From the February 1998 magazine.

A Dark and Lonely Companion

This AA learned how to cope with grief

Seventeen years ago when I attended my first AA meeting I had no idea how magically my life would change. It's a good thing they didn't ask me to make a lifetime commitment to this proposition called "not drinking." Now, this one-day-at-a-time idea is so ingrained in my soul that I can't imagine not living by this philosophy.

In February, 1989, I received that message in spades. My husband died very suddenly from a heart attack. He was here one minute and gone the next. He'd been sober eleven years and seven months on that freezing morning. He didn't even have all day. I received a telephone call at home with this devastating news. I didn't take the phone call well. I reacted to the shock by screaming at the caller. He had to have been mistaken. He had to be wrong because I just knew my wonderful husband could not be dead. My husband was only forty-one years old. He was too healthy to die. We were going to grow old together and be crusty old-timers in AA. The caller attempted to tell me how sorry he was and hung up.

-- Pat T.

Houston, Texas

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