Eagles players kneeled in prayer at Sunday’s practice after learning about the tragic death of Garrett Reid. AP Photo/Chris Post

A parent is never supposed to bury a child. It is a life-changer. One minute, your world is good. The next, you have an unfathomable void, a never-ending ache and a sadness that won’t go away and doesn’t really ease with time.

That is what Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, are facing now that their oldest son, Garrett, has passed away. Garrett was found dead Sunday morning in a dorm room at Lehigh University, where the Philadelphia Eagles are holding their training camp. He was 29 years old.

Andy Reid was so proud to have Garrett, his oldest son, at camp. He was proud of his older sons, Garrett and Britt. Each had served time in prison for drug-related offenses and completed drug rehabilitation programs. Each seemingly had moved on. Britt is now married and working as a graduate assistant for the Temple University football program. Garrett was working for the Eagles as an assistant to the strength and conditioning staff. A third son, Spencer, is a running back at Temple, about to enter his redshirt freshman season. The Reids also have two daughters, Crosby and Drew Ann.

Now Garrett is dead. It is unspeakably sad, for Andy and Tammy, for their four other children and for the Philadelphia Eagles organization.

To bury a child is the cruelest part of being a parent, no matter the circumstances. Garrett was Reid’s first child. Father and son were close. They had been through hell together. For 10 years, Reid had dealt with his son’s addiction, and for nearly two years Reid had visited Garrett in prison. He went to drug rehab with his son. He was a rock, a constant presence, a loving father and a disciplinarian. Garrett’s journey was ongoing. He was living at home, trying to make it.

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