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Nashville Mayor Barry Speaks after Son's Death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has returned to work one week after the death of her son, Max.

Barry spoke publicly for the first time Monday, where she opened up about her son's death.

"I don't want his death to define his life but we have to have a frank conversation about how he died. We don't have the full autopsy yet, we don't have the final toxicology report, but the reality is that Max overdosed on drugs,” Barry said.

“Max will continue to inspire me and Bruce for the rest of our lives,” she added. “Our hearts will always be sad and empty because we can never replace our child. But I know that with my faith and I know that with my family and I know that with my friends we will get through this.”

Earlier in the day, Barry attended a stuff the bus event as nearly 90,000 Metro Nashville students headed back to class.

Max Barry died from an apparent overdose near Denver, Colorado on the evening of Saturday, July 29. He was 22-years-old.

In a letter published in The Tennessean, Barry thanked the city for its outpouring of support over the past week.

"Thank you, Nashville.

At around 3 a.m. last Sunday, my husband Bruce and I awoke to a knock on the door. We proceeded to receive the most devastating news a parent could ever hear – that our beloved son, Max, had left this world before us.

In those next few moments, we were crushed by a weight of sadness and grief – of pain and disbelief.

But within hours, we were surrounded by close friends who came to us in our time of need to shoulder this great pain and burden. Shortly thereafter, we released the news publicly that Max had suffered from an overdose and died because we knew that as a public family, our private pain would not stay private for long.

What happened next was a tremendous outpouring of love and affection from all over Nashville and across the country. Close friends and perfect strangers sent their thoughts and prayers, offers of assistance, and deeply personal stories of their own similar pain, and how they were able to push forward.

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