On the Wings of an Angel

Mary Getchell

John, 56 years in this life, shed his physical, tired and worn body on March 24th, 1997. My husband died from a disease called amyloidosis, which affects about 8 in a million people. This disease seemed to rob John of everything he held dear...his physical health, his intelligence, his need to help other people, his hiking and running, and we, his family. This disease slowly and mercilessly destroyed his heart, kidneys, liver and unless you've been there, when these organs don't function in harmony, it begins a slow disintegration of physical health.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, the drugs confused him and the pain from shingles made his life so painful that even the drugs couldn't help him, only death could now set him free. My two children and I watched this process happen over a 3-year period; I was the primary caregiver as we lived far from either of our families. How we made it through, I'll never know!

John was a wonderful, gentle, kind individual, always full of vibrant health and energy and "get it done" philosophy. He was disciplined, a good provider, the best husband, and greatest father that God could provide. I loved him dearly, but never knew how much until he was gone.

If there was one lesson to learn that I could share with the world, is if you have a good marriage, if you truly enjoy each other, don't ever take it for granted and don't ever get too caught up in life to ignore it. Nothing is more important than sharing your love in this life!

Money is nice, but it doesn't mean anything compared to losing your love.

John will celebrate his first birthday in heaven on September 30th. I'm happy that John is no longer in pain. His passing has taught me more in these past few months than I could otherwise have learned in a lifetime. Growing, becoming a better person, finding a spiritual path are all gifts I will be sharing with John on his first birthday in heaven.

Since the day I met him, I have grown tremendously as a person. He shared his love of nature with me; he taught me patience; we had 2 wonderful children together...thank you for these things, John. I know you're happy and free now, though we miss you more than words can ever, ever say. You were my life in this world and I have no doubt that we'll meet again in the next. Shortly before you died, I asked you to catch the wings of an angel flying by and on March 24th at 4:00 a.m., I know that you did.

I love you. Your wife, Mary

You can send email to Mary at: [email protected]
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anniversary date 03-24-97
date of post 09-09-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW