Ben Johnson | CaringBridge

Ben Johnson

First post: May 22, 2018 Latest post: May 23, 2018
On Thursday Christine and I got up early, had a light breakfast, dressed in our finest and made our way out into Oslo to experience Constitution Day in Norway first hand. This had been a dream of Christine’s for a long time and we finally were able to achieve it. We walked through the streets and watched little children clad in Bunnads making their way towards the Royal Palace where they were greeted by a waving King and family. The day was beautiful, and the children were so happy as they proudly marched across the city. Christine kept telling me she wanted to kidnap them all and bring them home. We ate hotdogs and ice cream, tons of it, in Norwegian tradition. I made her march across town to listen to the National Orchestra play until after about thirty seconds of music she turned to me and told me this type of music made her want to stab her ears out. We laughed and made our way back through the city, stopping here and there before we got back to the apartment and taking a nap. For dinner we walked a short distance and took a chance on a small Italian restaurant. Everything was made from scratch and was wonderful. On the way out we spent a few minutes chatting with the Italian owner who Christine told has given her the best Italian dinner ever. We made our way home and pulled mattresses off the bed so we could lay down in the living room and watch tv. We talked until late into the night, up until almost four AM. She was especially interested in talking about how much she loved and missed her kids and how when we got home she was going to do a better job of demonstrating this love. Christine told me shortly before bed that it had been one of the best days of her life.

24 hours later Christine made the decision to end her life. She had been struggling with mental illness for quite sometime and it must have finally become too much. Crippling anxiety, depression, mood swings and obsessive behaviors had become an increasingly regular experience. We had made a decision that she was going to seek help the day we returned.

I lost my best friend, my beautiful, funny, smart girl. The deepest love I have ever known is gone and my kids have lost their mother. I’ll forever miss her passion, her humor, her ability to make me uncomfortable with a very off color joke, her deep sense of fairness and justice, her fierce loyalty to her children. She was an amazing mother and wife and will be missed by all who had the chance to know her.

The biggest regret of my life will always be that I tried to take her burden on my own shoulders instead of pushing for her to overcome her fears and paranoia and seek professional treatment.

If any of you are struggling with mental illness or know someone who is please encourage them to seek help.

Now she’s gone and I miss her so deeply. So very very deeply.

Your kids and I love you so much Christine and will miss you until the end of our days.

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