XAW is Dead - Age 48 - LONG - Incl Eulogy

Old 08-01-2018, 02:59 PM
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XAW is Dead - Age 48 - LONG - Incl Eulogy

Hi Everyone--

I haven't posted in years, but this forum saved my sanity while I was married to my XAW. Now she has died, so I thought I would post an update.

I hated to leave the marriage (it felt like I was running from a burning building and leaving her behind), but ultimately was relieved to get away from her legally and financially and emotionally. The day-to-day drama was just too much. We were never able to have kids and made it 16 years.

We separated 7 years ago and ultimately divorced. At the time, I gave her all of our cash, retirement money, and monthly payments for 6 years, because mine is a marital property state and I am the owner of a valuable family business. I gently talked her through the process and she never had an attorney, thank God, the conflict would have slayed me. It was hard enough the way it was.

My goal was to retain a friendship and amazingly that is what happened. She never wanted a divorce and always loved me, her original "prince charming".

What I learned about alcohol is that it destroys everything and everyone in its path. It can take the sweetest and kindest person (when sober) and it can kill them. XAW had many near-death experiences and miraculous recoveries -- including periods of sobriety that lasted up to 18 months. But she would always go back, every time. After one drink of vodka, it would be daily use from that day forward until the next trip to ER.

She seemed have 9 lives, but the Good Lord finally decided enough was enough. She was in her own apartment with 2 cats on her lap one night watching TV with a friend, when she closed her eyes, and went to sleep forever. The irony was that she was fairly sober and healthy all things considered. What a peaceful way to go, considering all the months in the hospital over the years with liver issues and other major complications.

I cried for a month straight, especially preparing to talk at her funeral. All my life I envisioned this talk, how to put into perspective, why such a great person would drink themselves to death. Especially someone with a nice Christian faith.

I share the Eulogy below, I hope it provides something of value to the many good people on this forum. God bless.


XAW Eulogy

When someone is gone, you think about their best qualities and what made them special. XAW was appealing in the most basic way – she smiled a lot, she was cute, and she displayed a joyfulness that you can see in the pictures around this room. She had a special “wow” about her, and when she shined most brightly, she could light up a room.

Growing up youngest of 5 next to her family farm in MN, she told stories about making mud pies and stone soup (always the chef!), and about riding her bike on the dirt road in front of her house. She didn’t come from money, and never found her security in a savings account.

If XAW was in your grade school class, she would be the quiet, sweet, smiling kid in the background, the nice kid, eager to please, who didn’t need to be the center of attention. And if a new kid joined the class, XAW would be the first one to share her Jolly Rancher’s – because she probably had a stash of candy hidden in her desk.

When God made XAW, he made someone very special – a person who was naturally humble, kind, wanting to help and to bring joy to others. She would gladly give away her time, her energy, and her resources to anyone who was in need, especially the homeless, addicted, and downtrodden. The world could use more people like this.

I know where she got her inspiration and her motivation: XAW was reflecting the love of God and overflowing with the love of Jesus.

On our first date we talked about the Lord, and XAW shared her Christian faith with me. She kept it simple. Her faith could be summarized in the Sunday School song: “Jesus loves me, this I know”. It was a child-like faith, and it explains why she was so nice, patient, sweet, generous, joyful, and full of goodness towards others.

She lived life with an adventurous confidence because she knew God was with her. When she prayed, she spoke lovingly to her “Heavenly Father”, expressing reliance on him, with abundant thankfulness for his love, forgiveness, and protection.

XAW was moved by God. She would talk about the “tap tap tap” on her shoulder – which meant that God was telling her to do something, or change something in her life. It was these promptings that motivated her to do amazing works of service, like fearlessly driving down to 10th & Wisconsin to volunteer in a homeless soup kitchen, which she did near-daily for over 2 years at one stretch.

I think that God really appreciated XAW’s simple child-like faith, which she never doubted, and from which she never wavered. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” God appreciates simple faith.

XAW was God’s gentle little lamb, a member of the Jesus’ flock. She had an innocent, sometimes naïve perspective towards the darkness in the world – because she always saw the world as good, people as good, with God in control. The bible says, “man looks at outward appearances, but God looks at the heart”. That’s how XAW looked at people, at their heart, and it drove her kindness towards the poor and homeless.

Unfortunately, on this side of heaven, we live in a fallen world where we face a mixture of good and evil. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. To me it is the height of evil that Satan would attack the smallest and most gentle in the flock – but he did, because that’s what lions do. And he uses lies and accusations.

For whatever reason, XAW had carried an insecurity that made her feel like she didn’t fit in. Like all of us, she wanted to be loved, accepted, included, and appreciated.

Even though XAW was surrounded by a loving family, friends, and husband, she struggled with insecurity because the devil himself was telling her lies. He would say she is not good enough, that she doesn’t deserve God’s forgiveness. He made her feel bad about herself.

Meanwhile, God would remind XAW that she is loved, she is special, she is his adopted child, and she is forgiven. This was XAW’s inner dialogue and if you think about it, all of us fight a similar inner battle in our hearts and minds.

Because XAW’s struggles involved alcohol, her ups and downs were intensely magnified. The downs were extreme, from uncharacteristic behavior to major medical emergencies. But the up’s -- were a righteous supernova. So XAW would stumble, and get up . . . stumble again . . . get up again. With the Lord there is always revival – that’s how life works.

Watching XAW and being part of her life was a roller coaster ride, but I can honestly say I am better for it. Praying next to her hospital bed, falling on my face before the Lord, and putting XAW in God’s hands was an exercise in faith. It was a release from my control into God’s control, and his awesome, indescribable healing power was demonstrated for all the world to see.

