We didn't Pay Attention and Now You're Gone

by Jennifer
(Florida)

For me to write about my loss, I must go back and explain what I’ve lost and why…

Sixteen years ago, a young woman walked into a restaurant outside of Atlanta, Georgia to interview for a job. What she didn’t know was that her life was about to change. Inside that restaurant sat a young man who was enamored by this woman and made it a quest to become part of her life. It didn’t take the two long to realize that they were going to be together and they were meant to be together. They worked together, played together and lived together and not because they had to, but because they wanted to be in each other’s company more than anything. Being in the restaurant business, they lived the restaurant life, visiting the bar after hours and having a great time with friends when they weren’t working. Then… they had a baby. She was the light of their life and the absolute apple of her Daddy’s eye. The young couple resigned from the restaurant business, got married and began a new life. One with grownup responsibilities and grownup stresses. With their new lifestyle came time to themselves and with time to themselves came cocktails to enjoy the evenings.

As the years went by, their love only grew. They brought another daughter into their hearts and home. With two beautiful daughters and one beautiful wife, the man was determined to succeed in life and provide for the family he adored and cherished. He worked hard to climb the inevitable ladder of success and did so rather rapidly. He was good at his job and was still very determined to succeed so that he could give his family everything he thought they deserved. With his hard work and corporate climb, came stress and with stress came cocktails to unwind.

Several times throughout the years, the determined man, saw what was happening and tried to stop. He attended several meetings, but thought he didn’t fit in, and since he wasn’t sleeping on street corners or blacking out, he hadn’t lost his family, job or anything, he could heal on his own. And he did…for awhile.

Despite the amount of love these two shared, life still threw them curve balls. But their love still stayed strong and continued to grow. When the man decided to start a business, they, like many others, thought it was the ticket. This, now middle aged man put all of his heart and passion into his work and the business. He hated to travel, which meant being away from his family that he truly loved, but they decided the sacrifice now would be worth the life later. With his passion to succeed in the business came pressure to perform and with pressure to perform came more cocktails to keep going.

Three years and the business still staggering, he put no less heart or passion into his work. They believed in the company and more so the man who dedicated his time to keep his family going. Times were tight and tough, but they held on to each other and knew better days were coming. Before the better days could reach them, they lost the first house they ever owned to a computer error in which the mortgage company said they could do nothing about it. That was the proverbial “straw”. With losing the house you love and feeling like you failed your family comes more cocktails to keep the depression away.

The crazy thing is…even through all the rough times, the couple’s love never faltered. Not once. Over cocktails or wine, they talked of better times, retirement and what they’d do when the traveling was over. They laughed with their daughters, attended every school and sports function and stared into each other’s eyes. Then ever so slowly, little things started happening, but you don’t think anything of it because it’s little….

The man, now in his early forty’s, started losing weight. Then his balance became off, his memory wasn’t as sharp as usual, he noticed his eyes were crusty, and his stomach just wasn’t right. Any of these things were common to many people with a lot of stress in their lives. All the while he maintained his career, love for his family, and continued to have cocktails.

On June 2nd, 2013 after days of denying something was wrong because they didn’t have the funds, the man and his beloved wife dropped their two daughters at a friend’s house and went to the emergency room. Since an ER trip isn’t too unusual on a weekend, they figured they would be back by dinner after the doctor ran a few tests. The doctor ran tests and wanted to admit the man to monitor him for the night. The couple joked to each other while they waited for a room, kissing and holding hands. After they got the man settled in the room, the woman went to get the girls and bring them to say goodnight. When they returned the nurse informed her that they were taking her love to the ER where he could be closely monitored. Still believing he was in for only the night, they kissed him good night and left for home.

Then the woman’s *ell became a reality. On the second day, the gastroenterologist informed the woman that the love of her life had Alcohol Hepatitis and the survival rate was four to six months. Couldn’t possibly be true… he didn’t drink THAT much. There were plenty of people who drank more and were fine…

One by one, his internal organs began to fail, but for seven weeks, that man fought with all his might to stay alive. He didn’t want to leave his family. When he could talk, he was adamant that he wasn’t leaving his family. The doctors were amazed of his drive and determination. They started talking about rehabilitation centers that took dialysis patients and which would be the best. He then contracted pneumonia and couldn’t breathe. He died four days later. Now his beloved wife is a widow at age 45 and his daughters will grow up without a father.

On July 18, 2013, I had to terminate my husband’s life. The doctors said he had a 2% chance of living. Not a full life, just living. That meant dialysis and hooked up to machines for the rest of his life. I knew that was NOT the life my husband would choose and therefore had to make the most difficult decision of my life. I lost the love of my life and my absolute world to the disease called alcoholism. I know for a fact that if he would have known that what was happening was so severe he would have NEVER let it go that long. He thought he could control it. He NEVER wanted to be without his family and his family NEVER wanted to be without him.

