Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Alcoholic Legacy

I took this photo of today's sunrise as I ran, through the frosty plain... not knowing that a few miles away my friend was lying dead on his living room floor.

My daughter got a text message tonight as we were eating our ice cream cones, that "your mom's ex-boyfriend was found dead today."  What?  I went to the internet, my source of all things, good and bad, and found the news.  His kids hadn't heard from him for a few days so they called the Sheriff's Department (that he once headed) to do a welfare check.  They found him dead.  

I hadn't dated anyone for over two years, and he came along.  I was in my first year of blogging and had no idea how I could come to regret chronicling a romance for the world to read, I called him "Mr. Sweetie Man" here on the blog.  He looked to be "normal," but it didn't take long to realize that he had a hell of a drinking history.   And then in a little while more, I found out what all it had done to his life.  It had ruined a long and distinguished career.  There was a ton of stuff about his fall from grace to be found online.   But he always "manned up," he had honor.  He had integrity.  He was a good man who had a terrible problem with booze.  I do understand that.  I did respect him.

He was so charming and he swept me off my feet.  He was smitten with me too.  We had a great time for a little while.  And then he started acting weird.  And then I had to finally admit that he must be drinking.  He showed up here with booze on his breath, oh, how I wanted to be wrong about that gasoline odor, but I was not.  My heart was broken.  

We stayed in touch.  I really liked him.  He really liked me.  He really appreciated that I was "there for him" as he was going through a really tough time in the last year.  The last time I talked to him though, he hung up on me.  It was right before the election and he got mad because I did not agree with his politics.  I called a week after the election and left him a message... "I think we can talk again now that the election is over... "  But sadly, that conversation will never take place.  

I know he was sick.  And I know it is not up to me to determine the cause of death.  But in my heart, I know the cause of death.  No matter what the coroner determines, I know.  

I hate that he hated AA.  HATED it.  He hated the people.  He had spent a lifetime in law enforcement and for him to sit with a bunch of people he thought were criminals was just too much for him.  I would talk to him for hours about this.  Did he think I was a criminal?  NO!  He surely knew there were thousands of AA meetings without a single criminal in them.   His ego just found the convenient route to kill him.  Our egos are good at finding that route.  It doesn't matter if it is even close to the truth, it knows how to lie convincingly and it knows our soft spots.  

I am sitting in bed, wanting to go to sleep.  But I am shaking.  I am so sad for this man, that he had to die alone, and that he had to be found by his former employees.  I am so sad for his sons.  I am so sad that his story is not unusual. 

He was a good man.  Alcohol took everything away from him.  Everything.  

God Bless Him.  


22 comments:

Mary LA said...

Such heartbreaking news and a wonderful tribute.

Take care Mary-Christine and condolences on your loss.

Findon said...

Mary. Thank you for posting this. It has to be avery emotional time for you now. But what you have described is the illness in its most raw form and I need to constantly remember what it really is. You really felt for this man and his struggle, I can see that, and you were both part of each others life for a brief while. Take care of yourself now and remember your friend with fondness.

Scott said...

stopping for a moment to say a prayer for him and his family, and for you too my friend... may the Lord kindly welcome him home and be with his family and with you MC... another sad AA story...

A Girl said...

Hi Mary-Christine. I'm sorry for your loss.
Thanks for reminding me that alcoholism will kill us if it goes untreated. I tend to forget this when I'm caught up in everyday B.S. usually of my making!
Also thanks for sharing your experience with the 12 steps in the last few days. I found it to be very helpful to me.

dAAve said...

Lessons.
There's always more lessons to be learned as I (we) go through this journey.

Syd said...

I am so sorry about this. I think that this disease is such a heartbreaker for so many people. The alcoholic loses everything but the people around the alcoholic lose so much too. I hope that your friend has found the peace that he never had during his years of alcoholism. What a price though.

big sky mack said...

Mary. I am sorry for your loss as well as the loss to his family. You chronicled this in such a wonderful way in such a sad time.
FAEA

Pam said...

Oh Mary - You have written about him here thru Gods eyes with love and compassion.
I remember when you were seeing him and how sad you were when you knew it would not work out.
Ask God for a little extra soothing balm on your spirit today.

Scott W said...

I think sometimes in our grief we forget we brought joy to their lives. Grief is for the survivors and it is often overlooked as a source of getting stuck spiritually. We have to let grief have its way for a while so we can process it and then move past it.

We grieve for those gone, for our misspent youth, old loves, pets gone, some even grieve that they can no longer drink.

It is part of the circle of life. There cannot be life without death.

My condolences to you.

J-Online said...

I remember reading about this man in your blog; when you guys were dating. I'm so sorry for your loss. This disease is so hard. Thinking of your during this difficult time. Jenn

Banana Girl said...

MC, I am so sorry for this loss. Your heart is so big that it always comprehends the need in others. Thank you for sharing and for caring about this man. I read the story in the paper months ago, but your story reminds me we are all people with complexities and trials, we all need mercy. You are a merciful woman and I love you for it. Thanks. J.

Kim A. said...

I am sad that another human being who was loved is a victim of this disease. I lost my ex and my kids lost their dad in July to the effects of prolonged drinking and self-medication. I am forever grateful that I found Alanon which enabled (no pun intended) me to let my HP work in my life and provided me an opportunity to make amends and peace this past May. We had endured a nasty divorce and a custody battle that lasted years. He won custody for 7 years and I am glad now. His boys know that their dad loved them. I never understood why I lost custody for those years. I now know that my HP sees the big picture and sometimes, I just need to cooperate and trust. I blather on but know that as long as the rooms of Alanon exist, there is a place for families to find some help.

Namaste

Lou said...

I feel the sadness for dying alone, and for his sons. I feel sadness that he could not accept his own pain, therefore making it easier to see the pain of others.

You put your heart out in this post. Take care of yourself.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Thank you for this post and for the beautiful tribute to his life. My prayers to you and his family and my gratefulness for AA is even more resolved...thank you MC>

GM

Heather said...

Prayers and hugs being sent your way.

KarenR1213 said...

Dear Mary Christine,

I am sorry for your loss. It is a sad reminder of how horrible this disease can be.

♥Shann♥ said...

I am sorry too MC ((((HUGS))))

wendy said...

sorry for your loss, Mary.

Trailboss said...

A very sad time for you and his family.

AlkySeltzer said...

Oh, Mary, now that I know who he is, I am really sad for you.

And my own lesson here is, "There but for the grace of God, goes me."

I have mourned at so MANY AA funerals, and each one--unless they died sober--is just a shame...but as it is, often, one dies, that others may live.

Peace to you at this time, this Thanksgiving week.
Steve

Cat said...

You have my condolences on your loss Mary Christine.

deepak said...

I am Deepak from India and i was an alcoholic for 14 years and my lives had became unmanageable.And i lost my eye in an accident when i was drunk driving.I am not shammed to tell tehese because, i diserve it.I discontinued my education in the tenth class.After 14 years and hurting my parents i accepted and wanted to join in AA group in India.I understood the programme and now i am sober and i have a blog about Addiction and De-addiction.But i have no good articles about these.My request to you is guide me.And i also want to place a link in your site and help the addicted ones.I cannot pay for paid link