One week, and still in shock.

by Suzie
(Temecula, CA)

My boyfriend/partner and I have been together for three years. I have a teenager at home and we decided to keep separate homes until my son was on his own. We spent every weekend together, took wonderful vacations and took my son camping in the summer. He had just had his home painted, and the painters had dripped paint on the mirror and counter in a small bathroom with no windows.

He had told me on Tues. he was trying to scrape the paint off. I called him on Wed. about 2:00, he said he was going to clean his carpets and was trying to get the rest of the paint off. We planned on him coming to my home for dinner around 6:00. I had everything ready, poured myself a glass of wine and waited.

By 6:45 I left him a funny message saying "hey, are you standing me up?". He was very reliable, always called if late and usually called to see if I needed anything from the store. My next call was "are you okay? Pick up the phone, I'm getting worried" 7:15, I jumped in my car to his house. His door was open with the screen door closed.

A very strong chemical hit me. I screamed his name, ran down the hall and found him face down on the floor. I tried to turn him over for CPR but I couldn't. I called the paramedics. It turned I was the patient, and he had been gone for over two hours. The paramedics hosed me down for the chemical exposure and I spent the night in the hospital with breathing problems and an irregular heartbeat.

The autopsy showed no physical cause, and it is thought to be a combination of turpentine and paint thinner he used to remove the paint. He was very healthy and active. Today was his service and I am so numb, it is scary. His father is 89! I wish I had made his last weekend better, cherished every moment we had.

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