I’ll Forever be Grateful I Wasn’t the One Who Found Him When He Died

Because it would have been my worst nightmare come true

Jessica Smith
4 min readOct 25, 2021


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

He wasn’t long for this world when I asked him not to come back home. Someone had taken pity on him and bailed him out of jail when I wouldn’t.

It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just knew that getting him out wasn’t going to solve any of his problems. At least in jail he was clean. At least I knew where he was and I didn’t have to wonder if he was dead.

I had played that game too often over the 7 years we were together. Is he dead somewhere? Did he finally OD? Has he been arrested? When he wouldn’t answer his phone for hours, this is where my mind went.

He Didn’t Want To Stop

A week prior to him being arrested for possession again, we had talked. I had told him if he continued to use, we were through. It wasn’t right what he was doing to me or the kids.

“Well I’m not going to stop using.”

That was my answer. He was choosing the drugs over me and our 3 small children. That was the answer I had been waiting to hear. It confirmed what I already knew. Now I could move on.

I could stop caring. If he didn’t care about our family, much less care about himself, did I have to? I took his response as giving me permission.

No, I didn’t want to give up on him. I still loved him but all of my love was lost in the void of his addiction. It would never be enough to change the course of his life.

It was a relief to me when he essentially let me off the hook. I think he knew more than anyone that he wouldn’t be around much longer. Maybe this was an act of love on his part.

He Set Me Free

To make up for the hell he put me through over the years, he set me free. He gave me permission to move on without him instead of continuing to bring us down with him. He threw us off his sinking ship.

How many nights did I sit at home alone, wondering where he was? Too many. I couldn’t get the image out of my head…



Jessica Smith

Writer and mother. I write about whatever pops into my head. Relationships, Self, Mental Health, Parenting, Whatever. https://twitter.com/3282jessicah