If you think the outcome of this story couldn’t possibly happen to you or someone you love please think again.

Comments for We didn't Pay Attention and Now You're Gone

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May 23, 2014
Understand
by: Stony

Jennifer,
I truly sympathise - I have been through almost exactly the same thing. 4 and a half months ago I lost my best friend, my wife. Never had to go through the hospital nightmare - thought she was just ill - went to bed one night and when I tried to wake her in the morning she was gone. The cocktails finally got the better of her...We had no children so it's just me - am not coping well- none of us are. Wish you all the best in the world. Just try and think of the good times.
xx

Apr 10, 2014
Deepest sympathy
by: Lawrence

Dear Jennifer,
I read you tragic love story and its inevitable ending with a feeling of intense sadness for you.
There is absolutely nothing I can say to take away your overwhelming pain, except you will never feel as heartbroken and bereft as you do now, and I know only too well that is no consolation..
I also lost a beloved sweetheart on Christmas day 2012, so it is fifteen months since she died, so suddenly.one minute talking the next dying, a wonderful death for her but total agony for her family who were all waiting for their Christmas dinner, turkey was in the oven, table laid and who was to think when she awoke on that Tuesday morning she would be dead a few hours later.
I also had to make the decision to stop CPR when the consultant gently told me if they could get her heart beating she would be brain dead, so I told them to stop (a decision that haunts me, what if they were wrong) .
I watched in tears as she took her last breath, kissed her, closed her eyes and thanked her for a blissful seventy years of love and passion, then turned and walked away from the first girl I ever kissed when she was fourteen and the last I will ever kiss..
So Jennifer, I have stood in your shoes and understand your feeling of hopelessness and agony, but I can tell you as the weeks and months pass realization will dawn, and you will accept he has gone, your anguish .and tears will lessen and perhaps you will see a light at the end of that terrible tunnel of grief.
You must thank God for the wonderful sixteen years you had, many people are not that lucky and never experience the intense love you shared., not long enough I know.
You have joined a web site of heartbroken people and we all weep with you and for their own loss.
I am a songwriter and one love song I wrote to her ended with these words.
OF ALL THE GIRLS I’VE EVER KNOWN, AND THERE WERE QUITE A FEW
THERE WASN’T ONE I LOVED, THE WAY I LOVE YOU.
My beautiful wife would laugh when I would sing it to her saying “But you have never known any other girls” which was so true..
With deepest sympathy
Lawrence

Apr 09, 2014
pay attention
by: Anonymous--MI

I am very sorry for the loss of your dear husband. As I read your post I could feel the love that you and your husband shared. I am a widow of almost 17 months, loosing my wonderful husband of 43 yrs to Sudden cardiac arrest. This is the worst pain and sorrow I have ever experienced and am still grieving every day; longing for my husband to be back at my side. I have no words of comfort except to say that the only way we will have any kind of peace and healing for our broken hearts is to look to God for His great love and mercy. I hope you and all of us on this site can see some joy in the coming days. God Bless you.

Apr 09, 2014
We didn't Pay Attention and Now You're Gone
by: Doreen UK

Jennifer I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved husband all too quickly. What a tragic loss. Your story is a beautiful love story. We just go through life each day never thinking that anything could go wrong. It is so devastating when it does all go wrong.
My husband was a young man in his 20's who went to work as an exhibition carpenter all over the world. He cut a material called asbestos which was not known then as a KILLER. When asbestos is cut the fibres lodge in the lining of the lung like claws and takes between 40-60yrs. to develop into a full blown malignant cancer tumour which is inoperable, incurable, and aggressive. My husband went through a gruelling 3yrs.39days battle in severe pain and dying slowly. I nursed him and he died almost 2yrs. ago. He was only 65yrs. and didn't even get to enjoy his retirement. I can't believe he has gone. It is such a tough battle. My husband died from his environment. The best way forward for me was taking ONE DAY AT A TIME. I hope you have a good support structure to help you.
Many people take an occasional drink and they don't end up with a serious illness like your husband. My brother drank bottles of wine like water and a miracle he is still alive. he had serious medical problems and had to give up the wine. I am so sorry for your loss and your struggle now to go on in life without him.

Apr 09, 2014
Jennifer
by: Anonymous

Dear Jennifer, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your story touched me. Ther are so many who are in denial about drinking. My son to be exact. HE tell s me he doesn't drink that much but he just can't have one beer. I refuse to ever buy him a drink. I will not contribute to his problem. I don't even keep any alcohol in my home.

I pray for you peace and strength.

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