In February 2001, I told my husband I would be filing for divorce. I had been living with my mother and her husband for almost a year. Due to his continuous relapses and unwillingness to come be honest in therapy, we were no closer to reconciliation than the day I moved out. It broke my heart to know the man I married was lost somewhere inside the broken man he had become.
The details surrounding his death are very blurry to me. I have blocked most of them out. What I do know is this:
My husband was a Board Certified Optician. He travelled extensively for work and we would often go for days on end without hearing from him. At 2:00 am, Febrary 26, 2001, I received a phone call. It was my husband. He told me he was sorry for all of the heartache he had put me through. He knew when we got married, I didn't believe in divorce and he was sorry that his actions and behaviors had brought me to that point. He thanked me for bringing The Boy and The Girl into the world and told me that he knew of no better person to raise children with love and direction. He asked that as they grew, I share with them stories of their father. He hoped that I would tell them about books he loved, animals he loved, places he loved, and things he loved. He also asked that I protect them from stories about his shortcomings and flaws. He knew that he had done me wrong in a lot of ways, but he hoped that I would only share positive memories of him with our children
I asked him why he was saying all of these things. I remember telling him, divorce doesn't mean you will never see them again. Then he told me...
Prior to calling me, he had ingested 3 bottles of sleeping pills and 2 bottles of wine. He was crying. He said he never wanted to put me through all of this and he was very sorry. He informed me that he would probably be dead within 3 hours. I freaked out.
I demanded to know where he was. He wouldn't tell me. He was calling from a cell phone and there was no way to locate him. He asked me to not try to find him. I remember him telling me repeatedly that my and the children's lives would be better this way. I was very angry. We argued for a good half hour and then he told me he had to go. His last words to me were, "I have always loved you." My last words to him were, "Fuck you for being so God damn selfish."
As I said, most details are a blur. I was up most of the night crying and trying to find him. He did not answer any of my calls when I tried to call him back. I was a wreck.
Around dinner time on the 26th, an officer came to the door of my mother's house. He informed me that my husband's body had been found in a hotel room near Denver. I would be receiving a call from the Denver County coroner shortly. I don't remember my reaction. I don't remember talking to the coroner. I know that I was able to identify his body over the telephone by describing his tattoos.
It has been 9 years since that phone call. Describing it still puts a pain in my chest. I remember driving toward Denver on the BFFRT this year and feeling sick to my core. Just the idea of being near to where he died made me ill.
Drug addiction ruins lives. Suicide ruins lives. Untreated depression ruins lives. Because of these things, my children have no father. My children have no idea what life with a father would be like. My children have no concept of what a father's role is. If you, or anyone you love is afflicted by these conditions, GET HELP!!! It doesn't just affect the individual! It affects EVERYONE in that person's life!!!