By Phillip's wife, Samantha
Cedar Bluff, Virginia
I lost my husband, Phillip, on August 22nd of last year to an accidental Fentanyl overdose; eight days after his 42nd birthday, two weeks after our daughter’s third birthday, and a month after our last wedding anniversary. Our nine year old son found Phillip in his office, face down. When he came and told me, "Mom, Dad is sleeping in the floor," I knew exactly what had happened. He thought Phillip was sleeping because of that sounds he was making (if you have been in that situation, you know what I mean) - it sounds like snoring.
Phillip left me with three kids ages nine, six, and three, with another on the way. I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time but had a miscarriage two weeks later. My world has been turned inside out. It's like I’m fighting to get out of a water filled balloon but there is no way out. My husband was a news reporter and had worked for the paper for ten years. No one knew Phillip had relapsed - not his mom, his boss, the county supervisors that he talked to regularly, the many people at the courthouse that he saw on a daily basis. No one knew but me.
I deal with the guilt of not doing enough before it was too late. Even in his last moments, did I do enough? Yes I did. I couldn't save him. I could not save the man I loved. My husband. My Protector.
On August 22nd of this year, exactly one year since I lost him, I thought it would be like any other day, filled with sadness and tears. I had to force myself out of bed, force myself to get the kids to school, force myself to do the daily things I have to do for myself and my family.
I hate addiction. I am also struggling with addiction, and have been in a methadone program for some time. Although I am struggling financially, it's NOT because I am out on the streets looking to get high. I feel if I hadn't been in this treatment I would've relapsed when my husband did, or worse...I would've relapsed when he passed away, leaving our children without both of their parents. I am a supporter of Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs. It HAS saved me.
Today I miss Phillip so bad my body physically hurts. Our family is forever torn. My kids will be forever affected by this. Somedays, it hurts to breathe. I just want him back. I want to wake up from this nightmare.