Tyrel Adison Long

Ty was born on New Year’s Eve, 1985. I was privileged to witness his arrival. He was born cesarean and was small but perfect. Ty was an adorable infant, but he did not have an easy life, at any point. Before his first round of immunizations, he contracted whooping cough. He was given a name and a blessing in the Neonatal ICU where he was kept under strict isolation, with only his parents and Dr and nurses (he had his own set of nurses) able to enter to prevent spreading the contagious disease, but also to keep Ty from coming into contact with other germs, as he was very fragile and had already suffered several clinical deaths; the first being the one which brought him to the hospital in the first place.

My sister woke up to find Ty in the cradle by her bedside, blue and unresponsive. She started CPR and her husband drove them to ER. Tyrel was resuscitated after being declared clinically dead. He died several more times during his 6 week stay in ICU. He was fortunate to have a Dr. who recognized the disease for what it was immediately, because of his work on reservations where whooping cough is still prevalent. In infants, it is almost always fatal and not many modern pediatricians recognize it due to the fact that most babies in the US are immunized. No one thought that Ty would come home from the hospital, but the Dr and his main nurse. They both had complete faith that Tyrel, being the fighter that he was, would pull through and he did…against all odds.

Ty was very small for his age and had lung problems for the rest of his life, because of his early illness. He was very outgoing and funny from the beginning. He loved to be the center of attention and was doted on by everyone for his delightful personality. He loved to fight and to tease people until they were really to kill him. He was incredibly tough and wouldn’t back down from any challenge no matter how difficult or absurd. He liked to say that dynamite comes in small packages and that was sure true with Ty. He packed a wallop.

Due to his bipolar manic phases, he would become aggressive and combative. Most people in town learned to avoid Ty when he was in one of his “moods”. He was a danger to himself and others. My son, Dayne, hardly ever had to fight for what he wanted because people knew that he and Ty were cousins and if they hurt Dayne, they’d have to deal with Ty and NO one was that brave! Ironically, Dayne became the fighter in the family. Probably because of all the “play fights” that he and Ty had which invariably turned into real fights. Ty was a tough opponent. If Dayne could get him, he figured he could get anyone.

Ty was assaulted in 2005, at a family reunion at Lava Hot Springs in Idaho. He and his cousin, Mason were out wandering the one main street and saying “hi” to all the pretty girls. A very drunk carload of angry men pulled up and demanded to know why Ty had flirted with one of their girlfriends. Ty had no idea who the guy was even talking about since he’d said hi to nearly every attractive girl in town by then. One of the men proceeded to sucker punch Tyrel with something held in his hand, either brass knuckles or a bike chain, but something that left grease on the side of Ty’s face. Ty didn’t even fall down, he was ready to take the guy on, no matter what. My sisters and mom were about 100 yards behind them and saw the altercation. They ran up and the men fled.

Ty’s face was horribly smashed. He was taken to the local ER, where they stitched his eye and recommended a plastic surgeon be contacted in his home state ASAP. Tyrel required extensive surgery to entirely rebuild the right side of his face. Every bone was broken badly – his eye socket so badly that his eye had to be removed during surgery to repair the optic nerve and rebuild a titanium eye socket, as his was beyond repair. He had to go back into braces to realign his jaw after the surgery and most of his face was rebuilt with metal plates. His eye was sewn shut for a week after surgery so it could heal properly.

Ty before surgery

Ty during surgery – (they went in through his upper jaw to minimize scarring).

Ty after surgery

Ty with his eye sewn shut.

Ty began to have problems with depression and bipolar behavior around puberty. He was so manic that it was always shocking when he went into a tailspin. Most people didn’t see that Ty at all. They saw the talkative, funny, life of the party guy. But he slipped further into depression after becoming addicted to pain killers after his surgery. He hated himself for his addiction which he saw as a personal weakness. He finally told his mother that he had a problem and was put on Suboxone in an attempt to get him clean. Ty relapsed several times and found the clinic very unresponsive to his desire to be completely clean of the drug that was simply replacing the street drug. In effect, the government had become his new dealer. Ty white knuckled it and got off Suboxone by himself, when the clinic refused to lower his dosage gradually to help him. I am very proud of Ty. He was a fighter. He fought for what he believed in and he fought for those he loved.

Ty tried to kill himself several times during his young adulthood. He spent time in the psych ward after trying to hang himself, but my sister found him in time, then. He tried ODing, and hanging several more times, but was always found in time to save. The last and successful attempt, Ty made, was carefully orchestrated, as his autopsy report shows. He dressed in his best clothes, took off the jewelry that he always wore, took off the hat that he’d had Dayne autograph for when he got famous as a fighter and that he rarely took off, wrote a suicide letter, tied a perfect hangman’s noose, then took a carefully researched combination of very unusual drugs that are difficult to find on the street and would have killed him or left him comatose, had the hanging failed. Ty ended his suffering from rapid cycling bipolar depression on January 2nd, 2010, 2 days after his 24th birthday. He’d been off his medication for 2 weeks.

