They don’t teach you about death in journalism school.

Well, I suppose I did learn how to write about it. I wrote an obituary for Katelyn Williamson, a classmate from Blackford High School, after she died from a shooting in Hartford City.

What they don’t teach you is how to respond when a source who touched your soul dies.

I suppose, interviewing someone younger, I didn’t expect to hear news of his passing until years down the road. It seemed somewhat out of place to hear the word “overdose,” especially when I took a glance back at the addiction recovery story I’d written about him for a Ball State University magazine more than a year ago.

And there was just something about Bon Funkhouser I liked.

Maybe it was the way he found Christ through his addiction. Maybe it was the way Bon’s eyes sparkled when he shared his testimony. Maybe, in all honesty, it was the way in which he was undeniably human.

Bon, a Redkey native, relapsed initially a few days before the deadline for our magazine — Stigma Unmasked: Recovery and Redemption. His mentor, Brian Blevins, called me to explain the situation. I still remember how he spoke like a dad. Father and son seemed to be the dynamic between them, no mistake, when Brian took Bon under his wing after they met at a Celebrate Recovery meeting.

“Bon was a huge blessing in my life,” Brian said to me in an interview last February. “I’m on him just like a dad, too.”

After already having drafted an article detailing Bon’s newfound faith and clean slate, we decided to keep the story as-written with one crucial addition — relapse is a part of the recovery process. Because, truth be told, it is. The important part is how it impacts the individual in the long term.

Addiction is a different kind of animal. Our magazine, which is currently on display in the “FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis” exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, detailed the ways in which individuals find ways to restrain that animal.

My heart melted when Bon shared how he accepted Jesus into his life.

“I never had anybody to show me to stand up and be a man and not run from things,” Bon told me in an interview about his testimony last February. “But that night was different. For some reason, I didn’t run.” He walked toward the 3-foot wooden cross at the front of the church. “Even with drugs, I had never felt anything like that,” he added.

Bon had been clean for nearly three years when he relapsed last spring. And this last relapse — about three months ago — he didn’t survive.

I knew Bon had struggled with addiction from a young age, but knowing that didn’t make the news any easier. While filtering through my notebook a few weeks ago, I came across our interview notes. I had to bite my tongue to keep from crying in the office.

Compared to his demeanor in high school, Bon had done a 180 when I’d last spoken with him. This ecstatic man beaming a smile while praising God couldn’t possibly be the kid I knew who was always getting called to the school office.

There was just something about him (and Brian) I couldn’t put my finger on. My own mother solved that puzzle for me: they’d been filled with the spirit.

“It’s not about me anymore — it’s about Him,” Bon told me.

I’ll never forget how I left our interview. I sat in my car, engine off, for about 10 minutes, letting the silence and building snow piles on the ground speak volumes to me in some unearthly fashion.

Sometimes your soul is touched in ways you can’t describe.

It still baffles me how people find different avenues to fill the addiction crave. It also shocks me how someone can relapse out of nowhere.

It’s a constant battle recovering addicts fight every day. Others I’ve interviewed, like Brian and Rhea Graham from Muncie, have said it’s easier to manage when you’ve got others counting on you. The Grahams are involved at some level with nearly all recovery meetings in Delaware County. Brian Blevins started Hope House in Hartford City and has been hosting meetings in Marion as well. He’s been clean for four years and had a baby boy with his wife, Jamie.

Recovering addicts can do a 180, yes. But that revolution can keep going and become a 360 back into old habits.

When I think of Bon, though, I don’t think of the overdose.

I think of our interview last February and the way his eyes lit up whenever he mentioned his faith. I think of a teenager kneeling in front of a cross during an altar call, realizing he didn’t know how to pray — but wanting to learn.

I think of a young man fighting against that unruly demon we call addiction.

They may not teach you about death in journalism school.

Bon’s passing helped me learn how to cope, and also to realize how much a single man’s story will forever touch my soul.