Friday, August 7, 2015

The Evil of Alcoholism

My ex-brother-in-law passed away yesterday.  He had been estranged from my five nieces for a very long time, the youngest two have really no memory of him at home.

His name Jeff.  He was 47.

Jeff was an alcoholic, and as many of you may be well aware, alcoholics live a very destructive life, leaving loved ones severely wounded in the path.  Near the end, we heard he had been attempting to get into rehab.

We are not sure exactly what happened, but something triggered a drunken evening and it ended in a fall that left him needing emergency brain surgery.  He was placed on life support.

The state required his biological children to be the  guardians of his care.  Enter my nieces and their half brother.  They had been thrust into an adult world of painful decision making over night that many adults themselves have yet to deal with.  They had to eventually make the decision to take their father off of life support and put him under compassionate care with hospice.

He was on life support for almost two weeks.  Once a week, the neurosurgeons and other health care workers would meet with the family members to discuss his care.  The decision was made by my nieces and their brother to remove the life support; to see what God's plan was.  After labored- breathing (with oxygen) for five days on his own but still no response to stimuli and having fixed pupils, they made the decision to have a feeding tube placed.   He passed 24 hours after the feeding tube was placed.

My nieces are 18, 22, & 23.  Megan (23) is to be married in five weeks.  Emily (22) is a recent college grad and has been starting her masters over the summer.  Molly (18) is suppose to be leaving for nursing school in a couple of weeks.

Can you imagine making these decisions at their age?

Throw into the mix the fact that  Jeff's family is very dysfunctional, a family of mostly alcoholics starting with Jeff's mother.   Where I do not mean to throw accusations, I must paint a very clear picture so you can try and grasp what my nieces and their half brother have endured.  In their grief, his family has been very angry and have lashed out at my nieces and their half brother.  If I could sum up the verbal assaults and accusations, I would have to use the word 'evil'.  The family's denial of their own brother's self-destruction has resulted in great anxiety for my nieces.

This tragic situation obviously needs prayers from every angle.  One of their first acts was to have their father anointed by a priest.  They knew he had attempted rehab.  They knew he did NOT want to  be an alcoholic.  They knew he was sorry for years of pain and suffering he caused.  During his "sober" last days, the girls were able to find peace with him even though he was unconscious.  They mourn him.

I ask you to pray for this entire, tragic situation, for all those involved.  I ask you to especially pray for the peace my nieces deserve.

~  Patty  ~


  1. Oh Patty, this breaks my heart. I'm sorry for your loved ones and what they've had to handle their whole lives, especially these past two weeks.
    Be assured of my prayers for your family and his own.

  2. God bless the dear hearts of your nieces and their brother. Alcoholism is (was as most have passed away) rampant in my family so I understand a bit of their pain. I will keep all of them in my prayers.

  3. It's just heartbreaking! I'm praying for all!

  4. I will pray for your whole family. Before kids my career was in Drug and Alcohol counseling, so I understand fully how devastating alcoholism can be.

  5. I will pray for your whole family. Before kids my career was in Drug and Alcohol counseling, so I understand fully how devastating alcoholism can be.

  6. I will pray for your whole family. Before kids my career was in Drug and Alcohol counseling, so I understand fully how devastating alcoholism can be.

  7. Prayers for those young people making such responsible and mature decisions about a mostly absent father. I understand - my ex took his own life a few months ago after years of alcoholism and being estranged from all but one of his kids. Somehow, with God's grace they were able to come together and do what needed to be done - though they are all in their 40's. It was such a blessing to me to see how mature they were in dealing with their pain, knowing there was no longer going to be 'next time, maybe".

  8. OH, Patty, I'm so sorry. Tragic. So very tragic. My husband councils these kind of men...he, himself being in recovery for 26 plus years. My husband comes from a dysfunctional family stemming from his father's still is devastating today for him.

    I'm trying to say, I understand. And I'm praying for all involved. Those poor kids. (young adults)

  9. What tragedy and sorrow. I'm so sorry for his kids and all they've had to endure for so long. And then to be left with his family who is so cruel and dysfunctional. So sad. Praying for all of them and for inner healing. Please let those nieces and nephew know there are many of us out here surrounding them in prayers.

  10. Oh Patty, what a complete sadness. How our choices really do affect the people around us, especially the family. You are so right, these are such 'grown up' decisions, and they are making them in such a pressure-cooker. And his family was not a pillar for them to lean on either. Yikes. It must have been so painful for you to witness...

    I am so overwhelmed by their ability to forgive, and to ask a priest to come. Another 'grown up' moment. I am so impressed by their faith, which will take them all the way to healing someday. God bless them, and you, and I will keep them in my heart.

  11. Alcoholism takes away the mind of an alcoholic. All family members are gradually degrade together with him. I was born in a family of alcoholic. Oh, it's a special atmosphere. I remember the dull evenings and nights when my mom was waiting for my dad, but he did not come home. In my childhood I had a constant useless struggle with dad's alcoholism, but then I losе. But now I know what is stupidity, fear, cowardice, complexes, evil. And I know how to avoid this in my life. Thanks to my dad, I know how to create a happy family. I ceased to be a "son of an alcoholic." And by the way, I am a winemaker, this is my hobby.
    You have nice children! :)

  12. I understand all too well the effects of alcohol abuse. I happen to be a 34-year-old male alcoholic, and the journey to recovery has been rocky at best. I have a neighbor who died of a cerebral hemorrhage due to alcohol abuse. Seeing the devastation that his death has caused his family opens my eyes. I believe in God, and I believe God is always with us through struggle.

    Jeffery @ New Dawn Treatment Centers


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