Walking was his one of his passions and when he lost the ability to go on those hikes around town and whenever possible, in the country, he lost a part of himself. He’d already lost so much. He’d lost his wife and child in a divorce and then found his subsequent girlfriend dead in her home. When he lost his ability to work, he fell into the cracks and found himself ineligible for any welfare benefits and even though he had a Disability check, there was a waiting period for health insurance. It all came together at a time when he actually needed medical care the most though and I think that also contributed to his demise.
But walking was something he needed for his mental stability. Finding someone you love dead of an overdose and realizing he’d been betrayed and lied to again (about her drug-use which she had always denied) threw him into all the emotional state that followed his divorce and the pain sent him deeper into his own addiction.
He still had his son, who I am certain he loved the most in this world. And, even though we were divorced and had accepted the fact that we couldn’t live together, we continued to be very close. Bonded by the need for both of us to be there for our disabled son and bonded by our relationship to each other, we were friends and sometimes, best friends. There were so many times when it felt like it was us against the world and even though we still fought over the same things that had torn our marriage apart, we were happy to be divorced most of the time.
My Mom and Sister are always right. When something happens, they are the first ones to say they saw it coming but it was still a shock to me. Maybe the change was perceived slowly because we saw each other often and spoke nearly every day by phone, whereas my family who didn’t see him nearly as often, could see greater change in him each time they met. Or, maybe it’s just them (MOM/SIS) being their know-it-all superior state to take hindsight and create a storyline where they could see into the future or be right or to feel smarter than me but they tell me they saw it coming.
At 58, even with his problems and he had plenty, I just couldn’t imagine that he would leave us. Even after nine months, I find it hard to believe he’s not just a phone call away.—-or just a short walk away…
In the weeks before he died, he withdrew. Normally very opinionated and involved, he stopped giving his input, saying no one listened to him anyway. I realize now he had just given-up and once that happens, it can lead you to death’s door. He didn’t care if he died. He did nothing to insure that he wouldn’t die yet I don’t think he did it on purpose. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had an entire prescription bottle of Morphine on him when he died. After his girlfriend died, he had let himself go and didn’t care and so he had ballooned up to over 300-pounds and though his additions to pain pills may have contributed to his health and internal organs, his heart couldn’t take it.
His Mom has overheard him weeks before he died having a conversation with someone in the bathroom in which she had heard him say that he didn’t know how much longer he could take the pain. I know his pain was more than physical and his wounds were deep though he seldom showed it. His losses were great in his life but it wasn’t all bad. Some of the best days of my life were with him. My happiest memories are with him. I trusted him with every little secret thought I had and we had years and years of good times together. It’s not that I didn’t suffer from this loss. I did. I wanted him back until the end but knew that we could never turn back the time and change the circumstances back to our early years. But I thought we had come to terms with it well. We remained very close to each other. We still expressed our love to each other in verbal ways.
He gave up quickly. His heart gave up just as fast. One moment he was here and the next, he was gone. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and grieve for my loss. His voice, his image, his entire person is forever a part of me. Life is hard without him but life goes on without him and I have surrendered to that truth. This is my path now. It is a path in which my connection to him is in the past but still with me every day