I sent an email to Albert as I hadn’t heard from him in some time. His sister emailed back that Albert had passed away of a heart attack in April. He was still dealing with the loss of his son. Rest in peace my friend.
This writing is from a friend, Jim LaPierre:
Through the course of recovery from alcoholism, we learn mindfulness and healthy expression because we understand that everything is connected. Our sobriety, our self care, managing our responsibilities and working our programs are all intimately dependent upon each other. One of the wisest women I’ve had the honor of knowing reminded me every so often, “We can go back to step one at any time. No matter how well you’re doing, things will happen that rock your world and you’ll be completely powerless over them.” I’ve come to have a strong appreciation for how right she was. The things that tend to impact me the hardest are the things I couldn’t possibly have anticipated, much less controlled. The most difficult of these has been the unexpected death of a loved one. These are the times when it seems the world should simply stop turning. In the midst of our shock and loss we temporarily regress. Our functioning is diminished. In very short order, however, we must resume vigilance because as we well know; what we refuse to deal with will deal with us. We have a long history of avoiding feelings in our past and cannot afford to resume our old ways. Avoidance and repression of emotion are fodder not only for our disease; they are also the fuel that feeds our depression and anxiety. Left unattended, they are major contributors to relapse. The best way we can honor those who went before us is to live the lives they would want for us. The last thing they’d want is for us to spend time in self pity. They’d want us to let go, get our needs met, and get back to the business of living. Ask your Higher Power for grace. A wonderful old timer told me once that grace is “unmerited divine intervention.” The silver lining of loss is that we grow spiritually because we rely more fully on God to see us through the dark valleys in our lives. If you find yourself stuck, be mindful that there is no greater honor than being of service to another alcoholic. Reach out to newcomers and help them find their way. As Grandma Moses so simply and powerfully said, “Pray for the ones that are gone, and fight like hell for the living.”
(This picture is the last place Albert got sober)