brother.
I think about you all the time.
Now I'm just a griever.
And you're a past time.

We used to laugh and play.
You taught me how to ride a bike.
How to have fun on a sleigh.
When I was just a tike.

You taught me what a noun was
When I was in preschool.
We drank our milkshakes out of straws,
I thought we were pretty cool.

When I was six you pulled out my first tooth.
You calmed all my worried fears.
And helped me through my youth.
Now your loss causes all my tears.

You showed me how to straighten my hair
And you let me borrow your clothes.
I wish this was just a nightmare
This really, really blows.

Your room is really empty
And it still smells like you
I go in there daily
But I won't forget to bring a tissue.

Why did you have to go?
Why did it have to be you?
These questions I'll never know.
The grief I'll just have to go through.

Mom just can't take it.
She cries everyday.
I'm about to get my license
But my life is starting to slip away.

You now watch over me
Right by God's side,
Your life is now so easy
Now that you have died.

Someday we'll be in Heaven together
But till then I rely on memories,
And kneel down at the altar
Your memory will go on for centuries.

I'm writing this poem in memory of you
Matthew Jacob Fielder.
I hope this will make-do,
My extremely missed brother.

Matthew's message to us:
(from the song "Move Along" played at his funeral)

When all you gotta do is keep it strong,
Move along, move along, like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone,
Move along, move along, just to make it through
Come on, come on, come on,
When everything is wrong, we move along....

and so we do.....

"Praise You in the Storm" the last song played at Matthew's funeral: God's Message to Us:
I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and save the day
But once again I say "Amen" and it's still raining.
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
and takes away.
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.




Click here to see Matthew Fielder's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences

So sorry for your loss   / Crissy Hodges
I first want to tell you how sorry I am for your unbearable loss, my heart aches for you... I was looking up side effects of methadone on the Internet & somehow stumbled upon this tragic story of your beautiful son's passing. I didn't see an email ad...  Continue >>
So sorry for you're loss   / Sandra Tanner
I to was on methadone for three days and became deadly ill, I lost eleven pounds, vomiting, diarrhea and was so weak that Ipp8wcouldn't even walk. I'm on pain meds for chronic pain and just two days ago I went to the hospital because my pain meds wer...  Continue >>
So sorry for you're loss   / Sandra Tanner
I to was on methadone for three days and became deadly ill, I lost eleven pounds, vomiting, diarrhea and was so weak that Ipp8wcouldn't even walk. I'm on pain meds for chronic pain and just two days ago I went to the hospital because my pain meds wer...  Continue >>
Years ago   / Cierra C. (School Friend )
I went to Wood County Christian School with Matt. I was in his class and he and I were good friends. I was never good at keeping up with people who can and went through the school but I had been very sad to hear that he would be transfering back to P...  Continue >>
To my lost friend  / Brian Caldwell (Friend From Beckley )    Read >>
Sorry for your loss. You may have saved my life.  / Debbie Moore (none)    Read >>
A life that touched my soul....  / Mackenzie MacIntyre ("big sister" @ HJHS )    Read >>
God Bless You  / Angela Gill (None)    Read >>
Matthew's 24th Birthday  / Bren ONeal (friend)    Read >>
Turning to God: A poem for Matthew  / Amanda Little (Friend)    Read >>
Thinking Of You  / Bren ONeal (Friend)    Read >>
Empathy and Sympathy for Matt's family  / Tazwell Warner (unfortunately never had chance )    Read >>
IN MY THOUGHTS & PRAYERS  / Bren O'Neal (Chid Of God )    Read >>
Terri & Meghan  / Bren Wendy's Momma (God's Son )    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
Matthew's Photo Album
Age 3 - Matt's Rainbow Drawing for Mommy
Jump To:
Go to Album >> Open full-screen Slideshow >>