Ty had a loving, gregarious, and beautiful spirit which he shared openly with a vast variety of people. His funeral (which was known as a celebration of Ty’s life) was so crowded that it was standing room only, and the police had to close down major streets to accommodate his funeral procession. That’s the kind of guy Ty was. He was almost universally loved. In fact, I have never been to his grave when someone hasn’t left something new, even if I go every day (which isn’t as weird and obsessive as it sounds – Ty is buried right across the street from my mother’s house. We can see his tombstone from her front porch).

Ty was a natural-born leader and his influence, both in life and after death, has been far-reaching, in and out of my family circle. He had a gift for making people feel special, as if they were the only one in the room, even if he was surrounded by people, and he usually was. People gravitated toward Ty, because of his ability to love unconditionally.

Although Ty struggled with severe depression, especially during the winter months, he still maintained the special knack for making other people feel good. He had a smile that lit up his whole face and his laugh was contagious, as was his sense of mischief. Ty also suffered from substance abuse problems in attempts to self-medicate…that is a recurring theme in his writing.

Ty left behind a piece of himself, in the form of an unborn child. His girlfriend, appropriately named Destiny, had their baby girl, Saylor, on July 19th, 2010 and I am sure that his daughter will have the best guardian angel ever with Tyrel as her father. I only wish that he could hold her in his arms and kiss her little blonde head, a replica of his at the same age; lots and lots of blonde hair. She’s a beautiful baby and I’m so proud of Destiny and grateful that she is still willing to be part of our family after the horrible nightmare of Ty’s suicide. Welcome to the world, little one. Destiny, you’ll be a great mom. Congratulations to you both!

Beautiful Baby, Saylor

Beautiful girl

Saylor in Blue


I love these girls!

Ty’s true loves; Destiny and Saylor – Saylor is a perfect blend of Tyrel and Destiny. She has both their dimples and Ty’s gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair, Destiny’s cute little nose and beautiful smile along with a ton of personality, just like both her parents.

Some videos showing Ty’s fun-loving nature. He wasn’t always moping around, feeling sorry for himself. He was usually hilarious, outspoken, and the life of any party. As my son, Dayne says, it’s almost embarrassing to tell “Ty stories” because he was SO outrageous that people think you’re lying or exaggerating. But Tyrel needed no exaggeration. He was the real deal. He had such a charming, spirited personality that it is hard to imagine that he had a dark side. People had to know him VERY well to realize that he was prone to depression. He generally kept to himself at such times, so many people were shocked to learn that he’d hung himself.

Dayne Takes the Dare:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dayne goes first“, posted with vodpod

Ty Won’t be Outdone!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Tyrel’s Dive into ice water“, posted with vodpod


Ty and Dayne – Epic Fail!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “First Try – Epic Fail“, posted with vodpod

Ty and Dayne – SUCCESS!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dayne and Ty – Success!“, posted with vodpod

Brad Simon’s (One of Ty’s Best Friends) Skateboarding Memorial

Ty Boarding
(you have to click the red link)   Ty Skateboarding.

Dave Byzdok’s Memorial to Tyrel: (These pictures were taken before Destiny became part of Ty’s life & soul, so unfortunately, she’s not in them :()

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about ”
http://vodpod.com/watch/3576396-in-memory-of-tyrel-adison-long”>In Memory of Tyrel Adison Long”, posted with vodpod
  1. Thanks like your Tyrel Adison Long Coin & Feather Press

  2. Really nice info you have here, gracias

  3. Ruth says:

    Btw – Tyrel’s all-time favorite South Park was when they sang “Kyle’s mom is a bitch!” He and Dayne sang this to Dayne’s Mom every time she had a blow out, and then ran away laughing before she could kill them. “…mad enough to KILL, Kyle!?”

  4. Asha Farra says:

    I genuinely treasure your work , Great post.

  5. Nahim says:

    I was on google searching for some resource and i came across this, i don’t like reading but when i saw Ty’s pics i just couldn’t help it so went from word to word. ahh. Ty is in better place and who ever broke this brother’s face bones, i pray to god to do the same thing to that person now& the afterlife .

    R I P bro. we’ll see you on the other side.

  6. cheyenne says:

    WOW feels good to hear his voice miss YOU BABE . and thank u for makin me feel like the most beautiful girl youd ever met haha

  7. This has left more than a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye… Ty sounded like a beautiful person, may he rest in peace and his memory live on… I pray that you and your family find strength each and every day.

    • Thanks for your comment and your thoughtfulness. I’m happy to be able to keep Tyrel’s memory alive…especially now. It seems to get harder and harder as time goes by, instead of the reverse. I guess it’s sinking in that he isn’t coming back.

  8. This touched my heart. R.I.P. Ty ….

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