It was 10 years ago in 2008 that XAW fell down the stairs, hit her head, and broke an artery in her brain. The subsequent surgery, coma, and eventual revival was dramatic. The chances of survival were remote. The chances of living a normal life again were remote, due to brain injury. But a smiling, fully restored XAW walked out 38 days later.

God repeated that miracle at least a dozen times over the years. I never question whether miracles are possible, because I have seen them. I saw God raise XAW from the dead, as real as any story in the bible. Best of all, I learned that I have no control. My greatest peace comes not when I am strong, but when I am weak – it is when I have nothing, that God becomes everything.

I have been reflecting on the last 10 years, because God could have called XAW to heaven in 2008. That would have been too soon. There was still more for her to do: more people to feed, more friends and family to love, more cats to adopt.

It was not until now, on the night before Easter in 2018, that God called XAW home to heaven. Jesus’ little lamb, who was lost and then found by her savior so many times, reached the end of her journey. In her last month of life, for some reason, XAW seemed to be preparing for her death. She was giving away even more food than usual, and she was getting her affairs in order. She even dreamed of being gone, exactly 2 weeks before she passed.

In her final months, XAW was in a good place in her life. Her health was stable and she was self-sufficient. She had a church she loved and she couldn’t wait to go to Easter services. She had just been home to see her family in MN where she had expressed her love, as always, to everyone who was important in her life.

XAW’s life was abundant, because she was in God’s hands every moment, and there is simply no question about that. Jesus said: “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my father’s hand.”

This is the reason why XAW was so special. She reflected the love of God and overflowed with the love of Jesus. We could all learn something from XAW, in fact, she lived as an example to teach us a few lessons. Like David Letterman, I will share XAW’s Top 10, and this is really how she lived:

1. Money is not important. Be generous with everything you have.
2. Feed the poor and take care of the needy, including the homeless, the addicted, and those rejected by society.
3. Didn’t judge other people based on appearance. Look for the good in everyone.
4. Consider other people more important than yourself.
5. Forgive and ask for forgiveness from everyone in your life.
6. Smile, have fun, and play games with people you love.
7. Make the most of every day, don’t worry about tomorrow.
8. Make sure that everyone that you love, is 100% sure that you love them.
9. Take and display lots of photos, because you can get cheap frames at Goodwill.
10. Always have plenty of food on hand, you never know when you might need to whip up a quick meal for 50 or 100 people.

Thank you for being a part of this service and a part of XAW’s story. I may be the spokesperson today, but many, many friends and family have loved and supported XAW over the years. This includes 8 of her family who came down from MN, my own family and friends here today, XAW’s neighbors, and our dear friend Dennis, XAW’s as-needed caretaker who was with her when she died.

They say that God whispers to us in our celebrations, but he shouts to us in our pain. This is a painful time. It is also a time to think about life and death. Maybe you are feeling the same “tap tap tap” on your shoulder that XAW talked about, when God was prompting her in a certain direction.

If you are in the Father’s hands, XAW is a reminder that no one can snatch you away.

If you are a wandering sheep, XAW is a reminder that the good shepherd is looking for you.

And for all us, XAW is a reminder that life is short, and each person will leave a legacy. XAW’s life has ended, but her legacy is just beginning.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:14 PM
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Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm very sorry for your loss.
May she finally have peace. God bless.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:49 PM
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So sorry for your loss you sound like an amazing person with amazing values and she was so lucky to have you and God on her side. I'm sure she knew that as well.

Much love!
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:20 PM
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I'm very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this eulogy.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for posting. There will always be a part of us that died along with them. Healing is a journey and loving again is now more available to you without the guilt.

Praying for you in this time.

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Old 08-01-2018, 04:41 PM
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Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:16 PM
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I’m so sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:38 PM
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Sorry for your loss. Thank you for your beautiful post.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:10 PM
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My most sincere condolences, this is truly so sad she was so young.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:25 AM
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A lovely, profound and lovingly written eulogy djayr.

Prayers to you and for you XAW.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:06 AM
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djayr, what a moving eulogy. I have watched your story unfold over the years and know how much you have been through as you watched your AW lose that will to live. Thank you for sharing this with us
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:08 AM
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I am so very sorry. Thank you for sharing. I think you paid a beautiful tribute to someone you obviously cared for so much.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:30 AM
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I remember your story. That was a lovely eulogy.

God bless you. We know what you have been through and I admire you for showing love and strength through it all.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:00 AM
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That was beautiful. Not just in tribute to her, but I also get such a clear picture of your Acceptance & Forgiveness.

It's rare to see these qualities modeled in such a healthy way - it puts me in mind of a condensed, newer version of the story of The Shack.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:09 AM
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I'm very sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:15 AM
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A lovely eulogy for a beautiful soul. Wishing you strength and peace, Djayr.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:26 AM
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So sorry - ((((((hugs)))))) what a beautiful eulogy. Hoping you find some peace of mind in the coming days and months....
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:12 AM
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I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. What a touching, beautiful tribute. Peace and comfort to you and yours.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:12 PM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss. The eulogy is so touching and such a beautiful memorial to your wife. I understand your pain. I lost my AH to alcoholism 01/16/15.

The eulogy gives me hope in finding closure. Thank you.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:54 PM
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I am sorry for your loss, my friend. Everyone on this forum pictures their "addicts" mortality when another one of our loved ones, is taken from us to young. It is so painful.
There is no question that you loved her and you did all you could do for her, and then you gave her to God. Sending prayers to you and her family.
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